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NHS Shared Business Services asks: Might we interest sir in a bespoke, artisanal G-Cloud?

Pre-approved services list aims to make choice easier for public sector orgs

NHS Shared Business Services - the UK health service's back-office IT provider - has launched a list of pre-approved cloud services suppliers for public sector orgs.

Unlike G-Cloud, a marketplace that proffers tens of thousands of services from thousands of suppliers, the NHS SBS framework includes just 24 suppliers and aims to make life a little easier for procurement managers.

Suppliers are split into four sections:

  • Lot 1: "Solution Design and Consultancy" to provide initial support and help shift legacy functions onto the cloud
  • Lot 2: "Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS)" for anyone looking for public, private or hybrid cloud services
  • Lot 3: "Cloud Support Services", a range of specialised services such as in-house management and remote support
  • Lot 4: "End-to-end Cloud Solution" for suppliers which can offer a full array of cloud services

The framework will run until September 2021 with the option to extend for two years. Organisations can either choose a direct supplier or run a competitive bid process.

Phil Davies, procurement director at NHS SBS, said the idea was to provide a simpler way for the NHS and other public sector organisations to make sense of an extremely complex market.

"To ensure framework users have access to the very best cloud services at the most competitive price, we carried out a rigorous tender process and limited the number of suppliers on the framework to the 10 or 20 most outstanding in each Lot. The result is a specialist pool of 24 leading suppliers, which provide the greatest expertise and value-for-money to the public sector."

The list lacks some of the big players – such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google – although a bunch of providers will likely rely on their services to provide capacity.

The SBS framework does, however, include a full cloud solution, which is not an option on the G-Cloud framework.

UK public sector organisations have been expected to follow a "cloud-first policy" since 2013. ®

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