The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), part of the Department for Transport, has become the first government department to purchase a service through the new CloudStore online catalogue using the G-Cloud framework.
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MCA let and awarded the contract in less than 24 hours – a dramatically reduced procurement time compared with traditional public sector purchasing that can take months. Details of what services were purchased were not available at the time of publishing.
CloudStore went live in February after a quick-fire five-month procurement process, that signed up 257 suppliers to offer commoditised cloud services through the portal, ranging from simple infrastructure such as on-demand storage, up to software-as-a-service products such as productivity tools, ERP and CRM applications.
The site allows public sector buyers to easily compare services and prices from different suppliers, and aims to use that transparency to drive down costs.
For example, Atos is providing Microsoft Dynamics CRM on Demand at £43 per user per month, compared with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM on Demand provided directly through Microsoft at £25.96.
There are already 1,700 cloud-based services on offer, with more to come in a second round of supplier selection next month.
Further purchases through the CloudStore are likely soon - on Thursday, the G-Cloud team ran its first BuyCamp, a meeting attended by more than 30 public sector organisations keen to purchase cloud services through the G-Cloud framework.