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The difference between G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Marketplace, Digital Outcomes and Specialists, Suppliers

G-Cloud-or-Digital Outcomes and Specialists

Some suppliers have told us that they’re not sure whether they should be selling their services through the G-Cloud framework or the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.This blog post outlines the main differences between the two.

What’s G-Cloud

G-Cloud helps the public sector buy cloud technology and support. G-Cloud services must be ‘off-the-shelf’ cloud services, like hosting, IT health checks and customer relationship management software. They can also help organisations move to the cloud, for example data transfer services.

G-Cloud services can’t be made to order. Suppliers describe the services they can provide, and buyers search the G-Cloud catalogue to find the best service for their needs. Read about the G-Cloud buying process.

What G-Cloud isn't

G-Cloud isn't a framework for:

  • recruiters or consultants who want to provide staff
  • non-specific cloud services
  • onsite hardware or software

What’s Digital Outcomes and Specialists

Digital Outcomes and Specialists helps suppliers provide:

  • digital outcomes, for example a team to provide an accessibility audit
  • digital specialists, for example an individual developer to work on a specific project
  • user research studios
  • user research participants

Buyers describe their specific requirements, and suppliers offer their services if they think they can meet them. After shortlisting and evaluating supplier applications, buyers then choose the supplier that best meets their needs.

Read about how the Digital Outcomes and Specialists buying process works for suppliers.

What Digital Outcomes and Specialists isn't

Digital Outcomes and Specialists isn't a framework for:

  • suppliers who want to provide specialists who are not directly employed or contracted by them
  • buyers who want to put specialists into permanent or interim roles

The main differences between G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists

Activity G-Cloud Digital Outcomes and Specialists
What services the supplier provides Off-the-shelf cloud services Specialist services for digital projects, tailored to the buyer’s needs
What information the supplier provides Suppliers must provide information like:

  • how secure their services are
  • how much their services cost
  • where they store their data
Suppliers must provide information like:

  • where they can work
  • how much their services cost
  • details of their experience
How services are chosen Buyers choose from a catalogue of cloud services Buyers write and publish requirements and suppliers apply for the work
When services are bought As and when they’re needed As and when they’re needed
How suppliers communicate with buyers Suppliers respond when buyers contact them to say their services are needed Suppliers actively search for suitable opportunities, ask questions through the Digital Marketplace and apply
How the buyer responds ““Buyers provide feedback to unsuccessful suppliers ““Buyers shortlist applications and invite shortlisted suppliers to the assessment stage, for example to attend an interview or provide a written proposal
Does the buyer need evidence No Yes, suppliers must provide evidence of essential requirements and any nice-to-have requirements they say they have
How intellectual property rights are assigned Suppliers own the intellectual property rights Buyers own the intellectual property rights
Terms and conditions Suppliers can resell cloud services from other organisations Suppliers must:

  • employ or contract the specialists they provide
  • be responsible for the work done by the specialists they provide

The difference between Digital Outcomes and Specialists and ‘Specialist Cloud Services’ on G-Cloud

If you want to sell services through the G-Cloud Specialist Cloud Services category (lot 4), you need to provide services that are cloud-related, like:

  • cloud deployment
  • cloud transition management
  • cloud user management
  • cloud information management

If you’re providing a specialist or an outcome service but it’s not cloud-related and off-the-shelf, you should only provide it through Digital Outcomes and Specialists.

When suppliers can be on both frameworks

Suppliers that provide both off-the-shelf cloud services and bespoke digital specialist services can be on G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes and Specialists.

Apply to sell digital specialist services

You can apply to become a Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2 supplier from November 2016. Read more about how to apply.

If you have any questions about the Digital Marketplace, email

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