Everything you need to know about Digital Marketplace

22nd July 2019

Digital Marketplace – Apply Now

Last updated: Dec 17, 2021 @ 11:44 am

The Digital Marketplace is the Government’s central portal for procuring most of their IT and technology goods and services. Since its launch four years ago, the Digital Marketplace has changed the way the public sector procures IT and digital services.

A little Background

The aim of the Digital Marketplace is to make it easier for suppliers to work with the public sector. The body that oversees it is the Crown Commissioning Service.  The CCS apply the lessons learned from designing, delivering and continuously improving the Digital Marketplace to support a broader range of:

  • users (buyers, suppliers, and procurement and commercial practitioners)
  • commercial agreements (not just the digital and technology category)
  • UK public sector organisations
  • non-UK public sector organisations

More Opportunities

This means the Digital Marketplace has opened up the procurement market to suppliers of all sizes, rather than just large technology companies. This has led to increased competition, lower prices and more specialised and local suppliers. It means that the big companies can’t soak up all the contracts anymore, and that means more opportunities for everyone else.

More Growth

Digital Marketplace Overview
Digital Marketplace Overview

As of the end of July 2018, more than £4.22 billion has been spent through the Digital Marketplace with more than 90% of the suppliers being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This far outweighs the Government requirement for 33%.

So, if you’re reading this and you have a technology focussed micro, small or medium enterprise; and if you are looking to grow your business, you need to get involved.

What are the options available? 

The Digital Marketplace helps your tech or IT company provide cloud technology and specialist services for digital projects. It uses 3 frameworks (these are agreements between government and suppliers).

On the Digital Marketplace you can find:

  • cloud services (for example content delivery networks or accounting software) through the G-Cloud framework.
  • digital outcomes, digital specialists and user research services through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.
  • physical datacentre space for services through the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework.

The benefits this provides to suppliers are that there are plenty of opportunities for UK businesses to engage in delivering a range of digital goods and services. There are also benefits for buying organisations. Buying services through frameworks means they can save on the time and cost of entering into individual procurement contracts. 

How this breaks down 

The Digital Marketplace Breakdown
The Digital Marketplace Breakdown

Cloud services

There are around 20,000 cloud services on the Digital Marketplace, split into 3 categories:

  • cloud hosting, for example, content delivery networks or load balancing services
  • cloud software, for example, accounting tools or customer service management software
  • cloud support, for example, migration services or ongoing support

Digital specialist services

More than 1,000 suppliers provide digital specialist services, including:

  • digital outcomes, for example, a booking system or an accessibility audit.
  • digital specialists, for example, product managers or developers.
  • user-research studios.
  • user-research participants.

Datacentre hosting services

One supplier provides datacentre hosting to the government. It offers:

  • mission-critical datacentres.
  • a flexible, pay-for-what-you-use model.
  • secure facilities.
  • power uptime availability that exceeds Tier III+.
  • leading environmental performance.

How to become a supplier 

To supply cloud services you will need to register on the Digital Marketplace and apply through the G-Cloud Framework.

The Application Process

There are 2 parts to the supplier application process on the Digital Marketplace. Suppliers have to:

  • confirm information about their company history and the way they work through a series of questions. This is called the ‘supplier declaration’.
  • add information about the services that they want to offer.

Digital Marketplace suppliers are legally required to meet a set of minimum standards. Only those suppliers who state that they meet these minimum standards in the supplier declaration are considered for a place on the framework agreement between government and suppliers.

The Declaration

All G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists suppliers on the Digital Marketplace have to confirm that they:

  1. agree to the G-Cloud 11 or Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework terms and conditions.
  2. will take full responsibility for the work they do.
  3. Haven’t broken any laws in the last 5 years.

Additionally, Digital Marketplace Outcomes and Specialists suppliers also have to confirm that they’ll work according to:

  1. Civil Service values.
  2. the government’s digital-by-default service standard.
  3. the government technology code of practice.

Service details

As well as completing the supplier declaration, all suppliers have to provide information on their services. The details suppliers are asked to give depends on the Digital Marketplace lot they apply to:

1. Digital Outcomes and Specialists service details

Digital Outcomes and Specialists services have to fit into 1 of 4 categories, or ‘lots’:

  • digital outcomes, for example, a team to provide a booking system beta or an accessibility audit
  • digital specialists, for example, an individual developer or user researcher to work on a specific project
  • user-research studios
  • user-research participants

As a supplier you must confirm:

  • The areas or regions where you can work
  • how much your services cost
  • details of your experience delivering your services

2. G-Cloud services

 The Digital Marketplace G-Cloud service is open to cloud service suppliers of all sizes. You do not need to be based in the UK to provide services.

As a G-Cloud supplier, you must include information like:

  • how secure your services are.
  • how much your services cost.
  • where you store your data.
  • whether your services are based on open standards.

Advertising your Successes

When your services have been accepted on to one of the frameworks, you can let people know that they’re available.

You can say that you’re a supplier on the Digital Marketplace when you’ve been accepted onto a framework. This usually happens when:

  • the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has told you your application was successful.
  • you’ve signed and returned your framework agreement through the Digital Marketplace.
  • CCS has told you that the 10-day ‘standstill’ period has ended and the framework is live.

When this has happened, you can apply for individual contracts from buyers.

Apply to Digital Marketplace

If you feel you need some support or more information about tendering for contracts on the Digital Marketplace, the processes involved, or how to write winning bids, contact our team of Bid Writers for specialist advice.

Or visit our free virtual learning environment TENDER VLE.

Find more helpful tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:

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