The second iteration of the G-Cloud goes live today with 458 suppliers signed up to the 12-month framework, but cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) is still noticeably absent from the list.
Head of the G-Cloud programme, Denise McDonagh, said back in April that she was ‘fully expecting’ AWS to soon be on the G-Cloud framework, having not been signed the first time round. The same was said for Salesforce.com, which has now been awarded as one of the suppliers for G-Cloud ii.
At the time McDonagh said AWS had been put off by the terms and conditions in the contract, specifically about the right to audit their US data centres.
The original G-Cloud was launched in February, and the government has said it will continue to release iterations of the framework in a bid to continuously sign new suppliers and build a bigger offering.
AWS and the Cabinet Office were not available for comment at time of publication.
Three quarters of the 458 suppliers are said to be SMEs, something which Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has said proves that the government is making it easier for SME suppliers to compete for public sector business.
“This second G-Cloud procurement builds on the success of the first. It will continue the transformation in how the public sector buys, manages and delivers IT services, and how suppliers work with government, driving greater efficiency and savings for the taxpayer,” said Maude.
“As well as focusing on efficiency and reducing costs, the Government is committed to supporting economic growth. Part of this is about levelling the playing field for small and medium-sized firms by making it simpler, quicker and cheaper for them to compete for Government business.”
He added: “The good news is that not only has the number of suppliers on the second G-Cloud framework nearly doubled compared with the first, but that the proportion of SMEs has remained just as high.”
There were 257 suppliers signed to the original framework.
To date there have been 99 purchases of IT services through the CloudStore, totalling approximately £2.2 million, which is still a fraction of annual government IT spend (estimates vary between £17 billion to £20 billion).
However, with G-Cloud ii the government does seem to fulfilling its commitment to open source products by signing up Sirius as a supplier. It will be providing strategic consultancy, deployment and systems integration, training, support and software as a managed service.
Mark Taylor, chief executive of the open-source company, said he was pleased with the result.
“This really is a first! The myth that ‘you can’t get support for open source’ is dead and now it’s time to lay to rest the ogre of procurement,” he said.
“Open source is now available simply, safely and cheaply through the CloudStore.”
G-Cloud ii is a 12 month framework, with scope for individual contracts of up to 24 months. The total potential value of the procurement is £100 million.