SCC handed top-level clearance to flog secure cloudy kit on G-Cloud

First supplier to get pan-government security rating


Reseller and integrator SCC has been cleared to sell secure cloud services across all government departments through G-Cloud.

SCC has announced pan-government accreditation for nine services sold under its OptimizeCloud, which have been granted an Impact Level 2 and 3 rating by government inspectors.

Under G-Cloud, companies are given permissions to handle data categorised by impact level security ratings depending on their certification, which is decided by inspectors from the Cabinet Office.

The nine are the first services to have been awarded pan-government accreditation, according to SCC and the Cabinet Office, the government department behind G-Cloud.

The Communications-Electronics Security Group said it was working with 23 other suppliers delivering a further 48 services for cross-government accreditation.

G-Cloud programme director and Home Office IT director Denise McDonagh said she is “delighted” SCC is the first UK provider to gain pan-government accreditation.

The SCC services are secure VMware based storage, back up and virtual machines plus hosted email, including Exchange from Microsoft, running on a multi-tenant cloud.

IL scores a service or suppliers' level of confidentiality, integrity and availability with ratings ranging from zero, least secure, to six.

SCC was an early advisor to the government on going to G-Cloud back in 2009 and pan-government accreditation follows what the company called a "multi-million-pound" investment in its existing data centre in order to meet standards set by the CESG.

Rhys Sharp, SCC public sector chief technology officer, told The Channel that some of the company's existing staff had to be re-trained to meet the IL rating and that servers providing G-Cloud-listed services had to be housed in different rooms inside its data centre.

Two major consideration of IL3 is that data centres supplying the government customers must be based on UK soil and that data cannot be sent offshore.

Sharp said SCC is in talks with government departments to use the services. Existing SCC customers, not in talks to use it's accredited cloud, include the Office of Fair Trading, whose web site is hosted by SCC.

Sharp reckoned selling across government would change SCC's business. "We often had a transactional relationship wit the customer," he said.

"There's more value add from our perspective, we will have more discussions.... about products and solution as opposed to supplying pieces of hardware."

He also reckoned this would now open the way to other small and mid-market IT suppliers providing ICT services to central government via G-Cloud.

The Cabinet Office claims three quarters of public sector contracts through G-Cloud's Cloudstore have gone to SMBs. However, with G-Cloud 2 coming the level of interest among suppliers interested in joining has dropped compared to G-Cloud 1, while SMBs The Reg has spoken to have told us G-Cloud is not working; they have had little or no business despite being listed. ®

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