Network Services 2 (RM3808) Supplier Event
Once again Flo headed to London for another supplier event- this time it was Network Services 2! Here's all she learnt and heard...
A very different session at the Network Services workshop to that of Tech Products. This time, the workshop was organised by Innopsis and ran by CCS. On arrival we were again asked to log onto Menti, and from then on, I thought it might become another dry session with muted feedback, but in fact that wasn’t the case.
CCS did not spend too long on the current iteration of the framework and that might have been a shame as it would have been nice to see sales figures (for each Lots for example) but instead, dived straight into the timeline and the potential changes to the Lot structure.
What’s the plan?
In terms of timeline, OJEU is planned for Q3 with the framework going live in spring 2019 – allowing for a slight overlap. Voices were raised in the audience to enquire whether this would not interfere with other frameworks and the consensus from CCS was that it shouldn’t, as Data and Application Solutions (DAAS) should be out just before the summer. That said, it begs the question, if you are an SME with limited resources, going from G-Cloud 10 into DAAS into NS2 could be quite an onerous process (if you need help call us, wink wink).
The audience of suppliers was very engaged, and I do hope that the feedback was captured as a lot of interesting points were made. Menti was not used much in the end, and that was perhaps a good thing. Technology hey! Turns out, we still prefer talking to each other.
First up for discussion was the possible merger of Lot 1 and 2 into one connectivity Lot. There was much debate around this, with some in favour of keeping them separate and some not. In the end, it seemed to me that the obvious solution would be to Sub-Lot. This would effectively allow those who only want to apply for one Lot to do so, whilst automatically enrolling those who have applied for both into the parent Lot.
That said, the lovely Rachel from CCS who was behind me mentioned that they had moved away from Sub-Lotting, so it may not be as easy as that.
So, we moved swiftly on to telephony through to audio and video conferencing and whether they should be grouped under one more general Lot. Mainly people were thinking ahead to a time where conferencing might take a different form to that which it takes now, and one that we don’t know yet.
This took us nicely to the “proposed” length of the framework agreement. This is currently at 4 years, prompting the age-old debate of being locked out for a rather lengthy period of time if you don’t make it onto the framework/Lots. Should NS2 be a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)? Innopsis has argued it shouldn’t be a DPS, rather it should be a framework. Tricky question. While a DPS would mean more suppliers could get on and they could do so at any time, it would only work if the buyer journey in regards to the further competition element is done right. And that’s the hard part!
Current Lot structure:
- Data Access Services
- Local Connectivity Services
- Traditional Telephony Services
- Inbound Telephony Services
- IP Telephony Services
- Mobile Voice and Data Services
- Paging Services
- Video-Conferencing Services
- Audio-Conferencing Services
- Integrated Communications
OK, last but not least, potential new Lots. There were 4 put forward by CCS.
Proposed new Lots:
- Security and surveillance (CCTV)– which was popular although it would need a clear scope definition.
- Radio– was also a winner as it doesn’t have an RM yet.
- Managed services– for which there is clearly a demand, but as someone pointed out, how would that work if you are on MS and Lot 1 and 2 would you end up buying yourself?
- Surveying– This potential Lot was unanimously rejected by those in the room… I‘ll leave it at that, I’m sure CCS took plenty of notes.
It was also suggested instead that potential scope for additional Lots could include Maintenance and contact centres.
In conclusion, this was a lively event and I think CCS got a lot of useful feedback and suppliers had an outlet for voicing their concerns, past and future. But as ever, the proof will be in the pudding when the framework comes out Q3 2018, watch this space…