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Best Practice - Procuring cloud via PCP

With government ministries from five European countries involved, Cloud for Europe (C4E) sees collaboration between public authorities and industry to provide a streamlined cloud service procurement process. This lowers the Total Cost of Ownership, fixes financial costs, and importantly, shortens the procurement and the service provisioning process as well as the purchase of non-existing services.

Joint pre-commercial procurement (PCP) was identified by C4E as the best way to procure cloud services for the public sector organisations who shared similar needs for innovative services. Following intensive consultation with industry, C4E published its tender which ran December 2014 to March 2015 with a total budget of €4 million. A total of 29 service providers from 11 countries submitted bids including 45% SMEs, 24% large companies and 31% public research bodies. The first implementation phase of the pre-commercial procurement is now going on.

As can be seen from the numbers above, the tender results met the original expectations of the buyers by convincing procurers that Pre-Commercial Procurement is a suitable approach to procure R&D in the cloud.

PCP enables procurers to:

  • Share the risks and benefits of designing, prototyping and testing a limited volume of new products and services with the suppliers, without involving State aid;
  • Create the optimum conditions for wide commercialisation and take-up of R&D results through standardisation and/or publication;
  • Pool the efforts of several procurers.

However, as joint PCP is a relatively new instrument for procurement number there are lots of lessons learnt that can be useful for organisations starting this approach that can be found in the PICSE Report “Procuring Cloud Services Today”.