Office worker using a remote desktop

Smarter working in public services in the age of Covid-19

Covid-19 has caused seismic shifts in the way we work. Traditional, inflexible models of working - based around physical office spaces and set working hours - became impossible almost overnight from 23 March.

Smarter working is now a priority for every organisation and the public sector is no different.

Throughout the UK, it has had to adapt at speed to create working environments that empower staff and make best use of workplaces and technology, while also realising savings for the taxpayer.

However, this period of ‘enforced’ home working has shown that it is possible for the majority of public sector office-based roles to be delivered from home, and this has encouraged a change around how and where work is delivered.

Technology as facilitator

NICE is just one example of how a public sector body has successfully changed its working culture - transforming its use of space and implementing new technologies to become more flexible, productive and collaborative.

The arm’s length body used Crown Commercial Service’s Technology Products and Associated Services (TePAS) framework when it was looking to buy a large volume of laptops and docking stations for their staff at the start of the pandemic.

The equipment was needed to facilitate a move to smarter working and relocation to an office in London, which was being shared with 4 other arm’s length bodies of the Department for Health and Social Care.

Office workers in a modern hybrid office space

NICE needed to move from their existing zero clients (a server-based computing model in which the end user's computing device has no local storage) to laptops. This would mean desks in the office could be shared between all 5 organisations, each with a separate network to accommodate their different needs.

Having laptops with the camera, microphone and speakers needed for virtual meetings would also mean staff could work from home during the Covid-19 lockdowns. NICE had selected the equipment models they wanted and was looking to buy them at the best available price.

The solution

NICE identified Lot 2, Hardware and Associated Services, on CCS’s TePAS framework as the best route to market to achieve this. TePAS offers competitive prices on products and services from a wide range of specialist suppliers.

Using the framework they ran a simplified further competition, evaluated on price only, inviting all of the suppliers on Lot 2 of the framework to bid.

After evaluating a number of bids, Specialist Computer Centres (SCC) provided the best quote. Even though Covid-19 drastically delayed the delivery, SCC kept NICE updated with the order’s progress through one of the most challenging times ever experienced for technology supply.

NICE achieved a saving of just over £250,000 against list price by using the TePAS framework, and SCC ensured timely delivery of the equipment.

Barney Wilkinson, Associate Director Procurement at NICE said: “Despite the production delays caused in global IT supply by Covid-19, the CCS framework and SCC allowed NICE to meet its objectives and save resources.”

Let us add power to your procurement

CCS’s Technology Products and Associated Services framework offers you a flexible way to buy IT hardware, off-the-shelf software and associated services to suit your organisation’s technology needs, big or small.

To find out how we can help you, you can visit the web page or download our on-demand webinars on what you can buy and how to buy through the framework. Complete our online form and our commercial experts will be in touch.

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