The government has extended the deadline for submissions to its G-Cloud Framework until 19 December owing to the huge level of submissions received since it was published in October.
A total of 532 companies have submitted requests to supply aspects of the G-Cloud, which aims to create an online system from which public sector organisation can rent the use of services as needed.
Services will be accessed via an application store akin to those used by the likes of Apple and Android, and will include email, word processing, ERP and CRM tools and other office productivity software.
Furthermore, a third of the 532 submissions were from SMEs, suggesting that the government's attempts to make IT tenders more accessible to small firms by removing onerous application requirements is having the desired effect.
This includes requiring less financial information from SMEs, allowing firms to answer yes or no to questions, rather than providing statements, and letting them tell the government what they can offer, rather than adhering to criteria outlined by Whitehall.
Stephen Allott, the crown representative for SMEs working with small businesses and the Cabinet Office, said this is proof that the government's work to make contract tenders more accessible to all firms is having a positive impact.
"SMEs have been considered at every point possible, and the excellent response shows it's the right way to go with hundreds of suppliers registering interest, many of them SMEs," he said.
The G-Cloud project appeared to hit the rocks in June when HP's managing director for the UK and Ireland said that the government will not be using any cloud systems, but the government has pushed on with its proposals regardless.
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