Updates from the G-Cloud 12 Industry Briefing
Earlier this week, techUK hosted a G-Cloud 12 industry briefing alongside CCS and ourselves. here's what we found out.
Several members of CCS attended, including G-Cloud Category Agreement Manager Mark Tooke, and category lead for G-Cloud Sandra Milburn. In addition, our very own CEO Chris spoke at the event, explaining the application process and busting myths to a room full of hopeful suppliers.
So, we thought we’d summarise the key details shared at the event, in order to prepare you for this year’s application window – opening next week.
Changes between G-Cloud 11 and G-Cloud 12
Firstly, the key changes made for this iteration of G-Cloud are as follows:
- Mandatory Service Definitions – certainly the biggest change this year
- Digital signature process – when it comes to signing the framework agreement
- DUNS number requirements – Suppliers must have a valid one to apply, which will be automatically checked against their Companies House number
Secondly, in terms of the supplier declaration, CCS also confirmed that minimal changes will be made. However, it won’t be quite as simple as a cut-and-paste job for this section, and it’s important to check through each of your answers carefully. Several of them are pass/fail, after all.
Thirdly, CCS have prepared a log of differences between the call-off documents for GC11 and GC12. This will be available once the ITT is released, but to summarise; there are no major material changes.
Service Definitions: what to include
Although CCS won’t be issuing templates for the now-mandatory service definitions, they did provide some useful guidance:
- Based on CCS’ own analysis, businesses that haven’t won business on G-Cloud tend to also be those without service definitions. Food for thought.
- Don’t make the language in service definitions too marketing-y, or too technical. Although the reader could be from a marketing or technical background, it’s best to assume that they aren’t. Think about accessibility here.
On that note, CCS will be publishing accessibility around creating and uploading accessible documents. For GC12, this isn’t a mandatory requirement – as it’s very hard for CCS to ‘police’. However, the more accessible the service definition, the higher the likelihood of certain buyers reading and digesting them.
If the idea of putting together a service definition from scratch sounds alien to you, fear not. Advice Cloud have put together a service definition template for each G-Cloud Lot – exclusively available for our clients – based on our previous success on the framework and the CCS guidance released.
How intelligent is the Digital Marketplace search function?
The short answer to this question is: not very. For example, if a buyer were looking for an e-sourcing solution, it’s likely that different results would appear when searching for “e-sourcing” and “e sourcing”. Therefore, it’s certainly worthwhile for suppliers to include all possible descriptors for their service in their short description.
However, CCS do actively suggest to buyers that they experiment with their searches, carrying out trials to make sure that they’re capturing everybody. In addition, CCS have been in contact with GDS about modernising the digital marketplace search function. Although it won’t happen for GC12, watch this space.
Social value and G-Cloud: Are they compatible?
This is a tricky one. It is worth nothing that there currently isn’t any particular search criteria on the digital marketplace that covers social value. However, this isn’t to say that this doesn’t come into the G-Cloud procurement process – as noted by Sandra Milburn, social value needs to be considered on all frameworks, but is applicable to different frameworks at different levels.
So, for G-Cloud, a large part of the social value discussion comes in at call-off level. What is more, when buyers are setting out their MEAT criteria for evaluating supplier’s offerings, non-functional characteristics tend to cover social value. Although the processes for identifying these characteristics are not as obvious as those in more competitive, capped frameworks, they do still exist.
There you have it. We hope this summary was useful in preparing you for the next iteration of G-Cloud. However, if you’d like to catch up with the full briefing, TechUK will be releasing a full recording of the event, for members only.
Finally, to find out more about how Advice Cloud can support you with putting together the most compliant and competitive listing possible, get in touch.