Farnborough-based UKCloud is a long-term player on the G-Cloud. We sat down with its Cloud Strategist Bill Mew to get a catch-up on its current strategy.
Welcome to the Digital Marketplace Contenders, Bill. Let’s start by you telling us about your company; what is UKCloud’s value proposition?
With pleasure. UKCloud provides a wide range of the multi-cloud services for the exclusive use of organisations within healthcare and the public sector in the UK. It prides itself on having the highest level of accreditation, providing multi-cloud services at OFFICIAL and ABOVE OFFICIAL, and on its award-winning customer service. We’re dedicated to helping its customers gain value from the agility and cost savings of using a sovereign, assured cloud platform.
Our multi-cloud offerings not only deliver outstanding value and capability, but also meet the exacting and diverse needs of its customers. This ultimately benefits UK taxpayers, citizens, patients, clinicians and businesses by enabling healthcare and public sector organisations to deliver better services through technology.
How has this been available?
UKCloud has been at the heart of the government’s digital transformation program, supporting the majority of the small number of initial exemplar projects and working with a host of public sector organisations ever since. Indeed, UKCloud has not only served the UK taxpayer by enabling healthcare and public sector organisations to slash their IT costs while delivering better services through technology – “doing more for less”, but we have also been one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK, creating jobs, providing local employment and helping the UK plug its digital skills gaps through the provision of training opportunities and apprenticeships.
Along the way, we’ve picked up numerous awards for this work, including Best G-Cloud Provider and Best Overall Cloud Service Provider in the 2017 UK Cloud Awards, a 2017 UK Customer Experience Award and The Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the highest accolade for outstanding achievement in innovation.
Impressive. What’s been key to your success in the UK public sector?
As a sector specialist, UKCloud is more in tune with its customers and better able to understand and meet their specific needs. It is big enough to cope and small enough to care – operating at scale to provide efficiencies and competitive pricing, while also providing award-winning customer support.
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Operating only from UK datacentres, we provide a UK-sovereign data storage guarantee and the highest level of security and assurance. Its multi- cloud offerings not only deliver outstanding value and capability, but also meet the exacting and diverse needs of its customers.
So what is your involvement with The Digital Marketplace and G-Cloud?
UKCloud is a longstanding, ardent G-Cloud supporter and supplier that has offered its range of assured cloud solutions via G-Cloud since the Framework first went live in 2012. Acknowledged as the leader in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in Lot 1, UKCloud’s credentials and expertise are second to none. Indeed, UKCloud has not only directly supported over 220 government sector projects to date, but through its thriving partner ecosystem it has also helped approximately 120 partner organisations onto the G-Cloud Framework, helping them with more than 465 partner projects across the UK public sector.
How did you find the process of on-boarding onto the Marketplace? Do you have any guidance or others on the basis of that experience, Bill?
We’ve been a big beneficiary of the Digital Marketplace and G-Cloud in particular, as have our partners and customers. We have found G-Cloud 9 to be the best iteration yet, thanks to the extensive consultations carried out by the Government Digital Service (GDS) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS). It has succeeded in renewing the emphasis on suppliers’ security credentials, improving the buyer journey through granular service categorisation, and making it easier to understand terms and conditions.
All the same, whilst CCS and GDS have made huge efforts to make onboarding easy and friction free, more buyers might be encouraged to use the framework if the terms were more robust, and if the process of buying from the framework was more transparent and it had better polices. Nevertheless, we have amassed a wealth of experience on the Marketplace since its inception – experience that we share with our ecosystem of partners to help ensure that they get the most out of it as much as we do.
Great stuff. Finally, if Think Digital Partners came back to talk to you in a year, what would you like to be able to say you’d achieved in the public sector?
Six months ago, we launched a separate division to focus on the healthcare sector in the shape of UKCloud Health. This month we have seen NHS Digital give the green light for the NHS’s use of cloud technology for storing patient data – but at the same time seen a Kings Fund report suggest that NHS fragmentation is stifling innovation. We would like to see increasing cloud adoption across the NHS act as a catalyst for far greater inter-trust collaboration and to provide a platform on which innovations can more effectively spread across the health service. On top of this, we hope to see greater cloud adoption in areas like local government, education and defence.
Finally, there is a realisation that no single cloud is right for all requirements, so we’re rolling out a suite of multi-cloud services to ensure that whatever mixture of heterogenous technology platforms our customers have, we are able to provide the best fit for each and every one of their workloads.