A new procurement framework to help NHS and public-sector organisations purchase cost-effective IT solutions has been launched with the potential to save an estimated £75m.
The Digital Workplace Solutions Framework – developed by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) – offers consumer-oriented technologies across a complete range of software and IT infrastructure areas from 28 carefully-selected, well-established public-sector suppliers.
The framework, which is due to run until August 2022 – with the option to extend to 2024 – has an estimated value of around £500m.
With average indicative savings of 15% compared to buying direct from a supplier at list price; the potential cost saving for the public sector is expected to be up to £75m.
Replacing the popular Link: IT Solutions Framework, the new Digital Workplace Solutions agreement provides public bodies, such as NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), universities, police and local authorities, with a simple and compliant route to market for high-quality IT solutions.
The agreement is free to access and includes everything from servers, storage, networking, security and data centre infrastructure, to end-user computing devices, desktop operating systems, enterprise software, and professional services.
The framework also represents a quick and effective way to procure enterprise licence agreements developed specifically for the NHS, such as N365 (Office 365 from Microsoft) and other nationally-negotiated public-sector deals.
Phil Davies, director of procurement at NHS SBS, said: “This new framework has been developed to build on the success of our previous Link: IT Solutions agreement, which was very well used by the NHS and wider public sector.
“As remote working has become commonplace due to COVID-19, the launch of the Digital Workplace Solutions Framework means public-sector organisations can access technologies like VPN remote access and virtual desktops, which can be needed to mobilise home working securely and effectively.
“The framework has been carefully negotiated to ensure it covers the widest range of infrastructure, hardware and software, while saving valuable time and resource for NHS and other public sector organisations.”
The framework is fully OJEU compliant and all 28 awarded suppliers meet necessary standards, including Cyber Essentials.
It permits spot buying, mini competitions and provides best-value pricing and negotiated terms.
Public bodies can access the framework to purchase a bundled solution of IT products and services, which may include elements from several of the different categories available.