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NEWBUSINESS.DEV – THE NEXT STAGE IN THE EVOLUTION OF OUR COMPANY

DeNové LLP was established in 2006 when we spun out of the management and technology consulting division of Deutsche Telekom AG – Detecon.

We initially established DeNové as a consultancy to assist major companies in the bidding process for large technology opportunities. Early success saw us working with T-Systems to win contracts valued at over £500 million with both Shell and BP.

The Financial Crisis of 2007–2008 resulted in many major corporates implementing bans on the use of consultancy services. Using the knowledge we gained from bidding on global major contracts, the business development division turned to also assist SMEs and new market entrants to bid for public sector contracts. Our consultancy had a big impact on this market, with highlights including:

  • Working with Redfern, then a 30 person SME in Bradford, to win an £800 million contract for travel services in the UK.
  • Helping Eduserv to win the largest ever contract under the G Cloud Framework at the time.

After the economy recovered, we re-established our relationships with our blue-chip customers. Notably, in 2016 we helped one of our multi-national clients to win a series of key contracts with Microsoft in Seattle, Google in California, and Apple in Ireland. Also, our project management division was growing rapidly during this period, helping Satellic to roll out the national lorry road charging system across Germany and Belgium.

With the sustainable growth of both of our divisions, it made sense to split DeNové LLP into two new corporate entities. In early 2019, the directors of DeNové LLP took the decision to divide into what is now DeNové Services Ltd and NewBusiness.Dev Ltd. The restructuring occurred in late September, resulting in DeNové Services specialising in project management, whilst we, NewBusiness.Dev, will specialise in business development and bid management services.

We believe that this will provide greater corporate focus and expertise to our customers, whilst presenting enhanced development opportunities for our staff.

Both companies will continue to collaborate closely and will always put our customers’ success at the heart of everything that we do.

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT UPDATE

Guidance relating to Public-sector procurement after a no-deal Brexit has been updated, as recent as the 25th of September, on this website.

If the UK were to leave the EU with a deal, the current public procurement regulations will continue to apply, unamended, for the duration of the implementation period. EU public procurement law will continue to apply during the transition period and relevant procurement regulations for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will stay as they currently are now. Therefore, in the event of a deal there will be minimal disruption, in relation to public procurement practices, throughout the implementation period.

This scenario, as it relates to public procurement, will be mostly the same in the event of a no-deal Brexit. For the most part, the legal framework for public procurement and related procedures will remain unaltered. A difference is, however, that the location and sourcing of notices will be sent to a new UK e-notification service instead of the EU Publications Office. This is because, in a no-deal scenario, contracting authorities may no longer have access to the EU Publications Office and the OJEU which facilitates European public procurement (I.e. Tenders Electronic Daily (TED)). Government has amended current legislation to require UK contracting authorities to publish public procurement notices to a UK e-notification service called Find a Tender (FTS).

This service will, if the UK leaves without a deal, go live at 11pm GMT on 31st of October. The effect on business is that suppliers wishing to access UK contract opportunities from the UK public sector will need to access the new UK e-notification service instead of OJEU/ TED. Access details to this site are not yet available and will be provided, by the government, at a later date. Requirements to advertise in Contracts Finder, MOD Defence Contracts Online, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales and eTendersNI will remain unchanged. Domestically public procurement should not be altered in any major way.

If businesses wished to access contract opportunities from the EU, they would be able to locate these via OJEU/ TED. The government has, on the 16th of August, published further guidance for UK businesses that bid for overseas contracts and what to expect if there is a no-deal Brexit. This is in reference to the UK’s participation in the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and the effect to our participation in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The GPA is what allows UK business to bid for government contracts in other countries but is also what allows foreign businesses to bid for contracts in the UK. Presently, the UK is part of the GPA through our EU membership. If we were to leave with a no-deal, the UK is expected to re-join the GPA on substantially the same terms. This could take up to 30 days after exit day and the effect that this would have on business should be minimal. During this interval UK business will still have access to government procurements in many overseas markets but may temporarily lose some rights provided by the GPA.

G-Cloud for Dummies

Introduction

G-Cloud was founded for the purpose of streamlining the public procurement processes for cloud hosting, software and support.

In the Cabinet Office’s review on Accelerating Government Procurement, they identified excessive waste built into the existing traditional procurement process, including:

  • Excessive amounts of guidance with too much variation, duplication and confusion over terms.
  • Elongated timescales both pre-OJEU and during the procurement.
  • Serial-processing, inefficient engagement with suppliers.
  • Input-based specifications vs. outcomes.
  • Risk aversion.

In contrast, it is theoretically possible to complete the entire G-Cloud procurement process in just 24 hours. In light of this, G-Cloud has been a revolutionary step in procurement innovation.

 

The Benefits

Through the G-Cloud, the public sector is able to buy digital cloud-based services ‘off-the-shelf’ in what is often referred to as a pay-as-you-go approach. This avoids lock-ins to expensive contracts and facilitates innovation, flexibility, as well as time and cost-effectiveness.

