UK signs cloud discount deal with Google to boost innovation – www.computing.co.uk

UK signs cloud discount deal with Google to boost innovation

UK's Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Google Cloud to enable UK public sector bodies receive a discount on Google's cloud services.

CCS' deal with Google is part of the British government's push toward a multi-cloud programme that aims to deliver digital transformation and increase innovation in the country, without relying on just one supplier.

CCS, the UK Cabinet Office executive agency and trading fund, aims to open up the British cloud services market to more suppliers in efforts to provide best value for public sector departments.

CCS began talks with Google Cloud in 2019, with a focus on the requirements for cloud services under the One Government Cloud Strategy.

Neither CCS nor Google provided financial details on the level of discount offered to government agencies under the new deal.

Google Cloud said that the deal would enable local councils, government departments, and National Health Service (NHS) to get a discount on Google's cloud services based on their estimated spending on Google's cloud platform for next two years.

The eligible agencies will be offered access to Google Cloud's services, including analytics, infrastructure, artificial intelligence, collaboration solutions, and application development. Google Cloud's serverless and managed offerings, including hybrid and multi-cloud Anthos platform, will also be offered to government departments.

Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have similar agreements with the UK government. Earlier this year, the UK Home Office signed a four-year, 100m public cloud hosting services contract to AWS.

Microsoft also signed a pricing deal with the UK government in April 2020, offering all eligible public sector organisations discounted access to Microsoft Azure business tools.

So far, AWS has been the fastest growing cloud service provider in the UK, accounting for a market share of 850m during the period from April 2018 to March 2019, according to TechMarketView.

Google is currently a distant third, far behind AWS and Microsoft in global ranking for the public cloud infrastructure market.

"This is a significant milestone for us, as we see the results of our focused investment in cloud services and solutions primed and tailored for the public sector," said Mark Palmer, Head of Public Sector EMEA, Google Cloud.

"The UK public sector is a major focus for Google Cloud, and this is an opportunity to further support Her Majesty's government in their digital transformation," he added.

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