Response to feedback on Cloud Marketplace RFI Discussion Paper

24 February 2020

We released the Cloud Marketplace Request for Information (RFI) Discussion Paper in October 2019. This outlined our proposed scope and approach for establishing CMP 2.0, a new Cloud Marketplace. The new arrangement replaces the current Cloud Services Panel (CSP), which hosts over 500 cloud services from over 240 sellers. Seller organisations and buyer agencies provided feedback on the Discussion Paper.

We carefully considered all feedback we received and, where relevant, we have updated the proposed scope of CMP 2.0 and improved our approach for establishing this new arrangement. We would like to thank all buyers and sellers who provided feedback.

We’ve outlined the important updates and clarifications below.

Scope, approach and timeline

We proposed establishing the CMP 2.0 as a cooperative procurement arrangement for all Cloud Offerings to government. While this has not changed, we have adjusted our approach to simplify the scope and align more closely with the value-for-money (VFM) assessment the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) require. The scope now includes 2 important areas under Cloud Offerings.

  • Under Cloud Services, sellers can offer any ICT functionality as a cloud service. The industry refers to this as Anything-as-a-Service, or XaaS.
  • Under Cloud Consulting, sellers can provide cloud computing-based professional services – described through a rate-card for subject matter experts.

Adoption of ISO17788 and SFIA

CMP 2.0 will use the International Standard ISO/IEC17788 on Cloud Computing (ISO17788) as a base for describing and cataloguing services. Several respondents endorsed the adoption of ISO17788. We expect this will make it easier to describe and classify Cloud Services in a consistent manner.

We also plan to add to the ISO17788 taxonomy with relevant, industry-standard terminology and descriptors to increase transparency for buyer agencies. 

We received feedback recommending the adoption of a standardised approach for describing skills and experience levels. CMP 2.0 requires all sellers offering cloud consulting expertise to describe it using the Skills For the Information Age (SFIA) framework. SFIA is an industry best-practice framework for describing professional skills and expertise across various levels.

Use of a Digital Tendering Platform

We will trial an online Digital Tendering Platform (DTP) for the submission of all responses to the CMP 2.0 Request for Tender (RFT). We received a few comments and questions about this, and how it is different from AusTender. For clarity, we wish to note the following:

  • We will release the notice of RFT and related RFT documentation on AusTender. After respondents access these on AusTender, we will direct them to the DTP to register, develop and submit responses.
  • The DTP will use customised forms to capture all response information as structured data, enabling data validation and error-checking before users make submissions. This will speed up the review and evaluation of responses.
  • We will host the DTP securely and make it accessible from connected devices. 
  • We will provide additional support and advice to users for using while the RFT is open.

Extension of CSP and operational continuity

We received some questions about the operational continuity of the CSP arrangement. We’ve extended the CSP term to 31 March 2021. This extension will make sure we do not interrupt government cloud computing procurements during the RFT process.

  • We are not moving current CSP sellers and their services to CMP 2.0. This is a requirement under the Commonwealth Procurement Rules due to the change of scope and approach for the new arrangement. 
  • You will need to respond to the RFT to be considered for appointment to CMP 2.0.
  • If the 2 arrangements co-exist for any period, we reserve the right to direct government agencies to not place any contracts under the CSP after we establish the CMP 2.0.
  • Any contracts placed (i.e. agreed and executed) under the CSP during the rest of its extended term will continue beyond its expiry or termination.

Proposed cost recovery method

We were reviewing the various cost recovery models we use across our digital sourcing arrangements at the time of the Discussion Paper. We have finished this review and have started simplifying our cost recovery models as a result. 

We will end the Administration Fee — also known as the Supplier Administration Fee or SAF — as currently charged to the sellers on the CSP, effective April 2020. We will not charge this fee under CMP 2.0.

Agencies should expect to pay a Centralised Administration Fee (CAF) when they successfully contract for a cloud requirement on CMP 2.0. The CAF structure matches cost recovery methods we use on our other whole-of-government sourcing arrangements.

Next Steps

We will be approaching the market to select and onboard sellers of Cloud Offerings through an open RFT process in March 2020. We expect the new CMP 2.0 arrangement to be operational by late 2020.

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