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cumbria-landscape-thumb_0 Strategic Partnership Delivering ICT and Local Opportunities

Cumbria County Council wanted to work closely with a partner who would help them continue to improve the services delivered, taking advantage of improvements and innovations in ICT to do so. Additionally, the relatively rural County has faced a series of economic challenges over the past decade, making regeneration activities another goal.

Challenge

As the second-largest county in England, Cumbria County Council faces the challenge of ensuring its services reach its highly dispersed citizen population, while at the same time meeting internal efficiency targets set by the Gershon Report. Delivery of service is only one part of the challenge; Cumbria County Council wanted to work closely with a partner who would help them continue to improve the services delivered, taking advantage of improvements and innovations in ICT to do so. Finally, the relatively rural county has faced a series of economic challenges over the past decade, making regeneration activities another goal.

Solution

As part of Cumbria’s innovative Invest to Save and Improve Programme, the Council selected Agilisys for a seven-year ICT Strategic Partnership, aimed at improving services offered to the Council’s residents in the most efficient manner.

Under the agreement, approximately 85 Council ICT staff transferred to Agilisys, helping to deliver a full range of ICT and business consultancy services covering areas such as customer access, e-procurement, ICT and HR strategy, electronic records management, and more, as well providing ongoing ICT support.

Benefits

The combination of Agilisys’ expertise and experience in the public sector together with the deep domain knowledge of the council staff proved to be a winning combination. Fast track service improvement is in place through targeted technology improvement plans using ITIL best practice methodology, and the council and Agilisys continue to collaborate to deliver ongoing improvements, tailored services, and a shared infrastructure across projects.

From its earliest days, the partnership delivered significant achievements, most notably the launch of Consumer Direct Northwest, further establishing our customer service capabilities;  and the implementation of the Integrated Children’s System (ISC), as part of a broader Electronic Social Care Records programme.

Under the Partnership we have also:

  • established a state-of-the art data centre, improving business continuity and disaster recovery
  • increased the Council’s network bandwidth by 500%, and initiated a PC refresh programme as part of the ICT transformation
  • launched an integrated HR and Payroll solution
  • implemented finance and e-procurement systems to generate savings of more than £1m per year

The success of the partnership so far has led to the direct creation of 300+ additional jobs in Cumbria, including positions in Barrow-in-Furness at the modern contact centre established, which serves not only Citizens Advice, but also a number of other public and private clients, including the Council itself.

The partnership has produced both quantitative and qualitative results, including not only the jobs and savings mentioned above but also broader benefits to the community as a whole, evidenced by the Jobcentre Plus ‘Commitment to Diversity’ award won by the Agilisys Cumbria HR team.

Click here to download a PDF timeline of the partnership: Cumbria Timeline 2012 (1,341 kB)

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