Vodafone Rings Up Council Shared Service PSN Contract

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Test Valley gets new unified comms and contact centre to pair with Winchester

Vodafone has signed a deal with Test Valley Borough Council to supply the authority with a new ICT system.

The multi-year contract will see the mobile operator install a unified communications (UC) system with ShoreTel IP telephones, audio and video conferencing for both Test Valley Borough and Winchester City Council. The agreement marks the firm’s first customer under the Lot 1: Connectivity, on the government’s new Public Services Network (PSN) framework.

Share alike

Test Valley is in a shared services agreement with Winchester City Council. This has the aim of simplifying and streamlining two disparate and very complex ICT structures.

The two previous systems were outdated and not compatible with each other. The contact centre IT support services will merge and then Vodafone will design a bespoke solution that will fulfil the needs of both councils.

“Both Councils are large organisations with numerous associated agencies,” said Tony Fawcett, head of ICT at Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council. “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,” he added.

Sound and vision

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.

Vodafone and ShoreTel designed the system to ensure there will be a back up in the event that anything goes wrong on the server. The ICT architecture means resilience is spread across the network so there is no single server on which the system relies entirely.

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.”

“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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