O2's public sector catalogue: My journey from buyer to supplier

by Geoff Prowling: Head of Public Sector Business Operations, Telefónica (O2) UK

(Originally posted by Public Sector Executive)

Before I joined O2, I spent 7 years as the Head of ICT Procurement for Leeds City Council. Many of the challenges I faced still affect public sector procurement today. Restrictive regulation, lengthy processes and confusing supplier pitches all played a part. Although frameworks helped to reduce procurement complexity and shorten timescales, there was still an overwhelming amount of supplier choice to navigate through.

Now, I’ve gone from buyer to supplier as the Head of Public Sector Business Operations for O2. My ambition is to make things easier for our customers, because I believe suppliers have a responsibility to help their customers make sensible and informed purchasing decisions.

So, that’s where O2’s public sector catalogue comes in.

Our catalogue is written without jargon or TLAs (three letter abbreviations) and helps customers consider what they could achieve thanks to the inclusion of customer case studies. We’ve also made navigation simple, intuitive and applied filters that allow our customers to search by procurement frameworks.  There’s even a feature that lets users build their own shopping lists so they can download and share what they’ve found with colleagues.

The work doesn’t end here and we’re going to continue to enhance and improve our catalogue. We want to provide an interactive tool that gives users the ability to compare our services, including costs, against their incumbents. We have already considered different working styles of public sector end users, and will continue to develop this so our customers can select a service required based on the job role being performed.

Ultimately, we developed the catalogue to make O2 as easy to do business with as possible. Our customers can get on with delivering services to their citizens and we can get on with helping to turn their ambitions into reality.

To find out more about O2’s public sector catalogue, read the Public Sector Executive interview with our public sector Managing Director, Billy D’Arcy.