Is G Cloud The Same As A Digital Marketplace?


G-Cloud (Government-Cloud) is a framework developed to make procurement easier for both buyers and sellers in the public sector. In essence, it facilitates agreements between government contracting authorities and suppliers. 

The thing to note about G-Cloud is that it focuses solely on cloud-based services. So, you can publish a contract notice for SaaS (Software as a Service), but not the tech or infrastructure services that will run the software.

In this article, we’re going to look at what G-Cloud is and how it benefits public sector procurement. We’ll also look at the difference between G-Cloud and the UK’s Digital Marketplace, which is also a framework for public procurement.

How Does G-Cloud Make Procurement Easier?

G-Cloud is a framework and frameworks are designed to streamline the buying and selling process. It achieves this by:

  • Letting contracting authorities publish a contract notice once rather than across several platforms. 
  • Keeping everything in one place makes procurement management much easier and quicker.
  • Pre-approving suppliers before they can list their services on the platform.
  • Providing buyers with a selection of pre-approved suppliers that fit the contract requirements.
  • Eliminating long tendering processes that go with open contracts where anyone can submit a bid.
  • Ensuring the procurement process is transparent for all parties by publishing suppliers’ details, like a complete definition of their software services, pricing structure, and terms and conditions.
  • Supporting SMEs by making it easier to join the framework agreement.
  • Exposing SMEs to new local and central government buyers and exposing buyers to fresh SMEs for low-value contracts.
  • Standardising contracts, service level agreements, and other documents shorten admin processes.
  • Saving time which can be used more productively elsewhere in the procurement process. 
  • Driving innovation as suppliers strive to outdo the competition by providing more value for money.

What Is The Digital Marketplace?

There are online marketplaces and digital marketplaces. They are the same but different.

The Digital Marketplace is like a computer store. It sells a variety of products that relate exclusively to computers and digital technology. 

An online marketplace is like a supermarket; it sells a bit of everything. 

The Digital Marketplace is a type of online marketplace, which is divided into four categories.

1) Horizontal: Sells all sorts of products, with few restrictions.

The best example of this is Amazon. Amazon’s products are virtually infinite and its reach is global.  

In fact, Amazon, through Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a cloud hosting service for software and infrastructure.

2) Vertical: Limited to one industry or product.

This is the UK’s Digital Marketplace. It sticks to online and digital services and products from a few different frameworks – not just G-Cloud.

3) Hybrid: The best of both.

Think Uber. It started as a plain taxi service (specialised) but has added Uber Eats (general).

4) Hyperlocal: Services are limited to a specific area, region, city, or neighbourhood. 

This could be something like delivery from the best bakery in town.

What does the UK Digital Marketplace do?

The Digital Marketplace provides cloud hosting services that make it easy for contracting authorities to find the right products and services for digital projects. Basically, it’s a bridge between public sector buyers and suppliers, connecting them and facilitating transactions via framework agreements. 

Agreements – plural.

According to GOV.UK, there are three framework categories.

1) Cloud software and services: G-Cloud framework.

2) Digital outcomes and specialists, and user research services: Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.

3) Physical data centre space: Crown Hosting Data Centres framework.

What this means is that G-Cloud is a service available through the Digital Marketplace. In fact, the Digital Marketplace has been referred to as a front-end catalogue where buyers can browse cloud services and technology, secure in the knowledge that the suppliers have all been pre-approved.

As a result, a reduction in risk goes alongside convenience, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness as the marketplace’s primary benefits.

How Do You Know When To Use G-Cloud?

There are many reasons to choose G-Cloud over other Crown Commercial Service (CCS) frameworks. Here are some of the more compelling reasons.

You want choice

Since 2012, when it first entered the marketplace, G-Cloud has amassed a vast number of products (25K+) and lists over 3500 suppliers.

The numbers are intimidating, but you can refine your search parameters until you whittle your options down to the most suitable cloud software providers.

You want flexibility

Many G-Cloud suppliers provide scalable services that can be quickly adjusted to keep pace with business operations and demand. This is particularly important in the public sector where contracting authorities must use the taxpayers’ money wisely.

Budget dictates choice

Contracting authorities are accountable for every penny spent, so it is paramount that they get maximum value for money when they enter contractual agreements.

The close competition among G-Cloud suppliers helps to keep pricing reasonable, especially when suppliers strive to provide a little extra value to make themselves more attractive to buyers.

Security is essential

We know that suppliers must be approved before they can list their services on the framework, but what does that mean?

Obviously, suppliers must meet G-Cloud’s terms and conditions, but they must also meet the requirements detailed in the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). GDPR requirements include security statements testifying to their transparency and data safety and security measures, including storing data.

Delta eSourcing Takes The Reins

Delta eSourcing provides an eTendering portal or public sector procurement platform that boasts over 500 public sector organisations and 100k suppliers. Like G-Cloud, it provides a safe digital space that brings local and central government buyers and suppliers together.

Like G-Cloud, the platform is completely transparent and complies with all regulations governing the public procurement marketplace, including GDPR.

Unlike G-Cloud, it has more benefits for buyers and suppliers.

For example, buyers also enjoy:

1) eProcurement services that streamline the buying process, including publishing contract notices, encouraging open communication between buyers and suppliers, and using cutting-edge cloud technology to track projects.

2) Tender management from start to finish, including creating and publishing contract notices, and setting bespoke selection criteria for scoring, weighting, and evaluation. There is also a secure Tenderbox Document Exchange facility for contracting authorities and suppliers to safely share tender documents.

3) Contract management via a contract register, which is a repository that enables procurers to track suppliers’ performance, keep an eye on spending, and easily manage several contracts simultaneously.

Delta eSourcing Prioritises Customer Support And Procurement Efficiency

A company without good customer support is a company destined to fail. Delta makes customer support a priority, providing guidance and advice wherever necessary in the supply chain. We foster relationships and collaboration among buyers and suppliers, and our services are flexible and scalable.

Our services are designed to enhance the buying process, as well as the way contracting authorities and suppliers experience the process. A natural by-product is a highly efficient system that helps to match buyers’ needs with suppliers’ services and ensures the procurement lifecycle continues as smoothly as possible.

Why not contact us and book a demo, so you find out why our services are trusted globally?

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