How NS2 progressed to NS3
The next iteration of Network Services is due to open in October. Here's how the framework has progressed coming up to Network Services 3.
Network Services 3 is the next iteration of the Network Services framework. It provides public sector buyers with access to networks and telecommunications services. This includes cloud services, audio and video conferencing, radio and satellite networking. We expect to see Network Services 3 open for applications in October 2022, with an aim to go Live in early 2023 replacing the current 2nd iteration.
CCS partnered with Innopsis for pre-market engagement, which has been ongoing since November 2021. Following are the proposed changes and what we expect to see in Network Services 3.
Network Services 2: The Supplier scope
Let’s start with a summary of the previous iteration. There are 93 suppliers on Network Services 2, 58% of which are SMEs. This is an encouraging majority, far greater than the Government’s target of spending at least 33% with SMEs. CCS has worked to empower customers to achieve this target by providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions. Such information includes transparent pricing and accessible service definitions, making the application process easier while completing ongoing assurance.
Our services at Advice Cloud helped many of these SMEs get listed on Network Services 2. Our SME pass rate (38/39) was 97% compared to the 59.18% overall SME pass rate (155/325).
Network Services 3
The following Lot structure was designed and constructed through multiple workstream sessions conducted by CCS and Innopsis, but is still subject to change:
Lot 1. WAN Inter-site connectivity
- 1a: WAN – Data Access Services
- 1b: Commercial Radio
- 1c: Tactical Radio
- 1d: Critical Domain Services
Lot 2. LAN Intra-site connectivity
- 2a: LAN – Local Connectivity Services
Lot 3. Emerging Technologies
- 3a: IoT & Smart Cities – CCTV & Surveillance (ancillary).
- 3b: Communication Platform as a Service
Lot 4. Cloud & Premise Telephony and Contact Centre
- 4a: Analogue telephony
- 4b: Digital Communications Services (Unified Communications)
- 4c: Contact Centre
- 4d: Inbound Telephony
- 4e: Paging and alerting
As you can see, it has changed since NS2 but incorporates most of the same technology and solutions.
Are the Lots capped?
As with the previous iteration, the Lots will be capped on Network Services 3. This has been discussed at the supplier engagement events, but until the OJEU is released, we won’t know the number of suppliers per Lot.
The Network Services framework follows the open route, which means it will be a single-stage process. The application for NS3 will be intensive, as it was for NS2! Suppliers will be asked to meet specific financial, technical and competency criteria to get listed. There’s a lot to cover here, that our team can offer help with!
Our average quality score across all 39 bids we submitted on behalf of Network Services 2 suppliers was 84.07/85 (98.91%).
The call-off period
Whilst Network Services 2 allowed contracts of up to 10 years for some services, it had a basis of 3-year contracts with an option to extend for a further year. CCS have stated they intend Network Services 3 to run for 3 years with an option to extend for a further year.
Get listed on the Network Services 3 framework
Advice Cloud achieved a 100% success rate on Network Services 2, with all suppliers we worked with gaining a valuable place on the framework. Our experts are at hand to assist with the application process and submission for the next iteration.
Our Network Services 3 Listing Services include:
- Supplier registration
- Submission prep and webinar
- Compliant in-house developed submission templates
- Bespoke application timeline
- Regular application reviews and suggestions for improvement
- Email support
- A dedicated Account Manager during the application process