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Service update part 1: what we’ve done this year

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital Outcomes and Specialists, Digital Services framework

What we've been working on

The Digital Marketplace Director, Warren Smith, set out his vision earlier this year. Over the last couple of months we’ve been sharing more on this in a series of blog posts.

Our mission is to: “help the public sector buy what it needs to deliver great digital services.”

As we continue to iterate our services we wanted to give an update on recent improvements we’ve made, and in the next post, work that we’re planning to do next to help us deliver our mission.

Here’s what we’ve done this year:

A faster way to return signed framework agreements

We’ve tried to make it easier and faster for suppliers to return their signed framework agreement. Suppliers no longer need to install third-party software to sign it as they may have done for G-Cloud 7 or Digital Outcomes and Specialists. Suppliers can now sign framework agreements in whichever way is best for them and then follow the steps in their Digital Marketplace account to return it.

Time savings for countersigning contracts

We’ve introduced a new way for the Crown Commercial Service to check and countersign contracts, providing significant time and cost savings for government. These changes will make the signing process much faster and the design patterns we have developed will be used on all frameworks awarded through the Digital Marketplace.

Contract variation

We highlighted some minor changes that were not included in the final G-Cloud 8 documents. They make it easier for G-Cloud 8 suppliers to work with government and were contained in the proposed contract variation that we needed suppliers to read and accept. The design patterns we developed will be re-used for managing changes to supplier history and services and showing audit trails.

How suppliers are paid by government

Earlier this year we carried out a payments discovery where we learned about how suppliers are paid today for the services they provide to government. We’ll be investigating how we can help create simpler and faster payments between buyers and suppliers.

Editing services for G-Cloud suppliers

We’ve started to work on a way for G-Cloud suppliers to edit the description, features and benefits of their services. We’re expecting to release this soon.

G-Cloud 9 discovery and alpha

We recently completed the discovery for G-Cloud 9, and have now moved into the alpha stage. The discovery allowed us to reflect on how buyers and suppliers experience G-Cloud today. We’re using the insights from our discovery to guide the scope of our alpha.

We want to help suppliers describe their products and services so that buyers can find what they’re looking for more easily. As we have done with Digital Outcomes and Specialists, we’ll be exploring which parts of the buying journey we can bring online.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists shortlisting

Digital Outcomes and Specialists went live in April this year. Although it was a great step forward we knew that we would need to continue improving the experience. Since its publication we have been constantly iterating the buying process to improve the experience for both buyers and suppliers. We’ve spoken about many of those changes in earlier posts.

Now we’re adapting the shortlisting experience so that Digital Outcomes and Specialists suppliers can provide evidence as part of their response, making the buying process faster.

Following user testing and iteration of a prototype, we’ve begun development towards this.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2 applications

Applications for the second iteration of Digital Outcomes and Specialists opened in November. We expect Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2 to be available on the Digital Marketplace from February 2017.

In the next post, we’ll outline what we’re working on next. If you have any feedback you want to share with us, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts so we can continue to improve the Digital Marketplace.

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