The UK government has laid the foundations for the next round of public sector cloud procurement with a call for suppliers to join G-Cloud 4, the fourth iteration of its cloud purchasing framework.
Cloud vendors hoping for a cut of the government's small but growing spend on cloud services are being invited to apply now for a place on the fourth cloud framework.
Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their submissions in mid-October and agreements should commence from November, according the G-Cloud 4 (G4) tender timetable.
G4 introduces two new systems for tender submissions to streamline compliance and the provision of documentation during procurement.
The first, the Government Procurement Service eSourcing suite, will help vendors respond to mandatory questions to meet procurement regulations while the second, the Government Digital Service Service Submission Portal, now includes a 'mandatory upload' to avoid suppliers failing compliance for non-submission of documents.
The G4 release also coincides with the sunset on the previous framework G-Cloud II, which expires on 27 October. G-Cloud II suppliers need to apply to G4 to stay in the program while G-Cloud III remains in place until May 2014 but vendors on this which want to add new services need to apply under G4.
The government's G-Cloud initiative launched in February 2012 and attempts to make it easier for public sector agencies to purchase commodity cloud software and services through the CloudStore.
The previous iteration, G-Cloud III, released in January, introduced new service categories including identity services, service integration and management, software support and business process management. Under the framework, there were 459 suppliers selling their wares through the CloudStore, but sales through the government's online marketplace have been limited.