Softcat has secured a place on the new UK-wide public sector procurement framework for IT hardware and services, run jointly by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) as the Digital Workplace: Hardware framework, and North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) as the IT Hardware and Services (LINK 3) framework.
It’s the third iteration of this popular framework, which allows UK public sector bodies to purchase IT hardware and associated services from a group of pre-approved suppliers. The framework offers a direct award facility, enabling customers to go straight to a preferred supplier – helping with constrained budgets, simplifying the procurement cycle and shortening project delivery.
Now, UK public sector organisations looking for end-user devices, printers, general or specialist hardware and related services, can get quick and cost-effective access to Softcat’s hardware and services portfolio, including a variety of general or specialist partner products and related services, under a single supplier arrangement.
Via the Lot 6 one-stop shop facility, customers can also purchase products and services from across the entire scope of the framework, in one simple procurement exercise.
Softcat have been successful across all lots of the framework, the full list of which includes:
- Lot 1 Desktops, including small form, micro, all-in-ones and peripherals
- Lot 2 Laptops, plus notebooks, rugged devices, 2-in-1, thin and lightweight
- Lot 3 Tables/Slate Computers, including wraparound, detachable, phablets and peripherals
- Lot 4 Specialist Healthcare-related IT Hardware, a wide range including mobile carts, infection control, mobile clinical assistant devices, large format and multi-display mode monitors, and more.
- Lot 5 Printing and Scanning Technologies including stock management, asset and estates management, medicine management.
- Lot 6 One-stop Shop, for purchasing elements from multiple other categories.
Softcat’s Public Sector Director, Louise Fellows, said, “We are delighted with this most recent success. Through a highly competitive tendering process, we were able to demonstrate that Softcat has the right qualities in terms of competencies, capabilities and pricing, to be awarded as a supplier on the third iteration of this popular framework. We already have a strong link to the public sector communities through this framework, and we’re looking forward to supporting even more organisations with the continuing challenges of secure, reliable remote digital workspaces.”
A new and exciting feature within the latest iteration of the framework is the ability for customers take advantage of Softcat’s innovative Device as a Service (DaaS) offering. In simple terms, this service delivers hardware with a complete service wrap-around and lifecycle management, for less than the cost of the traditional route. The service can lower costs and significantly reduce the workload for IT teams with:
- Economies of scale and consistency of device pool through the ability to bulk buy and pre-provision devices in advance, with customers only charged for devices once the equipment is installed.
- Secure remote device imaging, setup and asset tagging, and reliable delivery.
- Access to a customer success manager, in addition to comprehensive reporting and dashboards, to ensure organisations are making the best return on investment and purchasing decisions.
- An innovative accidental damage scheme, with organisations able to buy a number of tokens to ‘spend’ on any replacements needed, rather than requiring an additional warranty on every device.
Softcat’s DaaS offering has become highly relevant to public sector organisations following the transition to remote working prompted by the pandemic. Effective procurement and management of the increased volumes of mobile devices has become key, and the Digital Workplace Hardware / LINK 3 framework now offers an ideal procurement route for DaaS solutions.
Stephen Sercombe, Director of Procurement at NOE CPC said, “Building on the success of our previous LINK 2 framework, the new Link 3 agreement gives organisations the continuity to purchase cost-effective end user devices to meet their varied organisational needs.
“It offers the latest devices with highly competitive public sector pricing. With a comprehensive procurement exercise already undertaken, NHS and other public sector organisations can save valuable time and resource.
“With the continued need for mobile or dual working environments, the IT Hardware framework allows organisations to continue accessing technologies that are vital in supporting productivity and flexible working.”
Phil Davies, Director of Procurement at NHS SBS, said, "This new framework has been developed to build on the success of our previous Link: 2 IT Hardware framework agreement, which was very well used by the NHS and wider public sector, and has been critical to many organisations as they have responded to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
"In 2020, much of the country moved to remote working with huge success. The launch of the Digital Workplace: Hardware framework means the public sector can continue to access technologies that are pivotal to supporting productivity through flexible and innovative ways of working.”
Softcat was awarded Public Sector VAR of the Year at the Channel Awards for the second consecutive year in November 2020. Softcat was also named HP DaaS Partner of the Year in 2019 in recognition of its compelling, progress and scalable device as a service (DaaS) offering.