Yorks and Humber steps up PSN campaign
Transition team wants to drive PSN interest from local public service bodies
A regional transition team is being set up in the Yorkshire and Humber area to help public service bodies transition to a new public services network (PSN) contract for connectivity.
The team, which will give advice on all matters relating to contracts, technical matters and projects/governance, is being jointly funded both by local public services keen to take advantage of the PSN now together with the Cabinet Office.
Virgin Media Business (VMB), Yorkshire and Humber PSN's selected supplier is also likely to be contributing some resources to the team. Meanwhile, a Cabinet Office team is said to be interested in examples of PSN 'best practice' as well as templates and relevant documentation.
The governance body set up to prioritise and approve local initiatives, the Yorkshire and Humber Partnership Management Board (PMB) is now considering taking forward other local initiatives where there are expected to be medium, long-term benefits with PMB members, typically CIOs, agreeing to prioritise what these might be. One early example under consideration are consolidated data centres.
Meanwhile, Leeds City Council has signed its contract for PSN connectivity services with VMB and is shortly due to embark on a project to transition its wide area network to a managed service from VMB. This is likely to involve over 600 sites and is expected to generate over £1m of savings in 5 years with cost savings expected to increase beyond this period.
Dylan Roberts, CIO for Leeds City Council and the main driving force behind the Yorkshire and Humber PSN said, "The approach through the partnership management board meant that everyone was an equal partner and this removed the perception of any particular organisation being seen as doing to another. This removed many of the obstacles and barriers people tend to put up to protect their boundaries and space.
"In terms of the PSN connectivity contract, for the sake of a £12K commitment from those partners interested - and not all of them were - there was one collective large scale procurement and so the economies of scale were significant. To undertake this individually would have been prohibitive. The project team was essentially three very good full-time staff and their efforts and deliverables were great. PMB members are now actively considering the next opportunities and it is hoped that this programme will be the catalyst for more joint working and shared commissions in the future."