Cloud for Europe has given a clear view on the public sector requirements and usage scenarios for cloud computing. Supported by stakeholders from the public sector, industry and standardisation bodies, the main objectives of Cloud for Europe were:
- Identifying obstacles for cloud use in the public sector
- Defining services that overcome these obstacles
- Procuring research from industry to find innovative solutions for cloud services
The Cloud for Europe project addressed the objectives of the European Cloud Partnership and helped partners to adopt a well-defined European Cloud Computing Strategy for the public sector.
The project was built in three steps
- Pre-commercial procurement (PCP) preparation
- Gap analysis
- Establishment of stakeholder group
- Tender preparation
- Tender release
- PCP tender implementation
- Solution exploration
- Prototype selection
- Test product selection
- Dissemination of results
- Training events
The first step – PCP preparation – comprised all the preparatory work needed for implementing the tender. This included analysing the requirements of the European public sector, the current market situation and the relevant standardisation landscape. In addition, an stakeholder group was formed, comprising public authorities, standardisation bodies and industry representatives as potential tenderers. Stakeholder involvement events were be organised in each partner country and at the European level. The first phase ended with the release of the PCP tender.
In the second step – PCP tender implementation – initial proposals for innovative cloud services were received. Solutions to be prototyped were selected. The prototypes were selected and a mid-term verification has been performed. The PCP tender implementation phase is the main task for execution of the joint PCP tender. This phase is led by procurers involving five EU member states with local specifics related to legal and regulatory compliance. The three PCP phases specify the challenges for joint Cloud solutions. The PCP itself is split into three phases, shown in Figure 4, each phase finishing with the selection of the best offers. The evaluation of the offers were carried out according to the criteria published in the tender release. Project results were continuously discussed with the contractors as part of the monitoring group.
For phase I solution exploration 23 bids have been submitted. The bids have been verified against technical, economic and organisational fulfilment of the requested criteria. Twelve contractors have been awarded on August 14, 2015. The output of this phase included a technology evaluation, a first solution design, an organisational plan for phase II and a costs/benefits evaluation of the proposed solution.
For phase II prototype invitations to the contractors to submit a proposal have been sent at the end of November with a deadline at December 2016. For phase II the maximum budget available has been increased with all the resources saved in phase I to open more opportunities to participate further in the tender. In addition, the awarded competitors were allowed to deliver partial results (so called mid-term delivery) and to be paid for that.
Awarding of eight contractors for phase II, 3 for Lot 1, 2 for Lot 2 and 2 for Lot 3, took place at the end of March and the execution of phase II started in April 22, 2017. The phase II mid-term verification has been completed at the end of June- The final verification of Phase II will be outside the scope of the Cloud for Europe project in October 2017.
In the third step – Sharing – lessons learnt were formulated into best practices and recommendations for future PCP activities. This included establishing suitable contractual terms and conditions for future cloud procurements. Guidance and training materials were produced for industry as potential tenderers as well as for public authorities who would like to apply a PCP scheme to procure cloud services. Training events were organised for both industry and public authorities.
A number of dedicated and branded Cloud for Europe events were organised to engage key stakeholders and collect information through consultation. In addition to the launching conference and the final conference, a series of workshops have been held at the national and at the European level. The national stakeholder seminars were organised during the first and the last year in the countries represented in the partnership to provide information about the project and its results, respectively.
The content (programme, presentations) of the national seminars is similar in each country, but the events are held in national languages. Furthermore, European stakeholder events were organised as standalone events or alongside other major industry events to achieve maximum participation as part of EU roadshows. These events are especially important to reach audiences in countries not represented in the partnership. There are also lessons learnt for and from the industry participating in such kind of R&D tendering.
A booklet produced by the consortium, PCP for beginners, can help to better understand the procedures and the hurdles.
Cloud for Europe has gathered 24 partners from 12 countries.
- Federal Computing Centre (BRZ)Austria
- Graz University of Technology (IAIK)Austria
- Secure Information Technology Center (A-SIT)Austria
- European Electronic Messaging Association Aisbl (EEMA) Belgium
- Information and Communication Technology Federal Public Service (FEDICT)Belgium
- Katholieke Universiteit Lueven (KU Leuven)Belgium
- E-Governance Academy (EGA)Estonia
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MKM)Estonia
- Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)Germany
- Fraunhofer-Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS)Germany
- Agency for a Digital Italy (AGID)Italy
- Trento RISE (TRISE)Italy
- Ministry of Economic Affairs (MINEZ)Netherlands
- Ministry of Finance, Tax and Customs Administration (FIN/BD)Netherlands
- Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA)Portugal
- Associação CCG/ZGDV – Centro de Computação Gráfica (CCG)Portugal
- Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering: Research and Development (INESC-ID)Portugal
- Institute for the Public Administration Shared Services (ESPAP)Portugal
- University of Porto (UPORTO)Portugal
- National Institute for Research & Development in Informatics (ICI)Romania
- Ministry of Finance (MF SR)Slovakia
- Ministry of Public Administration (MJU)Slovenia
- Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations (MINHAP)Spain
- Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK)Turkey