ICT procurement

During February and March 2009, Buying Solutions held a series of ICT Procurement Forums for public sector procurement and ICT managersBuying Solutions provides public sector organisations with access to over 500,000 products and services from over 600 suppliers, covering ICT, professional services, travel, energy, payment cards, property & office solutions and eProcurement solutions. This enables organisations and their buying operations to deliver improved value for money and efficiency.

Best practice procurement
The ICT Procurement Forums were hosted by Buying Solutions and supported by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), NHS Collaborative Procurement Hubs and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The aim was to offer public sector procurement and ICT managers a valuable networking opportunity to discuss best practice procurement, as well as a series of presentations, including one directly from Intel, discussing the latest developments in ICT.
    
Held in Sheffield, Birmingham, Bath and London, the events attracted hundreds of attendees from across the public sector including central and local government, health, education, emergency services and not-for-profit organisations.
    
The events had a packed agenda covering news and information from Buying Solutions and the wider world of public sector ICT procurement. The audience were given an insight into the availability and scope of Buying Solutions’ ICT framework agreements including IT hardware, software and telecoms:
    
IT Goods & Associated Services – client devices, IT consumables and accessories, network infrastructure and peripherals through to a range of software products and related services.
    
Specialist Solutions – Applications Solutions such as Applications Development and EDRM, Communications Solutions such as convergent, data and voice solutions, eBusiness Solutions including web design and hosting and IT Managed Services.
    
Geographical Information Services – map making services, data capture, analysis and manipulation services.
    
Telecom Networks – ISP services, networking equipment, dark fibre, voice calls and lines and structured cabling.
    
Mobile Solutions – wide area paging and messaging services, bespoke mobile solutions and mobile voice and data services.

Guest speakers
The events also featured a variety of guest speakers, including representatives from the North West and South East NHS Collaborative Procurement Hubs, the MoD, Intel and Buying Solutions’ parent department, the OGC.
    
The NHS Collaborative Procurement Hubs delivered a presentation on the ever-topical issue of collaboration, providing an example of a number of NHS Trusts who worked together with Buying Solutions to procure a range of IT hardware, delivering significant savings to the public purse.
    
OGC discussed the benefits of utilising ‘eAuctions’ – electronic reverse auctions – within procurement, touching on how an eAuction actually works, what is required, getting the specification right, the dos and don’ts, and what savings might be expected.
    
A session on Green ICT provided an insight into the Government’s Green ICT Strategic Vision covering tips on how to start your Green ICT Roadmap, the tools available to aid Sustainable ICT procurement and what local government is currently achieving in this arena.

Each of the events were concluded by a special guest speaker from Intel, who gave the audience a glimpse of some future technologies and ways of working, covering nomadic computing, security, mobile internet devices (MIDS), power management and virtualisation.

Customer benefits

Ian McArdle, project manager - Managed Print at Bradford MDC commented: “It was an extremely worthwhile and informative event.”
    
Andrew Curtois, category specialist at Healthcare Purchasing Consortium added: “It was a great opportunity and I think that forums like this are very helpful and instructive. There should be more in my view.”
    
Suppliers that supported the events included: Kainos, AMT-Sybex, Fujitsu, XMA, Carillion, PageOne, Atkins, Mott MacDonald, Global Crossing, Steria, Probrand, Parity, Opal, Misco, Freedom Communications, IPL and ntl:Telewest Business.About us
Buying Solutions is the national procurement partner for UK public services. It was established in 2001 as a result of the Gershon Report, through a merger of the procurement functions of the Buying Agency and CCTA. We are an Executive Agency of the Office of Government Commerce in the Treasury.
   
The primary role of Buying Solutions is to maximise the value for money obtained by government departments and other public bodies through the procurement and supply of goods and services. Buying Solutions is a Trading Fund which is run on commercial lines, with responsibility for generating income to cover its costs and make a return to the Treasury.
   
Buying Solutions is the largest of over 40 Professional Buying Organisations (PBO) in the wider public sector. Whilst OGC sets procurement policy and best practice to help the UK public sector to achieve value from its spending, Buying Solutions delivers procurement solutions for nationally sourced commodity goods and services to customers in both central civil government and the wider public sector. It has no formal ‘mandate' and therefore has to ‘earn' its customers.
   
As the only PBO with a legal remit to trade across the whole of UK public services, Buying Solutions is the smart choice for public sector procurement, enabling organisations to deliver improved value for money and efficiency. It facilitates the buying process in a vast and highly complex marketplace, providing access to over 500,000 products and services through more than 600 suppliers. The diverse customer base spans the biggest central government departments, NHS Trusts and local councils, through to the smallest schools.Buying solutions
OGCbuying.solutions has changed its name to Buying Solutions.
   
Buying Solutions is an Executive Agency of the Office of Government Commerce in the Treasury, and is a national procurement partner for UK public services.
   
Buying Solutions enables organisations to deliver improved value for money in their commercial activities, and provide expertise and professional support to customers.For more information
For further information about Buying Solutions, its products and services or to access free professional support and advice, please contact 0845 410 2222 or e-mail info@buyingsolutions.gsi.gov.uk

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