October 2019

Technology webinars

Network Services 2:

Networks remain fundamental for the successful delivery of public services. Join us for this overview of the Network Services 2 framework, covering how to buy a variety of services, from mobile connections to wide area network connections.

23 October 2:00pm – register 

Technology Products 2:

Join our customer overview of the different ways you can use our agreement for all your IT hardware and commodity software needs, including access to our extensive online catalogue, the Purchasing Platform.

29 October 12:00pm – register 

We are constantly updating this page so make sure to check back to ensure you don’t miss any new webinars that are added.

Looking for HSCN connectivity? Our new agreement is live

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is delighted to announce the launch of a new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) agreement in conjunction with NHS Digital and Innopsis.

HSCN enables health professionals from NHS trusts, hospitals, GPs, social care organisations and non-public sector bodies to communicate and share information, delivering efficient, effective public services that meet the needs of citizens.

The new agreement will help health and social care organisations transform their network access from a single network to a vibrant and competitive multi supplier network, that will generate significant cost savings for health and social care consumers.

This competitive marketplace is enabled by a dynamic purchasing system (DPS), tailored to HSCN requirements, initially with 9 suppliers including SMEs. This is expected to increase over the coming months as and when suppliers become HSCN compliant, ensuring offerings remain competitive and innovative.

HSCN specific terms and conditions, which are pre-agreed with industry, will reduce existing procurement timescales, saving time and money drafting and negotiating bespoke documentation. The standardised documentation also enables HSCN consumers to generate great savings compared to their current arrangements.


Dermot Ryan, NHS Digital’s HSCN Programme Director says:

‘Creating a competitive market for network services in health and social care, to drive both product innovation and value for money, has been an ambition of the HSCN programme since the outset.  Working in partnership with Crown Commercial Service, the establishment of the HSCN dynamic purchasing system is a significant part of realising this ambition. The DPS will promote the formation of a thriving market in HSCN services and provide health and social care customers with an easy to use, low risk way of procuring compliant services.’


For more information on our new DPS, the latest supplier list and guidance:

Our round-up of a successful Academies Show 2017

Thank you to those of you who took the time to visit us at the The Academies Show last week. I certainly enjoyed meeting so many representatives from schools and academies and having the time to chat about your challenges when buying goods and services and how we can help you.

I had a number conversations about our energy frameworks so I’d like to take this opportunity to provide some further information, our Energy for Schools page includes guidance on our energy deals including a video webinar.

We were delighted with the turnout for our workshop session in the Business, Finance and Benchmarking theatre where our experts discussed ‘Exploring the best deals for schools to make significant savings’. The session was run by Chris Illman, Senior Category Lead – Aggregation, Liz Woods – Category Lead for Information Content Management and Office Services, and Rob Whitehead, Category Lead – Technology Products and Services.

The workshop covered:

  • An overview of some of the best CCS benchmarked deals for schools
  • How buying through CCS can help you to achieve savings, increase efficiency and ultimately improve teaching outcomes
  • Discussions on our online Purchasing Platform for technology products, buying multifunctional devices (MFDs) and how schools can join together to save time and increase savings

Don’t worry if you missed the session, you can view the slides to see what was discussed.

To find out more about how we’re helping customers like you, visit our schools and academies page and if there is anything at all we can help you with please get in touch.

CCS at the Public Sector Show

As the UK’s largest public sector procurement organisation we were delighted to once again support the Public Sector Show in Manchester, and I want to thank everyone who came to our stand or listened to one of our sessions yesterday.

In the main conference theatre I spoke about delivering commercial benefits through better procurement. If you didn’t get a chance join me, here are my slides. 

We also hosted a dedicated CCS theatre where my colleagues presented on a range of topics:

  • David Gigg and Francesca Livesey from our policy implementation team presented a session on using social value criteria to run and evaluate your procurement.
  • Chris Illman and Viv Roberts from our aggregation team spoke about the benefits of collaboration.
  • Steve Carter, Supplier Adoption Lead, spoke about how the Crown Marketplace programme is transforming public procurement with a click.
  • John Malone, Head of Trading and Kate Beckingham, Head of Utilities discussed why customers choose CCS for their utilities & fuels.

View their slide decks.

We’re committed to working closely with you to help you achieve your procurement goals, so that you can focus on the things that really matter – like delivering your local and social value agendas and helping protect frontline services.

Explore the full range of commercial deals we have available to help you save time and money.

We’ve also just released details of our latest aggregation project for IT hardware. If you are looking to buy IT hardware before the end of the financial year I’d encourage you to get involved. You’ve got until 15 December to sign up.

We’re here to help you make great savings – if there is anything we can help you with please fill in our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch to help you.


Are you looking to buy IT hardware before the end of the financial year?

We’re planning an aggregated further competition under lot 1 of Technology Products 2 (RM3733) for readily available branded IT hardware, such as commercial off the shelf (COTS) products, for customers who need delivery of products by the end of this financial year.

If you are interested in getting involved please express your interest no later than 15 December.

