In February 2020, we were approached by 3 multi-academy trusts (MATs) – Ebor, Pathfinder and South Bank – to help them buy fibre-based broadband connectivity and internet services to replace expiring contracts for 39 schools in York and the surrounding area.
COVID-19 restrictions meant this was deferred until September 2020, when we were asked to fast-track an aggregated procurement for broadband and internet service provider (ISP) services on behalf of the MATs.
The MATs were keen to enhance their broadband connectivity and safe internet provision to meet the specific needs of pupils and their teachers, both in schools and at their homes.
They wanted to ensure a seamless transition to any new provider, including robust technical and commercial requirements, as well as continuity of existing functionality across the MATs and schools. This was reflected in the specification to create a balanced mix of price and quality in the supplier selection criteria, to ensure the service was fit for purpose.
We ran a national further competition to buy broadband and internet access and web filtering services for the 3 MATs and their schools, using our Education Technology framework (RM6103) – lot 3, broadband services.
The most economically advantageous offer was gained by taking into consideration both the price and non-price factors.
The winning supplier was an SME called Talk Straight Ltd, who were geographically close to the customers, based in Ilkley. They managed to achieve overall savings of 38% when compared with the MATs’ previous contracts. This is a total saving of £323,000 over the initial terms of the new contracts. In addition, the new contracts include a degree of flexibility to enable each school to select services matched to its specific budget.
Installation and migration from old to the new fibre-based services continues on a tight timescale, with completion currently anticipated by the end of April 2021.
Tim Moat, Director of Communications and Development at Ebor Academy Trust, said:
CCS was very supportive throughout the entire process. This was a big deal for the 3 MATs, and as well as collective savings, we jointly benefited with such a complex procurement by not having to do it alone. CCS, in particular Paul Weiser, was quick in helping to iron out the inevitable wrinkles, post-award.
Add power to your procurement with CCS
National aggregated further competitions are a tried and tested way to achieve significant savings for the public sector.
This is a fully managed service provided and funded by us at CCS. We will draft all documentation, build the specification and run the procurement for you.
If you have similar needs that you think might benefit from being combined with others to create greater scale and commercial benefits, please visit our website to find out more.
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