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Higher education institutions interested in acquiring cloud and learning environment services

A joint European tendering project on commercial cloud services and learning environments has been launched.

European higher education and research network organisations (GÉANT) organize a tender competition for commercial cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) in the OCRE project (Open Clouds for Research Environments). OCRE combines the requirements and needs of the research community for the purposes of public procurement and tendering, which results in the selection of service providers meeting the criteria. OCRE enables a common contractual framework for cloud procurement and enables €9.5 million of funding from the European Commission for the utilization of services procured for researchers. The aim is to provide all higher education institutions with the opportunity to utilize the results of the competitive bidding.

The OCRE competition will replace the current GÉANT IaaS framework procurement, which has been available to all higher education institutions and which will continue to be in force until 2020. The current GÉANT IaaS framework agreement is worth approximately 300 million euros and used by 15 higher education institutions in Finland and more than 300 institutions across Europe.

CSC participates in the OCRE bidding process as a NREN (National Research and Education Network) and intends to provide further services to higher education institutions using the "broker" model. This being the case, the services will be easily accessible through CSC.

During the spring, CSC has mapped the higher education institutions' interest in the project as part of the formal preparation of the competitive bidding. Almost all (37) higher education institutions reported their interest and support in the procurement of both cloud and learning environment services. Preliminary estimates of the procurement volumes already obtained provide a good basis for successful tendering.

CSC coordinates the competitive bidding for Finland. GÉANT will compile all procurement needs by the end of July and the tendering process for suppliers will begin in October. The services of the selected suppliers should be available from early 2020. The programme will continue until 2024.

Inquiries: OCRE cloud and LMS competitive bidding (in Finnish)