Employing the latest technologies across an organisation is impossible without the right infrastructure in place. Our Next Generation Network puts Inverclyde Council in a leading position for the future.
Inverclyde Council had developed an ambitious modernisation programme – one that would bring their services bang up-to-date for their residents.
But there was one main obstacle in their way – an outdated technology platform and network. Having previously worked with the Council for over five years, we already had a good working relationship. But we were still delighted to win the tender process for this next project. Namely, developing the right network solution to help them achieve their modernisation plans.
What they needed was a resilient, scalable network that would grow with their plans. Not to mention enabling them to take education services to another level, by enabling schools to access media-rich learning facilities, while also providing the high-speed connectivity their staff and residents demand.
Getting involved from the ground up
After talking to the Council about their specific challenges, we recommend a high speed Ethernet Virtual Private Network – which would enable them to employ the latest Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies.
Our first step was to upgrade the Council’s existing copper connections to fibre. This involved our engineers running approximately 40km of fibre in and around the Inverclyde area. It can be a difficult and dirty job at the best of times, let alone with the extensive flooding that occurred due to awful weather. Fortunately, our proactive project management and built-in contingency plans helped the project stay right on track.
With a solid and reliable fibre infrastructure in place, the Council could then install the sophisticated technology they needed. This included operational improvements such as a complete infrastructure refresh, plus contact centre and VoIP functionality. In practice, the new network solution allows connections at any of the Council’s 84 sites to be scaled up from 10Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s in the blink of an eye – and without any need to call out an engineer. Now that’s progress.
Opening up education opportunities
One of the main aims of the modernisation project was to offer the region’s 12,000 education users improved technical facilities. This included all types of establishments, from nurseries right up to secondary schools.
This robust infrastructure will also help Inverclyde Council play a vital part in ‘Glow’ – a ground-breaking ICT project to digitally link all Scottish schools. In fact, once complete, ‘Glow’ will be the world’s first national intranet for education.
Thanks to a combination of our technology and the services Glow provide, Inverclyde can now offer access to a wide range of tools, such as Instant Messaging, uploading and sharing video footage, plus secure access to content on the network from anywhere. So pupils and staff are now free to work at home, in the library or the classroom.
Getting closer to residents
With their new Next Generation Network in place, the Council was able to take the brakes off their modernisation plans. This has helped to position Inverclyde as a leader among Scottish councils, for example it was one of the first to fully migrate to a Cisco VoIP telephony solution.
The Council also has the confidence that their network will continue to grow alongside changing requirements in the future. They’ve have already launched a new Customer Services Centre – In-Touch – through which they plan to offer improved range of citizen services.
And by using the network’s reach to its full potential, they can offer staff the ability to work remotely. So whether they’re at home, or out in the field, everyone can work more effectively. All of which helps staff develop closer relationships with citizens, taking Council services right into the heart of the community.
Inverclyde Council case study