The UK government’s procurement wing has signed a deal with business information providers Dun & Bradstreet and Equifax, that will allow public organisations to assess the financial viability of their suppliers.
The framework is worth up to £1.5 million over two years, with the possibility of a two-year extension. Dunn & Bradstreet and Equifax will provide financial assessments to public bodies such as the BBC, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, local authorities, the NHS and central government.
The Government Procurement Service signed the deal in mid-March. It was announced in the Official Journal of the European Union today.
The two suppliers will provide the public sector with detailed financial reports on UK and non-UK entities, as well as helping public organisations monitor the financial stability of their suppliers on an ongoing basis during contracts.
The Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) free access to a specific number of reports, and allows them to share those reports around central government. An optional service will allow all public sector bodies to share pre-purchased financial reports through a centralised online service.
At a recent Information Age roundtable debate on the impact of cloud computing on IT management, attendees agreed that the financial viability of suppliers is more important in the context of cloud than for traditonal IT engagements.
One attendee, the IT programme manager for a large drinks manufacturer, revealed the lengths to which the orginsation had gone to assess suppliers ahead of a large software-as-a-service implementation
"We did a lot of due diligence on potential suppliers first,” they explained. “We looked at [business information service] Dun & Bradstreet, the supplier’s licence model and the risk of financial failure. We actually excluded two suppliers on the basis of their financial performance and the fact that we weren’t happy with their hosting provider.”
Last year, SaaS CRM provider Salesforce.com announced a new service, named Data.com, that allows customers to update their customer contact data based on up-to-date business information. Data.com uses data from Dunn & Bradstreet, as well as the Jigsaw contacts database it acquired in 2010.