With an ageing existing network in place, the HIOW Partnership was hugely limited in the applications and services it could offer its huge workforce. It also needed to better connect numerous offices and departments across the region. So with the clock ticking on their existing 10-year telecoms contract, it was time for change all round. That’s when they called us.
Our transformation project began by working with the HIOW Partnership on a strategy to novate their existing telecoms contract. Their telecoms providers just couldn’t offer a cost-effective replacement or upgrade plan, and keeping their legacy networks simply wasn’t an option. Improvements were needed on a huge scale, to link all staff at up to 1,000 sites – all on a single, converged network.
The £90 million project was one of the largest examples of collaborative procurement in the UK to date. With such a large number of key stakeholders, this also meant our professional Transition Management services were an essential part of the process. This also helped to ensure the new infrastructure would meet everyone’s needs, time and budget requirements – and government targets.
Bringing everyone together
We’ve been upgrading the existing Hampshire Public Services Network (HPSN) to a single high-capacity infrastructure, running on our highspeed, fibre optic network. The new HPSN2 will incorporate existing WANs and Small Office Home Office (SOHO) networks to name but a few, all delivered down one pipe.
Our IPVPN is the first step in uniting the partnership’s numerous council, unitary authorities and fire service infrastructure. It can connect multiple VPNs to one site down a single pipe. So all authorities (such as council and emergency services) could start working together side-by-side.
This will give thousands of staff realtime access to critical applications and information from anywhere, at any time. It will open up the potential for flexible working – from home, a remote office or any authorised location – significantly reducing travel time. Wireless hotspots will be created around the county to help support mobile workers such as social care teams. And it will enable each partner organisation to choose the bandwidth and service options they need to achieve their specific tasks, so everyone gets the right tools for the job.
Making everyone easier to reach
Joint services teams will be able to collaborate seamlessly, regardless of where they are based. So, for example, someone in social services working in schools liaison will be able to log straight into the shared system from any school, or any office.
A voice, video and text messaging service looks set to enable staff across all departments to contact each other in a way that suits them best. Each person will have a single phone number, which can be routed to their office, mobile, home office or alternative desk phone, depending on where they are at the time. So everyone will be easier to get hold of and residents can get answers to their questions faster.
An education in itself
Staff and students at up to 800 primary and secondary schools will benefit from HPSN2 too. The increased bandwidth will support innovative video-rich teaching resources, e-learning tools and virtual learning environments. It means that schools can deliver a better educational experience for students and staff alike.
It’s good to share
Shared services have been rising up the public sector agenda since the 2004 Gershon Report, which highlighted the cost savings to be made by sharing back-office functions such as IT.
The HIOW Partnership will be able to make more efficient and cost-effective use of their IT. They will also have some of the most digitally progressive public services in the UK. Not to mention dramatically improved frontline public services across the whole region.