The 1st of June 2020 has been another significant milestone for UKCloud, marking the date of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is now in place between us and the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).
The MoU sets out the preferential commercial terms that we are offering our public sector customer base, either directly – or indirectly through our partner community. The MOU also outlines how UKCloud will continue to commit to outstanding customer service (free of charge), Corporate Social Responsibility and to Social Value.
Of course, UKCloud is not the only cloud provider that CCS is entering into an MoU with. Many of the big global names are also represented. But the cloud service providers that enter into an MoU with CCS have one thing in common. They are recognised by CCS as cloud service providers that are strategically important to the UK public sector.
I’m very proud on that point alone. When UKCloud was founded in 2011, I and my fellow co-founders knew that the emerging UK government cloud market would present opportunity and challenge in equal measure – and we weren’t wrong on that one!
The nascent market has matured and grown. G-Cloud figures show that the UK public sector has spent over £6bn on cloud and related services over the last 8 years. If you count the increasing instances where cloud is supporting a wider solution and not necessarily being procured through G-Cloud, the figure is likely to be much higher.
Cloud has moved on from being limited to GDS Digital Exemplars to underpinning some of governments most complex, high profile and business critical programmes. Its now recognised that there is no one size fits all cloud – which is why UKCloud has matured into the UK’s foremost expert multi-cloud provider, as well as being one of the most socially responsible cloud providers within the market.
We continue to stand out from the competition and I’m pleased to say that is reflected in our MOU with the CCS. Here is just a flavour of what’s in it:
- Preferential commercial terms, including double digit discounts, for a wide range of our services, including our Tier 2 platform for Government’s most sensitive workloads, Desktop as a Service, Disaster Recovery a Service, professional services and object storage, along with an across-the-board discount linked to UKCloud’s continuing growth.
- These discounts are underpinned by a number of commitments:
- providing our award winning, enterprise grade service management at no extra cost, and to never charge for data egress or ingress
- ensuring the highest levels of data protection, always keeping data in the UK, ensuring we have the widest range of accreditations and certifications and ensuring all our staff have an appropriate level of security clearance
- taking our fair share of risk and not shirking our responsibilities in this area
- always pricing and invoicing in pounds sterling, so that our customers are not exposed to currency fluctuations and pricing uncertainties
- helping, and not penalising customers who want to leave our services
- we will commission an independent annual benchmark of our pricing against our competitors’ comparable services annually and share that benchmark with CCS and customers
- donating 2% of our profits to charitable causes every year
- paying all tax due to HMRC and not embarrassing our customers by practicing tax avoidance
All these benefits (and more) are be available to all organisations that are eligible to benefit from the MoU. And we have agreed with CCS that any organisation that is eligible to buy from a CCS framework is eligible to claim the benefits that the MoU provides. Either CCS or I would be very happy to share more detail.
UKCloud is firmly committed to doing the right thing for its customers by delivering better services at lower cost to the tax payer. We hope that by providing this commercial advantage, underpinned by robust principles that matter to our public sector customer base, cloud adoption will become easier and less risky. In turn this will help to accelerate the UK public sector’s digital transformation, so that better outcomes are delivered to the citizen.