The UK government’s shift towards cloud computing is gathering pace thanks to government-wide agreed terms with Huddle, the leader in cloud collaboration and content management. Already working with more than 60 per cent of central government departments, the commercial proposition has been jointly developed by Huddle and a working group led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in support of the Government Cloud Programme. With the agreement, Huddle becomes the first cloud supplier to recognise government as a single ICT customer, actively working together to deliver increased value for money.
Under the new arrangements, any government body, including central government departments, local government, executive agencies, arms-length bodies and NHS agencies can benefit from government-specific Huddle pricing, training and support. The agreement follows the release of the Government ICT Strategy, highlighting the need to move to cloud computing, increase collaboration and remove the barriers preventing SMEs from participating in the government ICT marketplace.
Huddle has been used by central and local government teams and NHS organisations for more than two years. Its customers include DEFRA, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Cheltenham Borough Council and NHS South West. With collaborative working initiatives and partnership programmes playing a key role in government policy over the next five years, adoption of Huddle in the public sector has become increasingly widespread. The application enables users to securely share information and work effectively with people within their organisation as well as external consultants, suppliers and partners.
“These agreed terms are evidence of the fact that the cloud is now at the heart of the public sector’s drive to increase efficiency, productivity and achieve cost savings,” said Alastair Mitchell, CEO and Co-founder, Huddle. “Costly on-premise legacy ICT systems that have been deployed to support collaboration are simply not up to the job. Organisations require a secure cross-platform, cross-firewall tool and our figures show that government could save more than £100 million by replacing the likes of SharePoint with Huddle. As this agreement demonstrates, it is possible for start-ups to secure deals with government and move into an area that has been dominated by systems integrators and technology goliaths. Following David Cameron’s push to support the UK’s technology ecosystem, now is the time for the industry to really shine.”
The commercial proposition comes into effect immediately and, as part of the arrangement, Huddle will provide government bodies with a number of services, including access to network integration, reporting, mobile applications, best practice content and training sessions with its public sector specialists.
The new commercial terms that have been offered to government will benefit all existing and new Huddle customers as well as creating an exemplar for similar cloud agreements in the future.
Following its UK government success, European government departments, such as the Belgian Federal Public Service Social Security, have also started to deploy Huddle.