The UK Public Service Sector and Cassidian - Winning through PSN

By Bob Lambert, Cassidian Senior Solution Architect
The UK Government’s Public Services Network (PSN) programme will create a single logical network for the Public Sector, built from approved component services delivered by a range of assured service providers.
Cassidian, part of the EADS group, is participating in the PSN transformation and has been formally selected as a supplier of services to the PSN programme.  Globally Cassidian is a leading provider of secure ICT to many Governments with world-class security products and Network Operating Centres, both voice and data, in land, sea and air environments. 

Specifically for PSN, Cassidian is a leader in system integration, secure communication services and information systems to both the defence and the civil sectors and is therefore well-positioned to deliver outstanding network solutions to the public sector.  Most recently Cassidian demonstrated great agility and customer responsiveness in supporting the well publicised uplift of military personnel drafted in to serve the Olympics, Cassidian rapidly delivered a secure network communications environment to allow those personnel to continue to work seamlessly.
Cassidian. has been delivering standards-based service solutions from fixed-price catalogues for over twenty years, and have seen the bilateral benefits. Our customers have benefitted from rapid procurement and delivery of fully interoperable and secure solutions at published, benchmarked prices. At the same time the streamlined catalogue procurement process has allowed Cassidian to keep design and sales overhead costs to a minimum. PSN gives Cassidian the opportunity to deliver these services through a more widely available catalogue, and means that we can extend and share these benefits with a far wider range of Government customers.

PSN will provide the assurance and reliability of a single supplier in a multi-vendor environment for E2E services.  The core of the PSN is a set of open Technical, Service and Governance standards. These allow the procurement of services from multiple vendors, with assurance that they will interoperate correctly to deliver a coherent end-to-end solution.  Information can now be easily shared across different Government organisations, regardless of which supplier a procuring organisation selects. For the supplier, the benefit is that the solution can be designed once to meet the common standards, then sold to many organisations.

The PSN programme will develop a market place providing opportunities for industry, and savings for the Public Sector. The PSN marketplace enables the procurement of services from approved suppliers advertising their services in a single portal. This has benefits for both the supplier and the purchaser – suppliers only need to maintain one set of service descriptions in one location; purchasers can quickly search for the service they want, and can easily compare services from multiple vendors.  Suppliers compete once to be on the catalogue, but thereafter the streamlined PSN procurement process is used. Through this PSN strategy the UK government expects to benefit from reduced costs for the delivered services, reduced contracting and commercial management costs, lower change management costs, and rapid introduction of services.

Cassidian quickly realised the route to market was changing.  All central Government departments will now be buying telecommunications services through two PSN frameworks: Connectivity (WAN + LAN) and Services.  Cassidian’s core UK business has been in the provision of secure infrastructures, and disagrees with the widely held belief that catalogue-based procurement does not work well for secure solutions.

Cassidian believes that given a well constructed architecture, like the one created for the PSN, it is perfectly feasible to commoditise the delivery of secure infrastructures. There may be a degree of customisation and integration typically representing at most 20% of the solution, with the 80% majority of the solution constructed from common catalogue services.
To fully realise the benefits that PSN offers, Cassidian has invested significantly in the portfolio of services.  Cassidian’s priority is focused on affordable easy to buy solutions with flexibility in transition, offering services that provide a platform for business innovation. Secure Remote Access, for example, will enable PSN users to work away from the office.  

Cassidian has invested in its portfolio of services and now aims to be at the forefront of providing Government with world-class services, delivered in a secure, agile and affordable manner. Through the PSN strategy the UK government will benefit from reduced costs for the delivered services, reduced commercial costs and rapid introduction of services.
Cassidian has over twenty years’ experience of delivering catalogue services to the Government and has grasped the PSN opportunity with both hands, invested in new services, and will deliver significant value for customers.  The situation with PSN is that rarest of animals - a strong win-win for Government and Industry.
Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing Lead Systems Integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe: In 2011, Cassidian – with around 28,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.8 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services.