The government has launched a framework for public sector bodies to buy managed email services.
Five suppliers- Accenture, BT, CSC, General Dynamics Information Technology and Vodafone- have been appointed to the two year framework.
The first customer to use the contract is the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in order to replace the health service’s secure email service ‘NHSmail’.
HSCIC is responsible for providing information, data and IT systems for health and social care.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is also planning to use the framework to replace its existing Criminal Justice Secure email service, which is also based on Microsoft ‘Exchange’.
ComputerworldUK asked the MoJ for a replacement date but the department is yet to respond.
There are three lots available on the framework depending on the number of mailboxes required. Lot 1 is for up to 9,999 mailboxes, Lot 2 is for between 10,000 and 99,999 and Lot 3 is for over 100,000.
In order to use the framework customers have to buy at least one core component such as secure email, email router, mobile device management or a white pages and directory service.
Public sector bodies can also buy services such as access, administration, information security, service management, on boarding, remote storage, instant messaging and collaboration and data retention.
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which set up the framework, said it would make it easier for public sector customers to compare services easily to get the best value.
The service said it would also save money by reducing the need for local investment in infrastructure and allowing buyers to share services.
Michael Larner, principal analyst at TechMarketView, said that the framework should provide opportunities for “SME providers of secure data exchange such as 4Secure, Accellion, Cryptshare3, Deep Secure, Egress Software, Fox IT, IPSWITCH and Nexor.”
He quoted Egress’ CEO Tony Pepper as saying: “In order to meet the framework’s stringent requirements, the chosen suppliers have had to work closely with the wider industry in order to integrate innovative technologies and solutions in to their existing platforms”.