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August 19, 2014

Government’s Digital Marketplace gets a release date

It will replace G-Cloud’s CloudStore – but when?

By Joe Curtis

The Government is set to shut down CloudStore by the end of September, when Digital Marketplace will be the only way to procure services via the G-Cloud.

The Cabinet Office wants to stagger the Marketplace’s introduction, meaning public sector procurers will be able to choose between Marketplace and CloudStore from the end of August for four weeks until the latter is phased out.

The Government Digital Service’s Digital Commercial Services manager, Ivanka Majic, wrote in a blog post today: "The first phase of the Digital Marketplace has focused on making it easier for buyers to find services that meet their requirements.

"We will now be focusing on improving the functionality for suppliers."

The purpose of Digital Marketplace is to simplify the procurement process for G-Cloud buyers, following reports that buyers were searching for firms via Google because of the way suppliers’ services were listed on CloudStore.

With the forthcoming release of G-Cloud 6, Majic adds that buyers will be able to find and compare services on a variety of criteria, with the Cabinet Office asking suppliers to list their products’ features in order to include this ability.

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SMBs have netted 54% of the £249m spent on IT services via the G-Cloud framework, according to the latest figures up to the end of July, released today.

Small and medium cloud service suppliers have taken home £134.5m of the total amount spent by public sector bodies via G-Cloud, set up in 2012 to make public IT contracts more accessible to small firms.

The figures roughly reflect the same split of how much money went to small suppliers on the framework in the last two months, when 53% of earnings went to SMBs in June, after they netted 57% in May.

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