SME suppliers rush on UK's G-Cloud

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SME suppliers rush on UK's G-Cloud

All about streamlining procurement.

The British Government has extended the deadline for its G-Cloud app store tender to cater for unexpected "popular demand". 

The tender, originally set to close about three weeks ago, was extended on Wednesday until December 19, according to the UK's Cabinet Office

A total of 532 expressions of interest had been lodged since the tender was published on October 18, prompting the extension.

The G-Cloud is the UK's effort to emulate the US government's app store, similarly designed to streamline and standardise the procurement of cloud software for agencies.

The G-Cloud "framework", worth up to £60 million (AU$92 million) will operate for an initial six-month period, after which successful applicants will be able to sell a range of tools the government expects will include email, word processing, hosting, ERP, records management, CRM and other office productivity software.

The system is designed to attract SMEs by requiring less stringent evidence of financial history, simplified application procedures and standardised contracts.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said the pay-as-you-go model was "an example of government procurement changing".

"Rather than rigid requirements expressed in overly complex tenders, we are asking suppliers what they can offer and setting out our requirements in the simplest way possible. Rather than being risk averse, we are exploring this new area of technology and looking for innovative solutions that will save taxpayers money.”

Australian government CIOs have informally discussed the potential of a G-Cloud but have focused more on sharing resources during peak demand that can be sold by the infrastructure owner.

However, it is taking a cautious approach to public cloud services due to concerns about offshore hosting.

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