New telephone system rings in the changes

Press Release: 16/04/2013

Man on telephone

A new shared service initiative between Winchester City Council and Test Valley Borough Council is about to be implemented, with the installation of new telephone systems at the two authorities.

With shared procurement and centralised management and administration, the contract will see joint annual savings of £25,000 - £14,000 of which is expected to be generated for Winchester City Council.

At a cost to each Council of just over £100,000, the new system will replace outdated technology which is no longer fit for purpose. In addition it will provide service improvement, increase capacity and make use of voice-over-internet-protocols (VOIP) for transmission rather than traditional analogue telephone networks.

Vodafone, in conjunction with ShoreTel, was awarded the contract to install a fully integrated telephone system that includes video and audio conferencing capability. The system will lower overall communication costs, reduce travel to meetings, provide greater flexibility of working patterns and deliver a more resilient and robust telephone network.

Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration, Cllr Stephen Godfrey, said

A modern, flexible telephone system is essential for the Council as it adapts to new ways of working. The new system will provide far more functionality to help achieve this. Our councils already work together in a shared IT Service programme, so when it was identified that existing telephone systems were coming to the end of their useful life, it made financial and operational sense to work together to realise significant discounts.

A joint procurement process offered savings not only in the initial purchase but in the longer-term through a joint support contract and internet-based call transmission. It will also ensure that there will be increased capacity available to cope with future requirements.

Ian Cunningham, Head of Public Sector at Vodafone UK, said

Having taken the innovative, yet very practical, step of sharing ICT services these two councils are leading the way for other public sector organisations. 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.

The system will be installed and fully operational in both Winchester and Test Valley by the summer.