Management > CIO

Wigan's PSN and online education drive targets cost savings

David Bicknell Published 29 May 2013

Local online learning event complements Agilisys-Updata PSN deal


Wigan Council is conducting a week-long event to try and encourage its citizens to go online and ultimately help drive online use of its services.

The event, which runs until next Sunday in the local community, features digital information and community services and training and learning 'zones' designed to help citizens get online, gain information on council services including benefits and financial management, as well as provide information for adults with social care needs.

The digital week coincides with the recent announcement of an ICT services contract worth £47m over seven years for Agilisys and Updata . The two companies are 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) that will facilitate shared services between the partners and significantly reducing management complexity and costs.

The contract includes WAN, LAN, telephony, service desk, application support, desktop and midrange services as well as Bolton's CRM tool, Lagan.

The councils want the network to be the backbone for shared email, firewall, content filtering and Microsoft SharePoint. The configuration will also see the deployment of a single integrated VOIP system to replace multiple fixed telco lines and multiple VoIP systems across the councils which will help to deliver cost savings 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.

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 use of the network is also expected to help generate property rationalisation benefits. Bolton council will use the Updata network to enable it to reduce 5 main administration buildings to 2. It is expected to at least double the number of staff based in the town hall, using agile working and need a much more efficient network infrastructure to make this happen. For Wigan, the reduction in buildings is from 22 to four which will also release savings via agile working

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."

Hughes stressed the importance to the council of its digital ambitions. "The digital strategy and the impact on channel shift are very important for the council. This week's activities are a hook to get people online and to help them focus on what's in it for them in terms of being able to access council services."



We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.