SMEs make up 99.9% of the UK’s 4.5 million businesses and are a crucial engine for growth in this country. Historically, SMEs were excluded from government business, meaning Public Sector bodies were not able to benefit from the best and most cost-effective ideas that SMEs are capable of delivering. The developments in 2015 in the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) procurement methods and new Network Services Framework facilitate a simpler participation process for smaller businesses in government tenders.
“By opening up opportunities for SME suppliers we will stimulate growth and jobs, as well as giving government access to SMEs’ creativity and innovation”, states Chloe Smith MP, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform (Federation of Small Businesses 2013).
Public sector bodies are beginning to realise the impact of previous procurement methods and are increasingly inclined to investigate the advantages of working with SMEs. For an SME, there is a focus on delivery and development. This often means that a solution can be put in place more quickly and effectively by a smaller telecommunications company.
One of the principal benefits of working with SMEs in the telecommunications arena is the high level of customer service they offer. A smaller, dedicated team with personal account managers often leads to more frequent customer contact and therefore the timely resolution of issues. Focused engineering teams ensure the constant monitoring and improvement of the service.
SMEs are able to tailor their offerings to suit their various public sector customers and can therefore offer a specialised solution. Expertise in certain areas can produce cost savings for public sector organisations. “We know SMEs can offer customisation and flexibility and provide direct access to expertise and innovation, so where SMEs offer best value for money we want our customers to be contracting with them every time”, state CCS. In the case of building networks, a hybrid approach to the design often results in the right mix of technology. This approach is taken by specialist SMEs and can minimise cost and maximise performance.
Recent progression in the procurement services have led to the development of a new framework for telecommunications in 2015. The Network Services Framework allows smaller businesses to compete with the incumbent suppliers, permitting government bodies to work with SMEs and potentially gain a prefered solution.
Before the Network Services Framework is available to use (expected Mid 2015) there are other Frameworks that allow local public sector bodies to procure telecommunications services from SMEs, such as the PSN compliant Public Sector Telecoms Services Framework (Fabrick).
MLL Telecom is looking to provide solutions through the Network Services Framework in 2015 and a full range of Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity services can currently be procured through the Public Sector Telecoms Services Framework. MLL Telecom have 23 years experience working with the Public Sector and specialising in fixed line and wireless technologies. As a CAS(T), ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified UK licenced Telco with CODE powers and its own national spectrum assets, MLL Telecom can provide cost effective and innovative service solutions to meet a wide range of customer requirements from simple broadband lines to complex networks.