More than 450 IT suppliers have been included in the second iteration of the government's G-Cloud framework, which has launched today.
The framework is designed to simplify the process for SMB suppliers to compete for public sector business, and since February this year, public sector organisations have been able to pick and choose their IT services from the CloudStore instead of building them on their own systems.
The first phase of G-Cloud featured 280 suppliers offering 1,700 separate IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud solutions.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, claimed the second G-Cloud framework will build on the initial offering's success.
"As well as focusing on efficiency and reducing costs, the government is committed to supporting economic growth. Part of this is about levelling the playing field for small and medium-sized firms by making it simpler, quicker and cheaper for them to compete for government business," he said.
"The good news is that not only has the number of suppliers on the second G-Cloud framework nearly doubled compared with the first, but that the proportion of SMEs has remained just as high."
To date there have been 99 purchases of IT services through the CloudStore, totalling more than £2.2m, and 70 per cent of this spend has been with SMBs, the Cabinet Office said in a statement.
The list of 458 IT suppliers in with the chance of winning government business includes resellers Softcat, Computacenter, Kelway, Bytes Software Services and Trustmarque.
Open source VAR Sirius IT also features on the CloudStore, and its chief executive Mark Taylor said the company's inclusion was a success for open source.
"The myth 'you cannot get support for open source' is dead and now it is time to lay to rest the ogre of procurement... open source is now available simply, safely and cheaply through the CloudStore," he added.
Not-for-profit IT service provider Eduserv also hailed its inclusion on G-Cloud ii. Its services listed on Cloudstore include its community and private IaaS offering.
Andrew Hawkins, head of business development at Eduserv, said: "For too long the government has relied on suppliers which have other considerations to juggle, such as share price, executive bonuses or simply profit itself.
"This can frequently lead to conflicts of interest and customers being pushed into commercial arrangements that are not exactly right for them. As the only not-for-profit organisation on G-Cloud, we are wholly focused on providing IT for the public good and can bring a different, better level of service to the government."
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