Date Category
15th February 2023 Member Update

We’re pleased to announce the launch of our re-tendered Servers, Storage and Solutions National Agreement (SSSNA) to SUPC members. This improved agreement provides a compliant and responsible route for universities to procure servers, storage and solutions, including converged infrastructure and end to end solutions.

Offering a cost-effective procurement option with access to a wide range of reputable suppliers, SUPC expects over £250m in university and public sector spend throughout the four-year framework. The agreement will run from 1 February 2023 until 31 January 2025, with the option to extend by a further 2 years.

The agreement is open to all SUPC members, as well as those from the following consortia: APUC, HEPCW, LUPC, NEUPC, NWUPC

The main changes from the previous agreement include:

  • New OEM suppliers, NEC and Pure Storage who are new to SSSNA and SUPC, offering alternative solutions and different design approaches
  • Increased competition and innovation on Lot 5

o 13 suppliers

o 7 new suppliers

  • Quarterly Supply Chain reporting in terms of workers rights, in collaboration with Electronics Watch
  • Improved warranty terms

o Standard is 5 years (as opposed to 3 years)

o Options to increase up to 7 years.

Key benefits of using the Servers Storage and Solutions National Agreement:

  • Open book pricing, offering transparency
  • A wider choice of suppliers to allow for improved competition at call-off
  • An easy and compliant route to market for participating organisations
  • User guides, support, and templates.

The following suppliers have been awarded to the agreement under five lots:

How do I call-off from the framework agreement?  

Call-off from this framework agreement is by means of direct award (ranking) or further competition. In addition, institutions may also use the desktop calculator, for Lots 1 and 2 only) to amend the criterion by up to 20 percentage points to reflect their local requirements.   

How has sustainability, equality and diversity been considered as part of the tender?

  • Sustainability is of key concern to the HE sector and our suppliers are encouraged to operate and promote sustainable practices.
  • Suppliers are evaluated in terms of their approach to:

o Modern Slavery and ethical treatment of workers in their supply chain

o Supply chain strategies for ethical raw material sourcing

o Compliance to WEEE regulations and reporting

o Design strategies to facilitate reuse, recycling and recovery of materials

o Carbon reporting

Further information:

Launching the framework, new Head of SUPC Leigh Kopec says: “it’s vital we continue to strengthen corporate social responsibility throughout HE procurement. This new SSSNA framework shows our commitment to working with suppliers that share these aims. Collaborating with Electronics Watch is an important step in the process and provides enhanced monitoring at a framework level. This will help us work closely with suppliers to encourage greater transparency and make continuous improvements to workers’ rights in the supply chain.”

Full agreement details including how to use the agreement are available through the HE Contracts Database.

About SUPC

At Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC), we help universities and colleges buy smarter. Members use our frameworks and support services to make sure their procurement activities deliver value for money to students, staff and wider communities. We are part of the SUMS group, which also includes SUMS Consulting and the Procurement Shared Service. The SUMS group provides procurement and consultancy solutions to the higher education sector.

Explore more benefits of SUPC membership, here.