Market Tree

Welcome to the blog for Market Tree, the new web site for buying and selling goods and services in the UK

Month: October, 2013

We are awarded G-Cloud 4 framework supplier status

Our fixed-price and auction marketplace service has now been awarded supplier status in the government’s new G-Cloud 4 CloudStore. This will allow all public sector organisations – both national and local – to follow a much-simplified EU-compliant procedure to select Market Tree for their E-commerce needs (for example: to dispose of surplus assets via fixed-price sale or auction).

The founder of Market Tree, Ian Marshall, says:

The award of supplier status to the government’s cloud computing store called ‘CloudStore’ will allow us to supply public sector organisations with an easy way to dispose of surplus stocks and assets, and so release public money for more effective use elsewhere.

The use of cloud computing allows customers to focus on what they need to do, and removes completely the need to install and maintain computer software on individual computers – be they desktop PCs, laptop PCs, tablets or smartphones.

BACKROUND INFORMATION

What is G-Cloud?
The government’s G-Cloud programme aims to deliver fundamental changes in the way the public sector procures and operates Information Technology (IT). Suppliers can apply to offer their services using cloud computing (or otherwise for certain specialist services), and public sector bodies can then search these services using G-Cloud’s CloudStore.

The G-Cloud programme allows suppliers to pre-qualify their services under European Union (EU) public procurement rules and thus enables public sector customers to buy services more easily – without having to follow a full EU tender procedure.

These services require approval before being published in the CloudStore. (“Approval” here does not imply that the service fits a customer’s performance, quality, price and other criteria, but it does mean that it matches various general pre-qualification requirements.)

Why G-Cloud 4?
Each supplier’s service offering is governed by a contractual framework agreement. There is a maximum time that any given framework agreement contract can be valid. Therefore, suppliers’ offerings can be extended beyond this maximum time by the process of having separate contracts: one for each G-Cloud version. The latest version opening now is version N°4 – hence “G-Cloud 4”.

Public cloud first
The government has introduced a Public Cloud First policy mandate for central government departments. They are now required to consider public cloud first in any IT procurement, and the wider public sector is strongly recommended to take the same approach.

In practice this means that when considering procurement of new or existing services, central government departments must have considered and fully evaluated potential cloud solutions before they consider any other option. In addition to this, central government departments are also required to:

  • develop plans detailing how and when they will shift each aspect of their IT portfolio to cloud computing services
  • review and revise their IT portfolios to fully take advantage of cloud computing services
  • consider and discount potential cloud solutions first before they consider any other option
  • share the above openly with the public sector to help build a reference library of good practice.


What does all this have to do with Market Tree?

Market Tree’s fixed-price and auction marketplace service has been admitted to the new G-Cloud 4 CloudStore. We can now supply our E-commerce service to the public sector the easy way: by using our service, which is a cloud computing service and which is pre-qualified under EU public procurement rules.

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Sticking to what you do best

We have heard the news of the death of the economist Ronald Coase. Who? Well, one of his key works was an essay in 1937 entitled The Nature of the Firm.

In the words of an editorial  in a recent issue of The Economist:

And he set a test that every boss still has to answer: what does their firm do that cannot be done more efficiently elsewhere?

We try to adhere to the spirit of this thought. For example: we decided that it would be far better to use Automattic’s expertise to run our blog using their WordPress service rather than write a computer program/application to do it. This freed us to concentrate on what we can do better than others: offer a refreshingly new approach to an electronic exchange or market place.