OPEN goes from strength to strength and set to become the one stop shop for schools in early 2008
ProcServe, a leading provider of procurement and marketplace connectivity solutions, today announced that it has been appointed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to make OPEN – the online marketplace for schools – ready and available to all 20,500 schools in England from Spring 2008.
ProcServe and DCSF have been working in partnership since 2006 to assess how better procurement in schools could be supported by a national eMarketplace service. The pathfinder for OPEN, launched in March 2007, targeted up to 1,150 schools across the country and is running in full operations mode. OPEN allows users in schools to easily and securely access their local contracts and electronic catalogues for goods and services, as well as providing them access to regional and national contracts that can offer increased value for money.
Avis Bourdon, Business Manager, Motcombe Community School, says:
"OPEN is really easy to use. I have more choices available as I have access to a different range of suppliers. I managed to save 30% on an identical item by comparing prices on OPEN, the delivery and service from the supplier is excellent as well. I would not have achieved this saving by looking through catalogues which can be time consuming. For schools on tight budgets, this could make a real difference.”
Erik Morley, IT Manager with Wightman & Parrish, an OPEN supplier, says:
"I like it a lot; I think it is very good. I use other systems and OPEN is by far the best. The electronic purchase order, eInvoicing and catalogue system is brilliant and is very easy to use."
“The pathfinder for OPEN rigorously tested the system for reliability, appropriateness, ease of use and integration with schools finance systems”, says Darron Cox, Deputy Commercial Director and Head of EPC (the Educational Procurement Centre) at DCSF. “The emerging benefits are encouraging and have given us the confidence to make OPEN available for general release to schools nationally in early 2008. OPEN will be the centre of the wrap-around service we are providing to build and deliver a sustainable procurement infrastructure for schools”, he says.
“This is a bold and innovative initiative and we are very proud to be working with DCSF to deliver the OPEN eMarketplace service. Since its launch, we have further developed OPEN to improve the experience and service for both schools, and suppliers and are excited about making this available nationally” added Veera Johnson, CEO, ProcServe.
OPEN will be featured in the upcoming BETT 2008 conference, the world’s largest educational technology event, which is being held in London on 9th -12th January 2008.
Notes to editors
ProcServe, a wholly owned subsidiary of PA Consulting Group, provides fast, flexible and secure electronic marketplaces and trading connectivity solutions. ProcServe’s hosted, custom-branded solutions provide customers with the unique ability to leverage a software-as-a-service solution and maintain their own uniquely branded and configured marketplace. Customers enjoy a faster solution set up, lower cost of maintenance, and a secure environment. ProcServe delivers Zanzibar and OPEN on behalf of the UK Public Sector. For more information, please visit www.procserve.com.