To take part you will also need to be able to share your technical specifications for inclusion no later than 10 January 2018.

Find out more about the aggregation opportunity and how to get involved.


Cloud computing – You are not alone

Did you know a large number of councils have no Cloud IT strategy and 61% of councils (including 45% of the top 100) have no cloud IT policy?

The majority of councils still hold most data on site – 69% of councils (77% of small councils) hold 75% or more of their data on premise

Source: Up in the Air: The state of the cloud adoption in local government in 2016, eduserv.org.uk

More and more authorities are embarking on digital transformation programmes to enhance delivery of services to citizens and businesses, be more cost effective and allow authorities to work flexibly. This is against a backdrop of increased demand and expectations for public services and continued financial constraints. Therefore, there is a need for balance between ensuring good quality public services and delivering efficiency gains.

Cloud computing offers many benefits to local authorities including flexibility, reduced lifetime costs, security and disaster recovery to name but a few.

The G-Cloud 9 framework, launched earlier this year, is committed to obtaining best value from suppliers, has transparent pricing, involves a simple short list process and, following feedback from our customers, has an extended term. CCS has worked with a number of local authorities to navigate this potentially complex environment including Havant Borough Council. Read their story.

Full cloud adoption can take time, resources and expertise to implement which is why CCS also offers hybrid solutions such as Crown Hosting Services. This framework, which is a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Ark, supports the first few steps towards transformation. It immediately benefits Local Authority transformation processes by allowing you to choose the infrastructure or service that delivers the best value at any given point, and over time, until it is right to fully transition to the cloud.

Find out how Derby City Council made 60% savings and created a clear and flexible programme for cloud transition, by working with CCS through the Crown Hosting Services framework.

To find out more about how we can help you with your digital transformation agenda, read more and get in touch.

    • Visit our framework pages and the Digital Marketplace, a collaboration between CCS and the Government Digital Service, that provides a number of frameworks and services to assist you.
  • Fill in our online form or, if you want to discuss any specific requirement or call us on 0345 410 2222.

Procuring IT systems is never going to be an easy process however with the right advice, help and support, it can be a successful one.

Update on HSCN Access Services

CCS and NHS Digital are pleased to confirm that the first customers have migrated their connections to the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), which allows health and care organisations to work better together to provide improved care for patients. You can learn more about the first live customer connection in the latest NHS Digital press release.

We are also working in collaboration with NHS Digital to establish a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), which will make the procurement of competitively priced HSCN connectivity as straightforward and accessible as possible. 16 suppliers have already achieved HSCN Stage 1 compliance and are eligible to apply to offer connectivity through the DPS, with a further 9 suppliers progressing through the HSCN compliance process, ensuring a competitive marketplace for HSCN services.

It is expected that  the DPS will be available for customers later this month.  For the latest updates on the new DPS, please visit our HSCN procurement webpage.

In conjunction with NHS Digital, we will be hosting webinars during November to support customers running their HSCN procurement under the new DPS. NHS Digital will be on hand to answer any migration and HSCN queries, with CCS providing procurement information and demonstrating the DPS platform.

To register for a webinar please follow the links below:

15 November,  2pm Register

22 November,  2pm Register

If you have a question for NHS Digital please email enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk or to contact the CCS team please get in touch via our online form or call 0345 410 2222.

6 benefits of choosing CCS for your print requirements

We know that managing your print requirements to ensure you are achieving value for money, optimising print efficiency, and keeping up with the latest digital solutions can be time consuming, especially if you’re having to run a complex procurement process on top of this.

We often see customers struggling to manage multiple suppliers who they suspect may not be offering best value any more. Customers may not know the best way to approach the market, or what is possible to help improve how they buy their print requirements, and end up stuck in the routine of buying the same way they have always done.

Whether you are a housing association with small print requirements, a local authority with large scale print requirements or anywhere in between, you could benefit from using our framework for Managed Print and Digital Solutions. From print and paper products, pre-production services to direct mail, stock management and digital solutions, the range of products and services the framework offers is diverse.  

The top 6 benefits of choosing CCS for your print requirements are:

  1. Significant cost savings – customers can expect to make savings of between 5 and 20% based on their print maturity and volumes. We have a proven track record of helping our customers save money – Birmingham City Council saved £1.7 million on its print requirements.
  2. 2 easy access routes – you can place a direct award through lot 1 (single supplier), or run a further competition through lot 2 (6 suppliers). Our print category experts can give you help and advice, and we provide a range of FAQ and guidance documents to make the process simple and save you time.
  3. Pre-assessed suppliers to save you time – we’ve already evaluated the framework suppliers through a rigorous OJEU compliant process, so you don’t have to run a time consuming OJEU yourself. Suppliers have been assessed against relevant Quality Standards. We have ensured they are all certified to key security standards including Cyber Essentials, so you can rest assured that your information is safe with them. We also provide pre-agreed terms and conditions to save you time and give you with sound contractual safeguards.
  4. Consultative pre-engagement – you can invite our lot 2 framework suppliers to meet with you before you reach Invitation to Quote (ITT) stage to advise and guide your procurement process, including sharing best practice, consulting on specifications and scope, and giving you insight into lessons learned in previous exercises. This will ensure that the suppliers fully understand your needs and the bids you receive are fully tailored to you.
  5. Expert advice and support to increase your print efficiency – framework suppliers are experts in their field. They have experience of a wide range of  specialisms to ensure your technical and commercial requirements are met and they can offer you expert advice and support to help improve your print process efficiency and make savings where possible.
  6. Help with digital solutions – by considering switching some of your print solutions to digital where possible, you can reduce costs by decreasing the use of paper and physical delivery of products.

