In March, ActionPoint held a webinar titled ‘Public Sector Technology Planning 2021: OGP Frameworks – All You Need to Know‘. Our panel discussed what organisations need to do to prepare their tender strategy for the year ahead. The session was specifically focused around the updated OGP Framework which was released in November 2020 with some key changes.
Having joined the OGP Framework in 2016, ActionPoint has years of experience working within the Public Sector. We’ve had considerable success in delivering key IT infrastructure projects for county councils, city councils and large public sector bodies. Most notably, ActionPoint delivered the award-winning passport renewal system for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
For those of you that missed the session and would like to gain more insight into Public Sector Technology Planning 2021 around the OGP Framework, we’ve put together some key takeaways below.
Public Sector Technology Trends
Panelist Jonathan Deane, Director of IT Services at ActionPoint, reflected on an extraordinary year and highlighted some of the key public sector technology trends.
- The rise of remote working – For organisations across all industries, there has been a considerable increase in remote working. The public sector is no exception. We expect this trend to continue and for remote and hybrid working to become commonplace. In line with this, Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, believes that the public sector should be leading by example.
- Implementing a remote working strategy – Having adjusted to remote working as a concept, it is now up to each organisation to embrace the change and level up resources. This includes implementing a remote working strategy and ensuring that staff have the tools and technology needed to carry out their job to the best of their ability.
- Cybersecurity – As the working environment continues to evolve, cybersecurity becomes all the more important. Employees working from home are more likely to engage in risky security activities. Poor password hygiene continues to be a big problem. When it comes to remote working, bolstering security is of paramount importance.
- The rise of the digital citizen – The pandemic underscored the importance of digitisation and digitalisation. When stores and public buildings shut down, normal society was able to continue thanks to digitisation. It’s more apparent than ever before that the future is online. In keeping with this, a huge trend amongst all our customers is self-service portals which are becoming increasingly commonplace. Self-service portals, like the passport renewal system mentioned above, allow customers to carry out tasks any time, any place.
OGP Frameworks – Comparing the Old and the New
In November, The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) introduced a new OGP Computer and Storage Framework. ActionPoint’s Enterprise Business Development Manager, Greg Costello was on hand to compare the old and new frameworks.
The original framework was put in place in 2016 with a max run-time of four years. It was a multi-supplier agreement designed to meet and deliver on 3 core IT infrastructure needs for public sector bodies – storage, server(compute) and converged infrastructure. In structuring this tender process, the OGP broke the framework into eight separate lots by equipment type. It used proportionate turnover requirements and appropriate insurance levels, based on the value of the contracts. Lots included 4 for storage, 3 for servers and 1 for converged infrastructure.
The following goods and services were covered by this Framework Agreement:
- Tier 1 Storage Area Network (SAN) (Enterprise/Carrier Grade SAN)
- Tier 2 Storage Area Network (SAN)
- Tier 3 Entry level Storage Area Networks (SAN)
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- SPARC Servers (scalable processor architecture)
- Power Processor Servers
- Converged Infrastructure and Associated Equipment and Services for all the above
The New OGP Compute and Storage Framework
Below are some key points to note regarding the new framework:
- The framework is live as of November 2020 and will be in place for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4. There is a broader workload delivery focus that is much more solution oriented.
- The number of lots has been reduced from 8 to 5. Lots include 3 for servers, 1 for storage only and 1 for servers and storage. The latter has replaced the old ‘converged infrastructure’ lot. This new lot means that you can go out to tender for both new servers (compute) and storage in a single mini competition. This new lot significantly reduces the time to solution and is much more practical.
- The following goods and services are covered by this Framework Agreement:
- Lot 1: X64 servers
- Lot 2: SPARC servers
- Lot 3: Power servers
- Lot 4: Storage
- Lot 5: Compute & storage including converged and hyper-converged
4. Under the new servers and storage lot, the range of ancillary equipment has been extended. Software licensing can be procured under mitigating circumstances.
5. PSBs can procure warranty and support services via mini competition across all the frameworks.
Further information can be found at https://ogp.gov.ie/
Final Piece of Advice from Our Panel
All three speakers shared the same message; if your organisation is going out for tender, it is important to seek assistance from a professional at the earliest stage possible.
At ActionPoint, we have years of experience working with public sector organisations. We would be more than happy to guide you through the tender process. No matter what stage you are in your tender process, we’d love to hear from you.