May 17, 2020

Microsoft, Google fight for cloud supremacy

Procurement
Procurement Solutions
Cloud Computing
Cloud S
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Seeking to bolster its patent portfolio to catch Apple and Microsoft, Google purchases 1,000 IBM patents
The struggle for cloud supremacy is shaping up to be a fight between software superpowers Microsoft and Google. In a piece published in USA Today earli...

The struggle for cloud supremacy is shaping up to be a fight between software superpowers Microsoft and Google.

In a piece published in USA Today earlier this week, author Byron Acohido breaks down the Microsoft and Google, and how the future cloud computing world will be shaped by the two giants.

Cloud computing is still be defined, and redefined, but Microsoft and Google see the cloud as the next big things in terms of generating online revenue.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has already made it his mission to own the cloud.

“At Microsoft, for the cloud, we’re all in,” Ballmer said at the University of Washington last spring. “It’s just a great time to be all-in and really drive the next generation of technology advances.

Microsoft recently released its near-final test version of Office 365, an Internet-driven software solutions program designed to make business easier.

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Google isn’t giving ground at all, as the search-engine giant revealed Google Chromebooks at its I/O developer conference. Chromebooks provides messaging, calendar and collaboration tools designed to add visibility to cloud computing.

“Chromebooks is actually a huge leap forward for cloud computing, Dave Girouard, Google’s president of enterprise, said. “We’re excited about putting more pieces of the puzzle together. Our aim is to be No. 1 in cloud computing.”

Google’s conquest to be No. 1 will likely have to go right through Microsoft, as the two software superpowers appear to be locked into a battle that will forever shape the cloud computing world.

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Jun 10, 2021

Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?

supplychain
Procurement
budgets
strategies
3 min
Often overlooked, government procurement professionals will play a critical role in helping communities, and local businesses recover from the pandemic

Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less. 

According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”. 

Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge

Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals. 

These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects. 

Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity. 

Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets 

And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns. 

Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.

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