As part of its mission, Crown Commercial Service (CCS) helps to manage over £10 billion of technology spend each year on behalf of public sector customers, and in the last 18 months, the technology team has increased commercial benefits for technology customers from £431 million to £1.2 billion. In this interview, Dr Philip Orumwense, Commercial Director and Chief Procurement Officer for Technology at CCS, explains what it takes to achieve such commercial success.
How does CCS help the public sector procure technology solutions?
CCS is the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK. We help customers get the best technology solutions at the best price, from laptops for schools to advanced cloud technology solutions for local authorities to help them with their digital transformation journeys.
We provide access to an unparalleled range of technology products and services, all designed to help public sector organisations run more effectively and cost-efficiently.
What is CCS doing to make it easier for customers to use agreements?
We’re constantly developing our commercial agreements to help customers make the best use of technology in the most cost-effective way. Under G-Cloud 13, which is expected to go live later this year, we’re introducing improved terms and conditions. For example, greater inclusion for the provision of day rate cloud support services along with introducing a fourth Lot for further competition for cloud support for larger, more complex requirements.
New Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), negotiated throughout 2021/22, are helping customers get the best technology at the right price. It will now be easier for public sector bodies, no matter how big or small, to get better value-for-money cloud capabilities and cutting-edge technology.
What is your team working on right now?
We’re in the process of bringing to market several new, innovative commercial solutions, including our ‘first of its kind’ Big Data and Analytics agreement, which aims to support the public sector to improve data use to drive efficiency and improve services. G-Cloud 13 and Cloud Compute 2 will continue to drive the transformation of cloud, storage and digital and technology professional services throughout the public sector.
What is your focus for 2022?
Our focus remains on leveraging the best value from our existing suite of agreements. We’re continuously looking for opportunities to drive the message of aggregated buying. We’re also preparing ourselves for the upcoming rules reform and its implementation in 2023.
Our key priority is making sure that we understand how we’ll grasp the opportunities so we can bring even more power to our customers’ procurement.
How is CCS helping customers to make responsible decisions about sustainability and social value?
We’re continuing our work on providing sustainable technology solutions to ensure the government delivers on its commitment to carbon net zero. Our Crown Hosting agreement provides data centre colocation facilities for the public sector, delivering significant cost savings and sustainability measures.
Through this agreement, carbon savings in the region of 99.9% are achieved from efficient hyperscale facilities and ‘Green Electricity’. We’ll also be engaging with the various procurement policies, including how we boost our own and our supply chain partners' compliance with the modern slavery statement. And we’re accelerating our focus on growing our SME spend through our supply chains.
Our SME engagement statistics for 21/22 are outstanding (total SME spend for technology through CCS agreements was £1.88bn, representing 25% of direct spend), but there’s more to do.
Visit crowncommercial.gov.uk to find out how CCS can help you
make better buying decisions