Spark: A new direction for public sector tech procurement

tech procurement
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Dan Howard, Category Commercial Agreement Manager, explains that Spark DPS is a new direction for public sector tech procurement

In a constantly evolving technology market, it’s vital for the public and third sector to make the right procurement decisions. At Crown Commercial Service (CCS) we are there to help our customers to get the best technology solutions at the very best price.

CCS solutions help the public sector through their digital journeys – from cloud hosting, software and support to bespoke digital systems, intelligent automation services and artificial intelligence (AI) – supporting the delivery of world-class public services that improve the lives of citizens.

Our expert teams are constantly exploring new ways of working, finding solutions and developing commercial agreements that help organisations to buy and make the best use of technology. We engage with both customers and suppliers in building all of our new technology solutions, to ensure we keep up with market developments, support customer requirements and help enable digital transformation.

We’ve also searched the country to ensure we have the best suppliers on board, including SMEs, to offer flexibility, choice and a range of contract lengths.

Spark: The Technology Innovation Marketplace

Spark: The Technology Innovation Marketplace was established in April 2019 to enable the government and public sector to access new and emerging technology products that have already been developed.

Our stakeholders identified a gap in our supply base associated with the onboarding of new products emerging from technology innovation, such as those developed as proof of concepts between a public sector customer and a supplier.

To address this, our Spark Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for emerging products enables customers to access genuine innovation, and provides suppliers with a route to market which is adaptable as their capabilities change.

Benefits for buyers and suppliers

The principal benefits of using the agreement are:

  • Access to proven technology innovation to solve public sector problems.
  • Agility and flexibility to meet the public sector’s changing technology needs.
  • This agreement has no lots, use the filter system to produce a list of potential suppliers based on your needs.
  • Quality and price assessment filtered to an individual customer’s requirements.
  • Can be used for any size project – there is no minimum or maximum value.

Suppliers may apply to be part of the marketplace at any time throughout the lifetime of the DPS and identify their areas of expertise as part of the application process – those areas of expertise will become the basis of their offering.

When customers search the list of available suppliers, they can apply relevant filters such as location, delivery method or subject area. The customers’ final shortlist will show suppliers who are delivering into the area of technology the customer is looking for.

What comes next?

In the future, Spark will continue to facilitate disruptive innovation in the public sector while promoting new ways of working and bringing the latest technology developments to public sector customers.

Spark will bridge the gap between the pace of changing user demands and the innovative solutions that will enable it – supporting the UK public and third sector’s ongoing digital transformation.

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Category Commercial Agreement Manager
Crown Commercial Service (CCS)
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