Councils consolidate comms with Vodafone

Vodafone has won the contract to supply Test Valley Borough Council with a new ICT system which includes providing IT contact centre support. Under the multi-year deal, Vodafone will install a total Unified Communications (UC) solution with ShoreTel IP telephones, audio and video conferencing for both Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council. This is Vodafone’s first UC customer in Lot 1: Connectivity, on the new Public Services Network framework (PSN).

Having entered into a shared services agreement with Winchester City Council, the challenge for Test Valley Borough Council was to simplify and streamline two disparate and very complex ICT structures. The two legacy systems were incompatible and outdated, and all too often management would have to deal with the same ICT problem twice. The first step was to unify the contact centre IT support services and then engage Vodafone to design a bespoke solution that would fulfil the needs of both Councils, with their multiple departments and numerous employees.

Tony Fawcett, Head of ICT at Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council commented, “Both Councils are large organisations with numerous associated agencies. When bringing our two councils’ diverse ICT systems together, it was essential that the new solution fit our unique brief exactly. Vodafone had the ideal solution. Having listened carefully to our long list of requirements, the Vodafone and ShoreTel teams helped us carefully define exactly what we needed.”

“Among other things, the system will offer increased capacity which gives us confidence that it is future-proofed and will last for years to come, therefore reducing our total cost of ownership. In short, working with Vodafone has helped us find better ways of working and will ultimately improve the delivery of our services,” he added.

Vodafone has worked with the two Councils to lower overall communications costs while improving productivity and increasing satisfaction levels amongst employees. By using audio and video conferencing employees will be able to communicate and collaborate more easily without travelling to and from meetings in either of the two headquarters – reducing their CO2 emissions and saving time which can be used more productively. In addition, implementing new ways of working using the latest technology will make it easier for the Councils to attract Generation Y and Z employees.

From a disaster recovery perspective, Vodafone and ShoreTel designed the solution to ensure there will be a back-up in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong on the server. The highly specialised ICT architecture means resilience is spread across the network so there is no single server on which the system relies entirely. This all adds up to a highly robust solution which will ensure the Councils will never miss an important call.

Ian Cunningham, Head of Public Sector at Vodafone UK, said, “Having taken the very innovative, yet very practical, step of sharing ICT services these two Councils are leading the way the for other Public Sector organisations. And we’re delighted that such a forward-looking organisation is our first UC customer under the new Public Services Network (PSN) framework.”

“Initiatives like the PSN will help the Public Sector adopt better ways of working that help them deliver better services for the citizen. The end result is a cost effective solution that has been designed around specific requirements, with consideration of the individuals who will use them and the people who rely on them,” he added.

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