The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has appointed five suppliers to a framework allowing councils to access secure email services without needing to hold a separate tendering process.
The Managed Email Framework, launched on Friday, enables the procurement of secure email and associated services by all public sector bodies.
The services are divided into three lots – small volume (up to 9,999 mailboxes), medium volume (10,000 to 99,999 mailboxes) and large volume (more than 100,000 mailboxes). All five successful suppliers have been appointed to all three of the lots.
A statement by the CCS said: that the framework will provide “a complementary approach to the marketplace, putting in place a mechanism for customers to migrate onto multi-tenanted hosted email services”.
Benefits, it said, include aggregation and competition to drive down prices, procurement and supplier bid costs.
In addition, public sector customers will be more easily able to compare supplier information to obtain best value.
CCS said that the framework “will deliver the benefits of shared services such as spreading the cost to set-up and manage platforms across a number of organisations”.
Customers will also be able to require suppliers to provide email services to private sector companies providing services on their behalf.
The CCS will require customers to detail their existing spending on email services as part of the order process, ideally for 2009/10, in order to demonstrate savings under the framework.
CCS said that it developed the framework after learning that two central government bodies – the Health and Social Care Information Commission (HSCIC) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) were intending to separately procure replacement email systems.
It said: “Once these requirements were understood the benefits of developing a single compliant route to market became clear to enable HSCIC, MoJ, and other public sector organisations to procure managed email services leveraging a multi-tenant / shared service environment.”
HSCIC has already committed to using the framework shortly after launch.
The full list of suppliers is as follows:
- Accenture (UK)
- British Telecommunications
- CSC Computer Sciences
- General Dynamtics Information Technology
- Vodafone UK