It’s almost time for our team to break for Christmas, so we thought we would take the opportunity to re-cap the year and all our hard work. To finish up, we nod towards 2023 and how we will continue our work in improving the UK Public Sector!
Endless framework applications!
Our year kicked off with the next iteration of DOS opening for applications in January. This year the framework became just ‘Digital Outcomes’ (RM1043.8), making way for the Digital Specialists and Programmes framework (RM6263). We supported 8 suppliers to successfully get listed on Digital Outcomes 6, and are continuing to help many more suppliers now on the framework to develop their bid strategies.
Next up were G-Cloud applications – arguably the biggest time of year for us! The 13th iteration opened for applications in early 2022 and we helped over 100 suppliers successfully get listed across all Lots. We’re particularly proud of our work taking on the new Lot 4, where we supported 8/41 (19.5%) of all successful suppliers, securing them a place on Lot 4 with a 98% average quality score!
Unfortunately, due to platform issues with the launch of the Public Procurement Gateway, both the G-Cloud 13 and Digital Outcomes 6 Live dates were delayed. We experienced a whole host of issues surrounding this, not to mention the loss of supplier transparency when G-Cloud 13 finally did go Live! Fortunately, this was restored in early December.
Finishing up the year with another big framework, Network Services 3 opened its doors to supplier applications in November. Our client services team is knee-deep in reviews, supporting 20+ clients with over 55 Lot applications. With a deadline of Friday 13th January, it’s all guns blazing and we’re excited for some much-earned rest over Christmas and New Year!
10 Informative Webinars
With 786 attendees across 10 webinars and so many more of you catching up later on with the recordings, we’ve helped to educate suppliers on frameworks and relevant topics. Along the way, we partnered with other organisations to deliver some of these sessions, including our partners Positive Planet and Stotles!
This year we hosted one of our biggest webinars yet – ‘Get ready for G-Cloud 13’ saw 275 of you tune in to hear about the changes made to the framework. We’ve also made an appearance at various TechUK events. Our Managing Director, Ella Grant, spoke at the SME Online Forum regarding social value.
Ella will also be speaking at an upcoming techUK webinar on 31st January. ‘Social value in smart cities: how do we get it right?’ will focus on this more complex area of engineering and construction – sign up here.
3 new team members and lots of progression
The Advice Cloud team has been growing! We welcomed 3 new members this year – Nadin, Steve and Younes have brought such varied skills and experience to the team and it’s been great to have on board some fresh perspectives!
We’ve also had members of the team modify their roles as we focus more on career pathways. Joe transitioned to become our Content and Community Lead following the G-Cloud 13 application period. His new role has consisted of developing our new Procurement Plus membership service, conducting market research, networking and getting to know our community of clients and partners, delivering some fun and useful content for suppliers, and attending a range of different events alongside our Marketing team.
The growth throughout the team has been fantastic, with all members of the team taking on new responsibilities or undergoing training. Much of the client services team are working towards their APMP certifications, and many team members have trained further in bid writing throughout the year. Our marketing team took a couple of days in October to attend Brighton SEO, bringing back lots of insight and new ideas. And last, but not least, our health and wellbeing team completed the Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) course in August!
Developing our company-wide values
2022 has been a big year for Advice Cloud in figuring out how we want to lead the way for many suppliers and public sector buyers. In March, we were officially awarded our Social Value Quality Mark Level 1. This is just a first step of many, and required us to become carbon neutral and commit to being net zero by 2030. To accompany this and develop our knowledge further, we had some of the team attend CCS’ Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) training, also available to suppliers here.
We are also committed to maintaining a supplier base of at least 75% SMEs. This year, we’re particularly proud of our work supporting SME Create/Change to win a £200K contract with DCMS. We helped Create/Chnage benchmark their DDaT capability and create a roadmap via Quality Assurance and Testing.
Lindsay’s views on the Digital Marketplace
‘So long 2022, howdy 2023! What have you got in store for us?’ – Lindsay Smith, Strategic Adviser
Recently looking back over the calendar year 2022, I was surprised and disappointed to see a collapse in the growth rate of G-Cloud and DOS which had been consistently over 30% a year until 2020. That was understandable as a lock-down year, but in the period April-to-September 2022 Software growth was less than 4%, it had not been less than 30% even in the years affected by the pandemic. Some of this spend may be going through other channels, we can’t tell easily as the data isn’t made readily available. Open government, as it applies to technology procurement, seems to have born and died with the Digital Marketplace.
So, what will the New Year bring? I’m sorry, no tidings of comfort and joy from this Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. What will happen if Scrooge doesn’t change his ways?
- Digital transformation will slow
- Public service productivity will decline
- Expensive legacy systems won’t get replaced
- Outcomes will not improve
- Spending on SME solutions will plateau
- Denying the benefits of innovation and economy
- Damaging the prospects of our vital Tech sector
- Transparency in tech procurement will be eroded by the proliferation of channels that do not report openly
What’s the probability that Scrooge will change his ways? Well, the decision to create and publish a detailed Industrial Strategy is great news. But looking at the mess that the Government is in and the existential challenges it faces from within and without and guessing that the next General Election will be before the 2024 summer recess, I have no confidence that anything meaningful will be achieved in this context.
A final word from Chris
2023 is already looking extremely busy despite the turbulent economic outlook with more purpose lead clients trusting us across the whole bid lifecycle, not just with frameworks. I remain ever grateful to our amazing team, excellent advisory panel and wonderful clients. But I am certainly going to enjoy the break!