Accredited Logo confirming Cantium as a Crown Commercial Services Supplier on the Network Services 2 framework

Cantium Business Solutions has been successfully appointed as a supplier in seven categories of the government’s new Network Services 2 framework agreement (RM3808), reinforcing us as a leading supplier of services to the public sector.

The new framework which launched in August 2019 and is now available for customer use, is operated by the UK government’s central procurement agency, Crown Commercial Services (CCS) and aims to provide a simpler way for public sector organisations to procure a wide range of telecommunications and network services.

The framework provides access to specialist suppliers who can deliver the services under the increased number of 13 individual lots (with 3 lots yet to be announced), as well as suppliers who can provide multiple services across several lots. In addition, organisations can buy network services on behalf of public sector organisations via the Agency Services route. The ability to appoint an agent to procure on behalf of the public sector provides additional flexibility for complex requirements.

When the tender for the framework was published, the CCS estimated the value of purchases at £5 billion public sector spend over the next four financial years. The framework will enable further collaboration, connecting an increasing number of organisations to each other, and to cloud based and hosted services.

What the New Framework Means for Cantium Business Solutions

By securing a place in seven lots on the framework, Cantium Business Solutions cements its status as a leading supplier to the public sector alongside household names such as BT and Vodafone. The framework allows us to not only provide a product to our clients, but also the consultative expertise, bringing together the experience, credibility and capability for fully integrated end-too-end solutions.

At Cantium we continue our work with the public sector in delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions and are very proud to be recognised by Crown Commercial Services as a preferred partner with outstanding products and services.

Our bids and procurement team successfully passed a rigorous, competitive selection process to secure positions on the following lots on the Network Services Framework (RM3808):

Cantium is now accredited across several major procurement frameworks, including being recently named as a G-Cloud 11 approved supplier, allowing us to deliver our award-winning services across the public sector using the digital marketplace. Our expert consultants design and support advanced IT solutions and infrastructure that transform organisations, including NHS trusts, local government, schools and colleges.

Benefits

The new agreement will help give healthcare providers, emergency services, local councils, schools, charities and other public sector organisations, greater flexibility and value when they’re looking to procure a full range of technology services including mobile, VOIP, video conferencing and local area networks.

It provides savings, choice and flexibility for all publicly funded organisations; whilst ensuring compliance with the wider government technology strategy.

Being part of these major procurement frameworks allows our public sector clients to purchase our products and services at more competitive prices without having to go through the lengthy and costly process of full tender application.

Getting onto the Framework

The government’s Network Services 2 framework went live over Christmas, with a deadline of the end of January 2019 for suppliers to bid to supply a range of telecommunication and network services to the UK public sector. To gain acceptance on each of the lots, suppliers were asked to meet a series of financial, technical and competency criteria.

The framework’s terms were based on standard government terms, with the criteria focused more around quality (85% of the scoring) than simply price (15%). The framework also mandates that suppliers must have cyber essentials.

Changes from the Original Network Services Framework

The new framework replaces the first iteration of the framework (RM1045), which was awarded in July 2015.  Ninety suppliers submitted tenders for the original framework and 61 suppliers made the final cut across 10 lots, with around a third being small and medium enterprises.

In line with the government’s ambition to increase engagement with SME technology suppliers, several changes had been made for the new framework.

The organisation’s category director for networks said: “Network Services 2 is a flagship agreement for Crown Commercial Service, due not only to its financial scale, but also its ambition. This agreement has been designed collaboratively with customers, suppliers and industry bodies; it aims to be a catalyst which will drive transformation within government and the wider public sector.”

  • The new iteration will cover various telecommunications services – including internet, WiFi, mobile and cloud access – and the provision of support infrastructure for the Health and Social Care Network.
  • The number of lots has been increased from 10 to 13, with the new lots being for radio services, security and surveillance services and contact centre services. In addition, the lot for integrated communications has been changed to unified communications.
  • CCS have also increased the number of suppliers that can be involved in specific lots, notably around data access services and wide area network services.

To learn more about our services, frameworks, or to see how we can deliver custom Microsoft business solutions to solve your unique challenges, please give us a call.