Press coverage highlights from story:
- Government Computing, Wigan’s PSN and online education drive targets cost savings
- ComputerWeekly, Bolton and Wigan get PSN in £47m outsourcing deal
- UKauthorITy.com, Agilisys and Updata network supports shared services in Wigan and Bolton
- TotalTele, Wigan selects Updata to support shared services in Wigan and Bolton
Innovative and fast growing IT and business services provider Agilisys is working with public sector network specialist, Updata, to deliver a ‘PSN ready’ wide area network to connect Bolton and Wigan Councils, Wigan and Leigh Housing and WLCT (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust). The single network infrastructure will facilitate shared services between the Partners, as well as significantly reducing management complexity and costs.
The network is being delivered as part of a seven year £47 million ICT services contract awarded to Agilisys in January 2013. The contract includes WAN, LAN, telephony, service desk, application support, desktop and midrange services as well as Bolton’s CRM tool, Lagan.
From the outset, the network will be the backbone for shared email, firewall, content filtering and Microsoft SharePoint. A single integrated VOIP system will also be deployed, replacing multiple fixed telco lines and multiple VoIP systems across the councils, with all sites moving to SIP early on in the deployment. The single VOIP service will deliver cost savings to the Councils by allowing free calls between Partner locations as well as consolidating multiple hardware platforms to a shared, virtualised system. The network will connect an initial two hundred and sixty Partner sites, with the service also being made available to Wigan schools.
A significant part of the overall solution is replacing the current multiple network providers supplying WAN services, voice circuits, DSL circuits and other legacy circuits to the partners, with a single, partner wide network. The single network will provide a more resilient, flexible infrastructure and ensure robust business continuity across the partner’s estate as well as supporting the partner’s need for mobility and estate rationalisation. All end users will further benefit from a consolidated, single service desk.
Further cost savings and efficiencies will be realised by the partners through sharing more services in the future including data centre hosting, shared hardware platforms, unified support teams and shared Internet services including ISP and content filtering.
For the Housing ALMO or W & LH , the network will significantly reduce costs over the incumbent network provider and provide far greater bandwidth and resilience to almost forty sites around the region.
WLCT are planning to migrate in the next six months to the Updata network. As well as reducing costs, the leisure and cultural provider’s ability to provide quality services across the UK will be greatly improved through the lower cost and flexibility of the Updata managed network.
To facilitate the requirements of the Local Authorities’ property rationalisation programmes, they both needed a network that was not dependant on single sites for connectivity. With the new network, office closures and staff relocations can be handled easily, as all staff will be able to log on to systems from any location.
Steve Morgan, Partnership Director at Agilisys comments; “The network being provided to Wigan and Bolton is entirely flexible and scalable. Future plans include moving to a Virtual Desktop Environment (VDI) and this new network will provide robust connectivity to our data centre further helping to reduce costs whilst providing greater working flexibility for our customers – Wigan and Bolton.
Updata has an honest and transparent approach – it responds quickly and it provides a bespoke network design suitable to the needs of our customers.”
Victor Baldorino, sales director at Updata comments: “Agilisys has a long standing pedigree of delivering innovative ICT services that drive down costs and help authorities realise their transformational aims. Updata hope this will be the first of many partnership programmes with Agilisys that will combine our respective strengths to deliver innovation and best value to the Public Sector.”
Alison Hughes, Head of Strategic ICT Partnerships said: “Quite simply, a shared network facilitates better shared services. This partnership between Wigan and Bolton Councils, Wigan & Leigh Housing, and WLCT and Agilisys will drive costs out of our ICT equation whilst ensuring all parties have the systems in place to deliver the services that our citizens demand of us.
Being built to accredited PSN standards means we can open up our network to additional public sector stakeholders with new sites being easily commissioned and decommissioned offering our staff far greater flexible working whilst enabling us to reduce our asset costs.
One of the key benefits for Wigan Council is to offer schools a far more resilient, secure and cost effective infrastructure without having to pay for unnecessary bandwidth charges. For example today one of our schools might be paying for a 100Mb/s connection, but only using 10MB of the available bandwidth. We anticipate schools in Wigan coming on line during 2014.”
Through the partnership, Agilisys will be responsible for the LAN environment and Updata will be responsible for maintaining the core infrastructure and commissioning and decommissioning of new sites. The ability to quickly respond to changing requirements in the network environment is critical in supporting the organisations’ business plans.