Case Study
SBL provide Vendor Interface Service for the Met Office's VPN (Virtual Private Network) project


It is widely acknowledged in the public sector that the best way to obtain value for money is through competition. In order to assist in the Met Office with their VPN requirement SBL provided a Vendor Interface Service to ensure the Met Office chose a solution to suit their business function and desired business objective along with optimum savings.

The Met Office is the UK's National Weather Service employing more than 1,800 people globally. The Met Office provides a range of information under the Public Weather Service (PWS), which is funded by the UK Government. This includes generating everything from long range forecasts to day-to-day site-specific forecasts.

They implement best practice procurement procedures in line with the requirements of the Cabinet Office; focusing on achieving value for money, transparency and ensuring the fair and equitable selection of products and services. 

Customer challenges:

The existing remote access infrastructure the Met Office had was not appropriate for GSi (Government Secure Intranet)/PSN (Public Sector Network) standards and needed replacing with a secure compliant solution.

The new solution needed to provide a safe and secure connection to enable authorised users to have full desktop functionality in conformance with UK Government standards.

The solution:

In order to help the Met Office evaluate the numerous options, SBL organised a Vendor Interface Day at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter. As a vendor independent business, SBL have designed a versatile and innovative Vendor Interface Service. The service provided to the Met Office is designed to achieve optimum client savings and satisfaction through a managed procurement service.

Due to the long standing relationship between SBL and the Met Office; SBL were able to work closely with the IT team utilising SBL’s vast security industry knowledge to define and evaluate requirements based purely upon their business function and desired business objective.

The service SBL provided includes the following stages:

• Definition and agreement of the commercial, technical and service requirements within a standard document set.

• Operation of a fair, transparent and commitment free survey of the ICT market place against that document set.

• Co-ordination of indicative costs in “like for like” comparison tables.

• Co-ordination of vendor presentations and Q&A sessions designed to determine the true value of the solutions put forward.

• Organisation of final Vendor Q&A sessions followed by submission of best and final offers.

• SBL will assist with the selection as appropriate within these stages, selection notification, and participant debriefing as desired by the customer.

SBL believe that by introducing natural competition, costs are significantly reduced.

Why SBL:

SBL have been assisting Government departments to overcome various challenges for many years. For example, we have many strategic partnerships working at project level allowing SBL to help customers achieve their targets in compliance and adherence to central Government initiatives and mandates. These include the HMG Security Policy Framework, Greening Government ICT Programme, Operational Efficiency Programme, GSI Code of Connection and many more.

SBL occupy places on all relevant public sector framework agreements utilised by central Government procurement departments including the Government Procurements Service CITHS (Commoditised IT Hardware and Software) framework, and the DE&S (Defence Equipment and Support) Information Assurance framework. Utilising sector knowledge SBL have established deep and long standing relationships in key Government departments, delivering some of the following attributes.

• SBL have a proven track record of reducing costs and improving efficiency in Government

• Vendor independence: We deliver innovative and bespoke solutions that are derived from our customer's requirements, not market pressure.

• Business agility to meet all our customers` varied expectations and needs.

• Dedicated licensing specialists, who can simplify complex licensing models.

• Our security cleared CLAS consultants offer unique Information Assurance expertise to assist our customers with all elements of their IT Security projects from conception right through to completion. 

Quote from Steve Greenway, IT Security Manager, Met Office.

“SBL helped to arrange a Vendor Interface Day at the Met Office so we could evaluate the different suppliers of secure VPNs. Once we'd chosen the software we wanted to deploy, SBL helped us secure a very competitive deal that has allowed us to not only improve our security but also give us more freedom of use for our mobile estate.”

Find Out More

Get a Quote

Call Me Back

Enquiry Form

Book Course

CTRL to select multiple dates

Email me when this course is available