G-Cloud suppliers' guide
- Government Digital Service
- Part of:
- Digital Marketplace buyers and suppliers information, Central government efficiency, and Government as a Platform
- First published:
- 24 September 2013
- Last updated:
- 27 June 2016, see all updates
How to sell cloud software and support on the Digital Marketplace
Digital Marketplace overview
The Digital Marketplace helps you sell cloud and digital specialist services to government.
You can sell services in 2 ways.
You can provide:
- cloud services (eg web hosting or IT health checks) through the G-Cloud framework
- digital outcomes, digital specialists and user research services through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework
You can apply to sell services when a new version of a framework (agreement between government and suppliers) is published on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). There’s a limited time in which you’ll be able to apply, usually for 6 weeks every 6 to 9 months.
You need to agree to the basic framework and contract (or ‘call-off’) terms when you apply. You don’t need to be based in the UK to provide services through either framework.
Digital Marketplace and G-Cloud
Public sector organisations and arm’s length bodies can use the Digital Marketplace to buy cloud-based services, like web hosting, site analytics or document collaboration tools.
If you want to sell your cloud services on the Digital Marketplace, you need to submit your service details through the G-Cloud framework.
You can apply to submit your services to the G-Cloud framework when an OJEU is open.
Once your submission has been processed, buyers will be able to find your service live on the Digital Marketplace.
When you can apply
The G-Cloud 8 framework is now closed for supplier applications. We expect G-Cloud 9 to be open for supplier applications in early 2017.
A new version of the G-Cloud framework is released about every 6 to 9 months. Each version of the framework runs for 12 months so 2 iterations may overlap.
Read the Digital Marketplace blog for the latest G-Cloud updates.
How to apply
- Create, or log into, a supplier account on the Digital Marketplace.
- Start your G-Cloud application.
- Make the supplier declaration on the Digital Marketplace.
- Submit service information on the Digital Marketplace.
- Wait for compliance checks to be made on your information.
Each step in this process is mandatory.
1. Create, or log into, a supplier account on the Digital Marketplace
You’ll need a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number first.
2. Start your G-Cloud application
Log into your supplier account on the Digital Marketplace, then click ‘start application’.
All communication between suppliers and the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) must happen through the Digital Marketplace.
3. Make the supplier declaration on the Digital Marketplace
Next, you must make the supplier declaration to be eligible to provide cloud services to the public sector. You have to:
- agree to the framework terms
- provide basic supplier information
- answer questions to establish grounds for mandatory exclusion
- answer questions to establish grounds for discretionary exclusion
4. Submit your service information on the Digital Marketplace
Next, you need to submit your service details and documents.
You’ll be asked to include information like a short service description, key product features and benefits, and pricing details. You have:
- 50 words to introduce your service
- 100 words to describe up to 10 service benefits (10 words per benefit), eg simplified system maintenance
- 100 words to describe up to 10 service features (10 words per feature), eg real-time reporting
You’ll also have your own supplier page where you can provide:
- 50 words to describe your organisation
- 10 client names
Writing tips for suppliers
Carefully considered content can help a buyer understand and, ultimately, choose your service. Our advice for writing a good service description is:
Keep it short and simple
The average sentence length in any document should be between 15 and 20 words. Keep sentences active, rather than passive. Try to use a subject-verb-object sentence structure.
- Use: Fred joined the company today.
- Don’t use: The company was joined by Fred today.
Use plain English
You can use your own company style guide, but try to keep your language clear and concise. Any unnecessary content could get in the way of a buyer understanding your service.
Cloud-based services on the Digital Marketplace are split into 4 categories or ‘lots’:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), eg content delivery networks or hosting
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) eg platforms that provide a basis for building other services and applications
- Software as a Service (SaaS), eg accounting tools or customer service management software
- Specialist Cloud Services, eg IT health checks or data migrations
Documents you need to include
Before you can submit a cloud service to the Digital Marketplace, you need to attach:
- a service definition document
- a pricing document
- a terms and conditions (specific to that service) document
You can also attach a Skills for the Information Age (SFIA) rate card.
All documents should be in an open format.
Service definition document
You must submit a separate ‘service definition’ document for each service you supply. The contents of this will appear next to the relevant service in the Digital Marketplace but will not be indexed by search. You should include all information necessary for buyers to evaluate and shortlist the service.
Don’t include hyperlinks marketing the service or pricing information. You can mention your website as a source of information on the company.
Your pricing document will determine what price appears next to your service on the Digital Marketplace. You can refer to the ‘invitation to tender’ (ITT) documentation for more detail on what to include.
Terms and conditions
These terms are fixed: they can’t be changed while the framework is live.
There can only be one set of terms and conditions on the Digital Marketplace for each cloud service.
The terms and conditions document is not the signed framework agreement signature page between CCS and the supplier.
5. Compliance checks will be made on your information
CCS checks the cloud services listed on the Digital Marketplace to make it easier for buyers to find and evaluate them.
The information you provide for each service may be checked against the service definitions submitted for each service.
After you submit your application, it will be evaluated against a set of criteria published in the ITT pack.
Services are assured so that:
- they are suitable for the framework
- a consistent base level of information on the Digital Marketplace is given
- buyers are aware of core service features
6. Your services will go live on the Digital Marketplace
If your application is successful, you’ll enter into a framework agreement with CCS. Your services will be made available on the Digital Marketplace as soon as the framework goes live.
Customers who want to buy your services must enter into a contract with you and accept the terms and conditions you submitted at the time of application. The maximum length of a contract is 24 months. Read how buyers award contracts.
The G-Cloud framework is unlike most other frameworks because it incorporates the suppliers’ terms and conditions. If there are differences between a supplier’s terms and conditions and those in the contract, the contract terms will be used.
Editing existing services
You can remove the services that you are no longer able to provide.
How to remove services
You can see a list of your G-Cloud services in your Digital Marketplace account. To remove one, select it, scroll to the bottom and click the ‘remove service’ button.
When you’ve done this, it won’t come up in Digital Marketplace search results anymore but you’ll still be able to see the service details in your account.
What removing services means for buyers
If a buyer enters into a contract for a service that a supplier then removes, the contract is still valid. The URL of the service will remain public but a banner will be added to the service page stating the date when the supplier made the service unavailable.
Putting a service back on the Digital Marketplace
If you’ve removed a service and want to restore it, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details, including the service ID.
Published: 24 September 2013
Updated: 27 June 2016
- The G-Cloud 8 framework is now closed for supplier applications. We expect G-Cloud 9 to be open for supplier applications in early 2017.
- G-Cloud application deadline is now 5pm BST, 23 June 2016.
- G-Cloud 8 is open for supplier applications
- First published.