Encounters of the Tech Kind: CCS Supplier Webinar
Encounters of the Tech Kind... where we share all we learnt and heard at conferences, webinars and events. First up Business Ops Assistant Summer with CCS Supplier Webinar.
Welcome to what we hope will be a regular series of posts: Woos and Woes!
Today Crown Commercial Services hosted a Supplier webinar, exclusively for those who have been awarded a place on the G-Cloud 9 framework. Being one of the lucky bunch to be successfully listed, I attended to see what helpful hints and tips will be given.
The CCS supplier webinar was aimed at the practicalities and necessities of being a supplier on the Digital Marketplace, covering MISO, amendments to your listing and hinting at potential changes for GC10. I won’t write a word-for-word account of everything that happened in the webinar (as the slides and recording will be made available later), but I’ll try and address a few issues that came to light through the questions submitted by attendees.
Send out the search party…
Firstly, people seemed confused about how their services would be searchable by buyers and they didn’t understand the actual buying process. In response to this, CCS advise that Suppliers also attend the webinar for Buyers on the 7th of June. They also hinted they may do a webinar aimed at suppliers to help them better understand the searching and buying process. I think this would be really appreciated by first-timers. At least those who don’t have the advantage of being one of our clients, what with buying through G-Cloud being a speciality of ours! Sadly, like a magician, I cannot reveal all the tricks of our trade eg. what is and what isn’t searchable on the digital marketplace. But I will say this, spend some time searching on the DM and familiarise yourself with it, and attend the CCS webinars!
It’s a marketplace not a lead generator…
Another point of confusion seemed to be the distinctions between G-Cloud and DOS. G-Cloud is for off the shelf services where buyers choose suppliers. DOS is the more traditional type of procurement where suppliers bid for contracts supplied by buyers. G-Cloud is a crowded marketplace and to quote Chris “NOT a source of inbound leads.” You must learn what a buyer wants and the only way to learn what a buyer wants is to get yourself out there and ask them (or us!). The best advice we can give on how to do this is to network and attend events, make yourself and your services known.
Attendees of the webinar were also asking what CCS would be doing to promote the framework to public sector organisations. A valid question, but this is as much their job as it is yours! Once you have a buyer in your midst, show them the wondrous world that is the Digital Marketplace and how effortless it can be to buy your services.
All change… for G-Cloud 10!
CCS revealed a few of the changes planned for G-Cloud 10:
- Cyber Essentials certification (Or equivalent for suppliers outside the UK) will be mandatory- with an increasing focus on cyber security it’s hardly surprising that CCS are planning to make this a requirement for listing.
- GDPR clauses might be worked into the G-Cloud contract- Again, no sharp intake of breath from me on this one. With GDPR set to affect organisations and citizens alike there is no reason why G-Cloud would escape. GDPR is coming people so get ready for it!
- GC10 intended to take over from GC9 in 1 year- CCS said it is unlikely that there will be an overlap (nothing confirmed though!).
- Also for you DOS enthusiasts, DOS 3 is likely to kick off toward the end of this year (again nothing concrete)
As a final thought, I suggest everyone gets researching and marketing, and keep an eye on GC10 progress! Go on the Digital Marketplace, look at all the collateral provided by CCS/GDS and start coming up with your own G-Cloud strategy. Entering a new market is always tricky and requires work. Keep an eye on the GDS blogs and Twitter account, read and action the CCS marketing toolkit… And, finally get out there and meet people!
Of course, if you need help- call us, it’s what we do best! ?