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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made good on its pledge to increase its use of commercially available, commodity cloud services through the roll-out of Inovem’s off-premise collaboration platform Defence Share, procured via G-Cloud.
The MoD’s Information Systems and Services (ISS) division is rolling out the cloud-based collaboration technology, which has already been widely adopted within other parts of government.
Based on UK SME Inovem’s flagship online workspace product Kahootz, Defence Share will let MoD staff store and share “official-sensitive” classified data with other government departments, third-party commercial organisations and allied nations via private and public internet networks.
Speaking to Computer Weekly, Inovem managing director Peter Jackson said the deployment marks a change in procurement strategy for the MoD, which has previously favoured the use of costly and bespoke products for its collaboration needs.
This time around, before embarking on a series of free product trials, the MoD drew up a shortlist of suppliers that list their products on the government’s Digital Marketplace platform.
“They whittled down the list and eventually chose us, but we did not actually meet with the team at the MoD until after the contract had been awarded,” said Jackson.
This hands-off approach to doing business is not unheard of for securing business via G-Cloud, he continued, and is indicative of how much easier the framework has made the act of winning government IT contracts for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Indeed, before G-Cloud, the effort and cost involved in responding to a tender for a project such as this would have put the deal out of reach of the likes of Inovem, he added.
Read more about G-Cloud
- On the same day the Cabinet Office confirmed that £1bn worth of public sector IT purchases had been made through the Digital Marketplace, Computer Weekly received word that the man responsible for running it was moving jobs.
- IT suppliers on the government’s G-Cloud framework have accused Whitehall procurement managers of unfairly favouring cloud collaboration firm Huddle, after striking a preferential pricing deal with the business.
As it stands, the company has 40 active deployments of its technology, equating to a public sector user base of more than 22,000 seats, having secured high-profile contract wins within the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice.
John Glover, Inovem’s sales and marketing director, said G-Cloud now accounts for around 70% of the company’s annual revenue.
“The size of our client sites ranges from 10 users to over 10,000 users, and without exception we are seeing licence growth across all client sites as their projects develop or they find new ways to be in Kahootz,” he told Computer Weekly.
“This growth dynamic is key as it provides a leaner way for our public sector clients to consume cloud services and allows us to confidently increase investment in the development of our products and business.”
Computer Weekly contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment on the deployment, and received the following statement: “Inovem were awarded the contract to provide a secure collaborative working environment solution following an extensive technical, commercial and security evaluation process.”