VARs are missing out on a free gov-ernment online tendering system that advertises millions of pounds worth of lucrative public sector contracts.
The eSourcing Managed Service system run by the Office of Gover-nment Commerce’s (OGC) executive agency, OGCbuying.solutions, went live in May 2005 and incorporates e-tendering, e-evaluation, e-contract management and e-collaboration.
Sarah Cotgreave, head of e-commerce at OGCbuying.solutions, said: “To date we have 14 public-sector organisations that have registered and advertised their contracts on the system. We have run 201 tenders since the launch and 3,150 suppliers have used the system. Over half of these suppliers are SMEs.” She was unable to break down how many of these suppliers were involved in IT, however, as CRN went to press, contracts from the Home Office, the BBC, two NHS departments, and police forces, to name but a few, were up for grabs.
“The main benefit to resellers is that this site is a place that they can check regularly to see what contracts are available. As it is all done online it eliminates the huge amount of paperwork and the costs associated with traditional procurement methods, as well as saving time. Another benefit is that it can be accessed from anywhere, so for smaller companies it is ideal,” Cotgreave added.
Pete Mistry, technical consultant at public sector reseller Eclipse Group, said: “I wasn’t aware of this site and am very interested to take a look. We tend to do a lot of proactive marketing to source public sector contracts, which mainly involves making lots of phone calls, but we also hold seminars and web chats. I’m definitely in favour of web portals though.”
A representative for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s been very difficult in the past for small businesses to win government contracts so it’s good news that over half of the suppliers using the eSourcing system are small businesses.”
Neil French, senior account manager for the public sector at VAR CBC Computer Systems, said: “We source most of our public sector work from the European Journal. It costs a lot of time and money to tender for public-sector contracts so maybe this new system will be beneficial.”
The site can be reached at: www.ogcbuyingsolutions.gov.uk/esourcing/esourcing_customer.asp
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