St Helens Council has committed to a five year strategic partnership with systems integrator, Intrinsic Technology, which will ensure the Council harnesses the latest IP technologies to serve its 170,000 citizens more effectively.
Central government legislation is continuing to push UK local authorities to transform their operations for the better. Through the use of technology, St Helens will be able to work more efficiently, put a greater array of public services online and offer citizens multiple contact routes into the Council.
The initial project to design and install a new IP telephony platform for six of the Council’s buildings has begun. This will see the 1500 Council users migrated over to the high availability IP telephony system using a phased managed approach over a 12 month period. The new converged communications infrastructure will provide instant benefits such as the ability for employees to hot-desk; work from home and for mobile workers to work via Wifi. It is also future-proofed so that St Helens can easily integrate new technologies, such as collaborative working, remote working and video services.
Central to enhancing customer service is a planned 60 seat multi-media contact centre which will enable the council to handle customer queries more efficiently, provide integrated online services with agent assistance, offer multiple contact routes into the council and extend opening hours by introducing flexible working patterns.
Crucially, the Council’s new contact centre will empower staff to deliver better services to citizens: “Citizens will be able to get in touch with the Council in a number of ways, but the skills-based routing function means callers will be routed to the appropriate agent, irrespective of where they are located in the Council network. We will be able to work in ways that simply aren’t possible now,” explains Jonathan Greenough, St Helens Council.
The first phase of the Council’s unified communications deployment began in March and integrates voice with Microsoft OCS which will deliver Presence functionality, effectively providing council employees with a ‘traffic lighted’ bean that, identifies the user’s exact status in terms of communication.
Jonathan Greenough continues: “We are very excited about this project and the benefits we know it will bring to our citizens and staff. With Intrinsic’s proven ability to provide the public sector with the very best ICT solutions, we know that our ICT strategy will contribute to the efficient and effective delivery of public services to the St Helens population and make the Council’s working environment more flexible and productive.”
Adam Jarvis, sales director, Intrinsic Technology, comments: “Intrinsic will ensure that St Helens Council benefits from the latest IP and unified communications’ technologies, so its 8000 employees can enjoy increased flexibility and productivity, with improved efficiency across all council services resulting in enhanced service delivery to the Council’s 170,000 citizens.”