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Google Cloud eyes public sector push after signing MoU with UK government procurement chiefs

Google Cloud follows in the footsteps of Microsoft and Oracle by signing MoU with the UK government, which should pave the way for broader adoption of its technology by public sector

Google Cloud has struck a discounted pricing deal with the UK government’s procurement arm that should help accelerate adoption of its technologies across the public sector.

The cloud giant has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) designed to make it easier for qualifying public sector bodies to access its portfolio of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), data analytics, artificial intelligence and application modernisation tools and at reduced cost.

To-date, Google has already confirmed that discounted pricing on its cloud offerings will be provided to government departments, local councils, public-funded broadcaster, NHS bodies and charities too through the deal.

The arrangement will also enable public sector organisations to tap into Google’s multi-cloud management platform, Anthos, which is designed to help enterprises manage IT resources that are running in the Amazon, Google and Microsoft clouds, as well as those hosted in on-premise environments.

CCS has similar cloud-focused arrangements in place with the likes of Microsoft and Oracle, and confirmed the formation of its engagement with Google began in 2019 with the aim of furthering the One Government Cloud Strategy (OGCS).

As previously detailed by Computer Weekly, OGCS is part of a joint push by CCS, the Cabinet Office and the Government Digital Service (GDS) to promote the cross-functional adoption of cloud technologies with the public sector.

For Google, though, the MoU is a significant step, given its two main public cloud rivals – Amazon and Microsoft – already have a significant hold on the public sector market, particularly where central government departments are concerned.

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Google Cloud has had some modest success where the public sector is concerned to-date, particularly at local council level, where the take-up of its online productivity offering, G-Suite, is concerned.

However, this deal could pave the way for broader adoption of its technologies across the wider public sector, which is something the company has been building towards achieving for some time, suggested Mark Palmer, head of public sector for Google Cloud in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“This is a significant milestone for us, as we see the results of our focused investment in cloud services and solutions primed and tailored for the public sector,” he said.

“The UK public sector is a major focus for Google Cloud, and this is an opportunity to further support Her Majesty’s government in their digital transformation.” 

CCS chief executive, Simon Tse, said the deal looks set to bring big benefits to public sector organisations that are looking to ramp up their cloud-focused digital transformation efforts.

“CCS provides commercial agreements which help organisations across the entire public sector save time and money on buying everyday goods and services,” said Tse.

“This MoU with Google Cloud unlocks large-scale business benefits for our customers, and demonstrates CCS's role in helping the public sector serve UK citizens in more innovative ways.”

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