The government has launched the next iteration of its G-Cloud store, which offers public sector departments new functionalities aimed at easing the process of procuring cloud computing services, and lower costs of doing so.
The new CloudStore offers an improved search engine to government departments, allowing free-form search alongside the ability to filter results, for example by whether suppliers are certified or not.
Departments will be able to view supplier service definitions, terms and conditions and rate cards. They will also be able to compare services and standard configuration prices side by side.
For the first time, departments will also be able to procure services directly through the store.
However for suppliers, the new version of the CloudStore offers few increased benefits.
The second iteration was supposed to be capable of adding new services from suppliers on an ongoing basis, but this capability has been delayed.
"We're making sure that the next round of G-Cloud procurement is open by the end of the month so all those suppliers who want to get on to the store can do," said G-Cloud programme engagement manager, Eleanor Stewart, in a blog post.
According to previous G-Cloud programme director Chris Chant, such a capability will allow suppliers to be added to the G-Cloud on a bi-monthly basis.
Stewart also said the CloudStore will soon rate suppliers and offer reviews so government customers can tell each other what they think about the quality of different services.
The G-Cloud was established to bring a broader range of cloud computing suppliers in the government market and to increase the flexibility in procurement contracts.
The G-Cloud framework is the backbone to the Cloudstore and is the marketplace where suppliers compete for a contract with the Government Procurement Service (GPS) to offer their services to the public sector.
The launch of the second version of the store was delayed for a couple of weeks.
In an interview with V3, Chant said this was because its launch was to coincide with the new GPS website, which the CloudStore is now a part of.
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