Find out more about how we can help with your print requirements and get in touch.

All your technology product needs with the click of a mouse

Getting all your immediate technology product needs is now as easy as clicking your mouse thanks to the Purchasing Platform from CCS. It gives you online access to great prices on a range of off-the-shelf IT products. Most importantly, using the Purchasing Platform will help you save you both money and time and offers a compliant route to market.

Buying from the Purchasing Platform can mean an average 8% saving and on some products and as high as 30% compared with Amazon. Prices are updated daily to ensure you are always getting best value.

Using the Purchasing Platform means there is no need to hunt around getting 3 quotes. We’ve done all the hard price comparison work already and on most products you will immediately get at least 3 prices and an industry benchmark price indicating a market target  price for that day.

It is totally free to use with pre-agreed terms and conditions with suppliers and if you have any questions CCS is here to help you. You can buy with confidence as we’ve done all the due diligence checks to ensure all suppliers are assured, audited and financially secure. Use your ePCS card and you may even benefit from end of year rebates.

The platform allows you to search and compare all products through an easy-to-use click and buy catalogue. The platform is so flexible it meets different buying scenarios as used by customer organisations. Once you have found your products, you can either pay by card, issues an online purchase order or, hold a fixed price quote for 30 days (should you need approval or use another purchasing system).

When it comes to payment, using the Purchasing Platform could not be easier. There are many ways to pay including using your ePCS card, debit and credit cards. If you need your products really quickly, a next day delivery option is often available.

Using the Purchasing Platform is just one of the many ways that CCS is here to help you with all your technology requirements.

So to start benefiting from the Purchasing Platform sign-up today at purchasingplatform.crowncommercial.gov.uk and start transforming your procurement in a click.


New learning & development catalogue launched

The Managed Learning Service (RM3822) framework, which went live in July, is rolling out a new online portal to give you access to a wide choice of learning & development opportunities at competitive rates.

The portal’s catalogue, which will be fully up and running by the end of this year, will offer you access to around 2,000 courses in a broad range of subject areas, including:

  • Governance, compliance & regulation
  • Management, leadership & coaching
  • IT technical
  • Programme & project management
  • Business skills
  • Personal performance
  • Communications
  • Customer service
  • Analytical
  • Business & finance

The learning opportunities, which can be used off the shelf or customised to meet your needs, offer you exceptional value for money, with big discounts of up to 25%.

For free access to the new portal simply put in place a call-off contract with the framework’s single supplier, Knowledgepool. Your staff will then be able to register and search for the right development opportunities to meet their needs.

Users will find learning in many forms to suit their requirements:

  • Accredited professional qualifications
  • Professional and off the shelf courses
  • Open, closed and public courses
  • Online courses (including eLearning and interactive peer learning and facilitated online sessions)
  • Learning resources such as webinars, online lectures and learning apps

Knowledgepool will work with you, to help you tailor the catalogue to meet your organisation’s  needs, by adding specific content and working in partnership to successfully launch the portal across your organisation.

To find out more about the portal and the wider offering visit the Managed Learning Service web page.

Got a question? please get in touch.

How the Purchasing Platform from CCS can help you save money and time on office supplies

If you are looking for a simplified way to purchase office supplies online which can help reduce your costs, you should definitely try out the Purchasing Platform from CCS. The Purchasing Platform is a great new way to access CCS through a click-and-buy catalogue that just requires a simple registration. You can search our complete range of office supplies, compare prices from a range of suppliers and then place an immediate order. And the best part about it is that any savings you make will allow you to focus on the priorities that matter most to your organisation and support the delivery of frontline services.

Four reasons why using the Purchasing Platform saves you money:

  • It gives you access to great prices on the best selling office supplies.
  • It has competitive prices that are regularly updated to ensure you get constantly low pricing.
  • You can buy with confidence – fully compliant commercial smart direct award route.
  • We do all the hard price comparison work showing prices from a number of suppliers.

Four reasons why using the Purchasing Platform saves you time:

  • It’s an easy way to fulfil your immediate office supply needs through a click and buy catalogue.
  • The catalogue is focused towards your most regular needs with over 700 of the most popular items to choose from.
  • There are many ways to pay including using your ePCS card or credit and debit cards.
  • It’s easy and convenient to sign-up to use the Purchasing Platform and it’s available to the whole public sector.

So to start benefiting from the Purchasing Platform sign-up today at purchasingplatform.crowncommercial.gov.uk and start transforming your procurement in a click.