One of the big opportunities arriving on the scene in 2024 is the Technology Services 4 (TS4) framework. Technology Services frameworks are always on our radar. They’re highly valuable and a great way for suppliers of services to reach target markets – and TS4 is no exception! You’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything ready when it opens next year. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the Technology Services framework?
Technology Services is one of the larger frameworks developed and run by Crown Commercial Service (CCS). It is for the supply of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, including technology strategy and service design as well as services to provide support with the operational running and ongoing development of an IT environment. This includes large-scale projects.
Why should I be on Technology Services 4?
As we said before, Technology Services is a highly valuable framework. On Technology Services 3, Tussell identified 294 individual call-off contracts associated with the framework. This adds up to a whopping £3bn in total – that’s huge!
It is largely used by Central Government departments, with HMRC, MoD, and Home Office being big users of this route to market. That’s not to say there aren’t a fair number of contracts coming from the health sector and local authorities, too!
You’ll also be interested to hear that Technology Services 3 wasn’t capped at how many suppliers could be taken on – although this doesn’t mean applications were easy! It ended up with over 250 suppliers. With half of those being SMEs, it caters to those who may usually get fewer opportunities!
As each iteration of the framework tends to operate for 4 years, if you’re not ready to jump on this one next year then you’ll be losing out!
What are the Lots for TS4?
We don’t know what the 4th iteration will look like just yet, as it’s still early days. Current murmurings indicate it won’t stray far from the traditional ICT services covered in Technology Services 3, but that it is likely to develop following supplier and buyer engagement, and potentially services amalgamated from other CCS agreements where appropriate.
Here are the lots under the current TS3 framework, which provide an indication of what TS4 may cover:
- Lot 1: Technology Strategy and Service Design
- Lot 2: Transition and Transformation
- Lot 3a: Operational Services – End User Services
- Lot 3b: Operational Services – Operational Management
- Lot 3c: Operational Services – Technical Management
- Lot 3d: Operational Services – Application and Data Management
- Lot 4: Major Services Transformation Programmes
- Lot 5: Service Integration and Management.
The supplier engagement sessions mentioned will take place over the next 6 months, and we strongly advise attending at least one if you’re interested in the framework and want to help shape it. You can now register for the hybrid pre-market engagement sessions at techUK (in person and online):
02/11/2023 11:00 – 12:30 – https://www.techuk.org/what-we-deliver/events/ccs-technology-services-4-supplier-engagement-event-1.html
13/11/2023 10:00 – 11:30 – https://www.techuk.org/what-we-deliver/events/ccs-technology-services-4-supplier-engagement-event-2.html
At these sessions, techUK are also seeking to confirm whether the new Procurement Regulations will bring benefits to TS4. A full agenda will be shared in due time, however, CCS are looking to gather feedback from the existing TS3 supplier base about what’s working and what is not working, alongside thoughts from potentially new suppliers.
When does Technology Services 4 open for applications?
Applications for this one will come a bit later in 2024, with CCS looking at September 2024 for the ITT release. They aim to take TS4 Live in March 2025.
What can I do now?
Suppliers interested in the framework can make sure they’re getting ready for a bumper 2024 now. There are many routes to market opening up and, in our opinion, it’s a year of opening doors. It may seem like the framework is a way off yet, but making sure you understand what to expect (get in touch if you’re unsure!) and ensuring you hit the mark way before applications open (avoid that last-minute scramble!) is essential.
We also recommend having a look at what your target buyers, and competitors, are doing on the framework. You can do this easily by checking out our Spend Data tool.
We actually held a webinar on getting ready for 2024 too, which you can watch right here.
As always, if you feel like you’d like to know more – or want to chat about how we can help you get ready for TS4 – get in touch now.