Life In The Digital Marketplace, 4: Wunder, London

Jan 21, 2016

In the next in our series looking at options for the UK public sector tech supply chain off the former CloudStore, we meet Alex Blandford, Consultant at Wunder, Europe's largest Drupal consultancy

Tell us about your company and the value proposition, then, Alex.

With pleasure. Wunder (known as Wunderkraut in the rest of Europe) is Europe’s largest full service Drupal consultancy. Our team of over 170 staff, across nine countries, work with some of Europe's best-known brands, such as the BBC and MTV and forward-thinking public sector organisations such as Judicial Appointments Commission and UK Trade and Investment.

The public sector is particularly exciting at the moment because of the sheer amount of innovation that is happening in online, user centred services. Their impetus to do the right thing by the public by transforming services to make them better and cost effective is great to see.

When it comes to our proposition, our clients would probably say that our solid processes and business focus are just as important as our technical knowledge in making the projects we work on a success. We work hard to build and maintain trust with our clients. As a team we're always learning from others and from experimentation, bringing credible expertise to our work and we are respected for taking that approach.

Interesting, thanks. Why did you enter onto G-Cloud/The Digital Marketplace? What do you expect to get out of it? Did you get it?

In simple terms, G-Cloud is an easier procurement process, and there is good faith that surrounds it, so it was the natural way forward for us, and we wholeheartedly support the government’s efforts to create a simpler tender process. And we’re getting a lot out of it... however, there’s the occasional blip in its efforts to eradicate complexity!

Some organisations understand the process of agile procurement and are happy to take the journey together, but there are also some that lack confidence and will hide a 25-page form, essentially an OJEU procurement process, within G-Cloud. And that is incredibly frustrating. Nonetheless, the projects that we have done have been well procured, especially when compared to similar frameworks for digital projects: not only have our customers made effective use of the framework to procure services, it has also improved over the years in terms of usability. Three or four years ago, the process could have taken a week, but nowadays it takes no longer than two days to complete. So yes, we have got what we wanted out of it, which is a quicker procurement process.

Glad to hear that, but how did you find the process of applying?

The process of applying is pretty good, and has improved. G-Cloud has ended up filling the shortfall within the procurement space left by everything that went wrong with the Digital Services Framework, becoming, really, what that should have been for procuring services. I’d say it’s better than the competition, and has improved over time. One of the things we were really pleased about was being invited to go and do usability testing for the new G-Cloud system; it was nice to know they were thinking about the user and the supplier’s ideas for improvement. GDS has also eliminated the old '90s-feel' procurement system that was, honestly, the biggest time hurdle in completing the process. Probably the most encouraging aspect for us was when they decided to discard their old procurement software, which we found cumbersome from a user standpoint.

Great, but how have things been working out for you on the Marketplace?

Overall, really well. However, one of the misconceptions of the market place is that although it’s a shop front it does not take the place of marketing. You still have to put in the work to understand the industry and secure the business yourself. And t’s good in the sense we can be procured quickly when we make a sale. I don’t think it’s got us any extra work - but it’s certainly made the sale quicker.

Fascinating. Based on your experience, do you have any top tips for other (smaller) suppliers on how to make the most of the G-Cloud opportunity?

I have spoken to a lot of small suppliers and many gave up after the first few iterations saying they didn’t get any work out of it. My top tip is to see G-Cloud not as the marketing front, but as a way of making paperwork easier; you should do your own marketing, and tell people you are on the G-Cloud, thus making procurement less of a nightmare if they choose to buy from you. There really is no ‘secret sauce’ for this, you have to do the work!

Useful perspective, Alex. Any other statements about what you see as the future for cloud as a delivery mechanism for UK public services?

I think it’s important to keep in the spirit of trying new things and seeing what works for government rather than fixating on ‘cloud’. The term is so buzzwordy... at the end of the day, it is just another word like Open Data, Platform or BYOD. However, if done properly, the public sector can continue to make huge economies by following standard commercial digital practices.

I hope that happens. Thanks and good luck on G-Cloud 7!

To find out more about this G-Cloud-7 supplier, go here

We are looking for other companies enjoying success on the Digital Marketplace and would love to feature your experiences in this new on-going editorial series. Please get in touch with us here to kick start that process.

(c) 2016

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