The benefits of G-Cloud include:

  • It is quicker and cheaper to use than traditional procurement processes.
  • G-Cloud is re-tendered regularly, so it is always up to date with the latest suppliers, services and information.
  • It is easy to register and apply to participate in the G-Cloud framework.
  • There are no hidden charges; prices, terms and services are transparent.
  • Many services are available to try at no cost.
  • There is a bigger range of suppliers than any other framework
  • Buyers can contact suppliers directly with questions.
  • There is no ‘lock-in’ – all services state up-front how you get in and out.
  • The G-Cloud eradicates the need for contract negotiations, an OJEU or ITT.
  • With G-Cloud, SMEs can compete with larger companies on a level playing field.

Moreover, since its inception G-Cloud has generated sales of over £4.36bn, 43% of which was awarded to SMEs, demonstrating that G-Cloud can be a valuable resource for suppliers of all sizes.

 

How Does it Work?

Perhaps the simplest way of describing how the G-Cloud works is by comparing it to eBay, as the two function in quite a similar manner. Let us take a specific example:

  • Step One: You hope to buy a vase.
  • Step Two: You search for the vase on eBay, applying filters to specify material, size etc.
  • Step Three: You shortlist the results to five vase suppliers.
  • Step Four: You consider each of them individually to ensure that you get the best value for your money. The first vase does is not the style you wanted. The second is shipped from China and the delivery time is too long. The third is too expensive. The fourth is made from the wrong material. And the fifth is perfect.
  • Step Five: Having considered all your options, you purchase the fifth vase.

The crucial difference is that, on the G-Cloud, buyers must be fair to all suppliers and be able to justify their final decision.

 

Buyers: What They Buy

Buyers seeking to procure Cloud Hosting, Software or Support can do so through the Digital Marketplace, which helps buyers find suppliers for specialist services for digital projects and cloud technology. These services can be procured through three frameworks:

  • Cloud services (e.g. accounting software) can be procured through the G-Cloud framework.
  • Digital outcomes, specialists and user research services can be procured through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.
  • Physical datacentre space can be procured through the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework.

One of the major benefits of the G-Cloud is that it is an OJEU compliant framework, meaning that any public sector buyer can buy from the G-Cloud without needing to execute a full-fledged procurement. G-Cloud does not allow for mini-tenders, but buyers can contact suppliers directly, to request clarification on the supplier’s approach to the project, including cost and timeframes. These clarification requests serve a very similar purpose to that of a mini-tender.

Via the Digital Marketplace, buyers can perform a keyword search with filters to find suppliers that meet their requirements. All registered suppliers have pre-authenticated information about their company and how work, which saves buyers time during the procurement process.

 

Buyers: How They Buy

G-Cloud requires buyers to consider every supplier equally and fairly, to facilitate equal opportunity in the marketplace. This requires buyers to maintain a record of each of the steps they have taken so that they can justify their final decision. Tools and Templates are available to support this.

The steps in the buying process are as follows:

  • Write a list of your requirements and get approval to buy what you need.
  • Search for services and save your search.
  • Refine your saved search using the filters.
  • End your search.
  • Download your search results, review and compare services.
  • Choose your service, award and sign the contract (or ‘call-off’).
  • Publish the contract on Contracts Finder.
  • Complete the Customer Benefits Record form.

Buyers must treat all suppliers equally. As such, if only one supplier meets a buyer’s needs, then they can award the contract to them without taking any further measures. However, it is typical that a buyer will have to draft a shortlist of suppliers. In this case, the buyer is required to choose the supplier with the most economically advantageous tender, otherwise known as MEAT.

 

Sellers: Getting Started

All supplier applications go through the Digital Marketplace. To apply, you must:

  • Create, or log into, a supplier account on the Digital Marketplace.
  • Start your G-Cloud application.
  • Make the supplier declaration on the Digital Marketplace.
  • Agree to the framework terms.
  • Confirm how you’ll work with the government.
  • Answer questions to establish grounds for mandatory exclusion.
  • Answer questions to establish grounds for discretionary exclusion.
  • Provide information about your organisation.
  • Add service information on the Digital Marketplace.
  • Use 50 words to introduce your service.
  • Use 100 words to describe up to 10 service benefits (10 words per benefit).
  • Use 100 words to describe up to 10 service features (10 words per feature).
  • On your supplier page, use 50 words to describe your organisation.
  • Before you can submit a cloud service to the Digital Marketplace, you need to add a pricing document and a terms and conditions (specific to that service) document.
  • Wait for eligibility checks to be made on your information.
  • Get the result of your application.
  • Sign and return your framework agreement on the Digital Marketplace.

Although this process is quite simple, it is important to remember that the G-Cloud is a relatively new route to market, with different buying groups, buying behaviours and competition. It contains a number of novel contractual clauses and commercial obligations, and even the style of registration is different to what suppliers may be used to. As such, suppliers may find it difficult to navigate and often neglect to fully consider the opportunities and challenges that the G-Cloud can present.

Indeed, only a fraction of the companies listed on the G-Cloud have actually made sales. This is most likely because suppliers incorrectly assume that, as it is so easy to register with the G-Cloud, establishing a successful listing must also require little effort.

 

How We Can Help

NewBusiness.Dev can offer end-to-end services or help with specific aspects of the procurement process. We employ a team of expert bid writers, G-Cloud Consultants and Public Sector Procurement Specialists with extensive experience. If you would like more information regarding our bid management and Cloud services, drop us a line.

 

NewBusiness.Dev Ltd, Lauren McNeilage & Mary-Anne Farah

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