Pictured: Peter O’Connor, Wexford County Council and Suzanne Brady, Business Development Manager, Datapac
Datapac improves citizen services for Wexford County Council
Wexford County Council is largely responsible for development of county Wexford’s infrastructure including roads and water services. It also provides a wide range of services directly to the public such as vehicle and driver licensing, housing loans and higher education grants. The mission of the council is to improve the quality of life of the people of Wexford by representing the interests of citizens and providing services to meet their needs.
About Wexford County Council
In 2011 the Council moved into new county headquarters in Carricklawn. More than 300 council employees had to be relocated to the new building and a smooth transition was the top of everyone’s list of priorities, including the IT team. The IT department in Wexford County Council wanted to ensure the employees would experience no downtime during the move and citizen services would not be affected.
As an innovative and forward thinking organisation, it also recognised that it would need a truly converged ICT environment to enable easy collaboration between its hundreds of employees in the new council hall and with its remote Enniscorthy, Gorey and New Ross council offices.
Datapac has been a close partner of Wexford County Council for many years and was tasked with delivering a solution that would not only ensure and improve productivity and communication for employees but also reduce costs across the entire council.
Datapac implemented a Cisco unified communications (UC) solution for Wexford council. The UC solution smoothly integrated landline and mobile calls, with email and video conferencing. When the 300 council employees moved into their new home they were up and running on the new systems immediately.
The Datapac solution seamlessly links all of the council sites so calls can be routed better between the offices which is improving interactions and is helping to resolve any queries from members of the public in a shorter time. For employees working outside the office, their mobile devices become secure extensions of the corporate network ensuring they can collaborate seamlessly from any location.
The new system is allowing the council to provide more flexible services as staff can make and receive calls from any location in the county as if they were sitting at their own desk, making them more accessible to citizens and colleagues. They are contactable through the one individual number, which will be routed to their desk phone if they are in the office or to their mobile if they are working remotely or out on a site. Depending on their availability their voicemail can also be delivered to their landline, email or mobile phone improving responsiveness and productivity.
The next-generation communications system also provides a unique and lasting opportunity for Wexford County Council to build a connected community that places the citizen at the centre, effectively delivering services when and how Wexford residents and businesses need them. It is enabling greater collaboration between council departments and improved services for the 145,237 citizens of Wexford County.
There are also plans to enhance frontline services further with the introduction of presence technologies, instant messaging and social media applications. This will all help Wexford County Council to deliver more integrated e-government services to staff and citizens.
Peter O’Connor, IS Project Leader, Wexford County Council said, “The aim of this project was to create a more streamlined and flexible service for both the community and council staff in Wexford. Datapac has provided us with a future-proofed and integrated solution that allows us to improve communications across the council, and also make staff and services more accessible to local people and businesses.”
The council has identified substantial cost savings since implementing the new UC solution. The cost of calls has been reduced considerably as they are now routed across the council’s IP network. The council’s IT department has a central view and management of the entire system, helping to further reduce costs. It is estimated that the entire system has saved the council significantly on its previous communications bills, with cost savings being re-directed back into core public services.
Suzanne Brady, Business Development Manager, Datapac, said, “Datapac works with many local authorities across the country, yet we have been particularly impressed by Wexford County Council’s proactive approach. By implementing unified communications technologies, it is improving collaboration and frontline services for Wexford citizens and businesses.
“At all stages of this project, Datapac has found the Council to be very enthusiastic, co-operative, and progressive. We have really enjoyed working with the Council on this initiative and also seeing the positive impact it is having for the local community and council staff.”
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“The value of dealing with an HP Gold partner in this process can’t be underestimated. Datapac provide us with a local touch and can cover the full range of our IT requirements, but when there is a specific technical requirement like this, they can bring the specialist technical resources of HP to the table. HP and Datapac had a thorough discussion with us around our requirement - and had really done their homework - and then were able to provide us with a very highly specified test platform for us to prove the application on before we committed to purchase.”
Datapac understands our needs and requirements and has the expertise and experience to follow through on all our requests. Our constant need to reduce costs has been assisted by Datapac's ability to suggest alternative solutions and methods whilst improving both efficiency and productivity. Our partnership with Datapac is akin to having an IT department on site that we simply could not provide ourselves.