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Buying cloud services on the Digital Marketplace

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There are more than 19,000 services available via G-Cloud on the Digital Marketplace, so how would you go about filtering them down and finding what you need? This post focuses on buying media monitoring and analytics tools.

Why you may need these services

It’s important to be able to observe users’ online reaction to public services so that they can be improved. In this case, you may be looking for a tool that can monitor social platforms and public forums where your service is being discussed, as well as on traditional news channels and aggregation sites. In this case, you’ll need a web-based monitoring and analytics tool to collect feedback.

Knowing what to search for

Understanding requirements will help you to set keywords. In this case, you would visit the Digital Marketplace homepage, click ‘Start now’ then choose ‘Find cloud technology and support’. At this point, you may go to ‘Software as a service’ or, if unsure, enter your search term in the search bar. An appropriate search term here would be:

social media monitoring + analytics

Search tips

To quickly return the most relevant service matches, try the following:

  • double quotation marks returns results with the exact phrase in the service description
    eg “social media monitoring”
  • minus helps separate words in common phrases. It returns results but excludes the word after it
    eg social media -monitoring
  • OR (always upper case) returns results with either one thing or the other
    eg social media OR monitoring
  • plus returns results with two or more words or phrases in the description
    eg social media analytics + monitoring

Getting your results

The search will return a list of relevant services along with a description and the name of the supplier. This can then be passed to your technical team who will assess which service offers the best fit for technical merit.

Time to evaluate

Technically assess the services and remove any that are unsuitable. The overall selection and evaluation process must be auditable, fair and transparent so buyers may be asked to give reasons why a service was considered unsuitable.

When you have a shortlist of services that meet your requirements, look carefully at:

  • price (including cost per licence and / or cost per user, per month)
  • minimum order quantities
  • frequency and quality of support available after purchase
  • access to historic data

During your short-list analysis you will select the service by evaluating using either lowest price or using the ‘MEAT’ (Most economically advantageous tender) criteria.

If you need to clarify any information within a supplier service offering, buyers are able to contact the supplier directly seeking ‘clarification of understanding’.

Call-off contract

A call-off contract is drafted to detail the way in which the services will operate between the customer and the supplier. A copy of the call-off contract must be signed by all interested parties (the customer and supplier) before the service can be used.

Complete the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Customer Benefits Record (CBR)

CCS works with departments and organisations across the public sector to improve service delivery quality and ensures every commercial relationship provides value for money. This means it has to record savings and monitor the ongoing performance of the G-Cloud framework(s).

Every time you enter into a call-off agreement, you must fill in the CCS G-Cloud Customer Benefits Record form. Email a copy of your G-Cloud Customer Benefits Record form to

Your contract details will not be published.

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