back to article We just love small firms, screams UK.gov after palming AWS UK £4.1m

UK.gov has trumpeted the addition of almost 650 new small businesses to its G-Cloud marketplace – but SMEs might want to put the Champagne on ice as sales figures reveal that AWS UK is classed in that group. The cloudy supplier framework is part of the government's continued battle to spend less with corporate giants; this is …

  1. Teiwaz

    Typical politician position - all talk, but the money just gets thrust in the pockets of those who'll be in a position to do them a favour later.

    Who'd want a directorship or consultancy role with a small firm? They might have to actually do something, and being a useless third wheel would be easily noticed.

    1. robidy

      Obviously this class of small business is based on tax paid.

      So, one assumes they didn't want to embarrass Amazon by calling them a micro business.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $43m and 137 staff is an SME

    Hosting is a capital intensive business and those are squarely SME numbers.

    AWS definitely isn’t an SME, but frankly anything which breaks the stranglehold of a few giant consultancies on monolithic government contracts which are badly planned and badly executed is tremendous news.

    I don’t solely blame the big suppliers. Lazy (or corrupt) purchasing is to blame too, but a dollar that doesn’t go to IBM, EDS (whoever they belong to now) or Capita is a dollar that is very likely to be better spent.

    1. AJB

      Re: $43m and 137 staff is an SME

      Agreed. I was interested to look up the definition, "The European definition of SME follows: "The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro""

  3. Phil Endecott

    It may be different for government users, but AWS are in the process of moving UK users from being customers of “AWS Inc” to being customers of “AWS UK Ltd”. I’m not really sure why; it doesn’t materially change e.g. the VAT position.

    1. macjules

      Not me. According to AWS I am now a part of AWS Europe and not AWS UK. I believe that this has something to do with GDPR and AWS' obligations, or responsibilities, as a provider of hosting. By breaking the monolith into country branches they can presumably only be hit for a percentage of turnover for that branch.

      1. Phil Endecott

        > According to AWS I am now a part of AWS Europe and not AWS UK.

        “AWS Europe” is a group of national entities. Your bills will come from AWS UK.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Apply: fail - But get the work anyway

      MO of Crapita, Serco et al

  5. steelpillow Silver badge
    FAIL

    That's bureaucrats for you

    I wonder how much Amazon spent on lobbying to even get this far.

  6. SamX

    They never for SME definition correctly. In their opinion, a startup with a few people is an SME. A company with upto 250 emplyees is also an SME. Both would compete for the SME grant fund. A company with 250 employees recruit a bunch of full-time staff to write, polish and win the grants.

    1. Bernard

      SMEs = ‘Small and medium enterprises’

      A startup with a few employees is ‘small’.

      A company with 250 employees is ‘medium’.

      What’s the problem with their definition?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Govt lying, colour me shocked.

    Next they'll be telling us £350M a week for the NHS!

  8. Milton

    And the proportion wasted through government incompetence is ...

    No surprise that, where politicians' deceitful porky fingers meddle, lies and spin emerge. It seems to be the default early-21st-century setting for "democracies": even our Foreign Secretary is a bald-faced serial liar, so really, what else could one expect?

    But I'd be interested to see whether, cloudy or not, the proportion of money wasted on IT projects changes in any way. The government record for IT procurement is one of disgraceful incompetence. Will shifting some of the spend to SMEs make any difference? Because that would, actually, be ratther interesting.

  9. adam payne

    The age old government trick of attempting to and failing to change facts and figures to make it seem like they are doing a good job. Keeping trying one day you might pull it off but I doubt it.

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