Cloud computing: Google signs ‘milestone’ discount deal with UK government

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NHS organizations will be among the UK public sector bodies eligible for a discount to Google Cloud services under a new agreement struck between the software giant and the UK government.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Google Cloud and the UK’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) will see local councils, charities, NHS and government departments and other qualifying public sector bodies able to apply for discounted rates to the Google Cloud Platform.

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Eligible organizations will be offered access to Google Cloud’s full suite of services, including infrastructure, analytics, artificial intelligence, application modernization and development, and collaboration solutions.

SEE: Google Cloud VP discusses unprecedented computing needs because of the coronavirus (TechRepublic)

It also covers access to Google Cloud’s managed and serverless offerings, including its hybrid and multi-cloud Anthos platform.

The advertising to cloud software giant said the agreement would “provide the best value and terms for public sector agencies investing in cloud technology” while encouraging innovation and digital transformation in the UK public sector.

Mark Palmer, head of public sector EMEA at Google Cloud, said: “This is a significant milestone for us, as we see the results of our focused investment in cloud services and solutions primed and tailored for the public sector.”

Neither Google nor the CCS was able to offer specific financial details on the level of discount that would be offered, although Google said discounts would be based on aggregated cloud service demand and expected spend.

The MoU follows a similar agreement struck between the UK government and Microsoft in late April, which sees all eligible public sector organizations in the UK offered discounted access to Microsoft Azure business tools.

Google, Microsoft and Amazon all offer cloud services to the UK public sector under the UK government’s G-Cloud framework, under which public sector bodies can purchase cloud services from a ‘digital marketplace’ without having to run a full procurement process.

SEE: Google wants to make it easier to analyse health data in the cloud

In the NHS, Google has agreements with a handful of organizations, a number of which were transferred over to the tech giant following its acquisition of British artificial intelligence firm, DeepMind.

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is using the Google Cloud Platform as part of its work with Streams, an app designed to alert doctors to early signs of acute kidney injury in patients and prevent their health from deteriorating further.

Google said its latest agreement marked the beginning of “an expanded relationship” with the CCS that would also focus on providing support for UK SMEs that partner with public sector agencies, “no matter where they are in their cloud adoption journeys.”

Palmer added: “The UK public sector is a major focus for Google Cloud, and this is an opportunity to further support Her Majesty’s government in their digital transformation.”

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