Unified Communications: Why ET no longer phones home

Sometimes it takes decades for an established technology to become obsolete, at other times the realisation sinks in all at once. Take the telephone switchboard; relied on the world over for the best part of century but now, like the landline itself, being replaced by a smarter, more environmentally-friendly solution.  Unified or Universal Communications (‘UC’…

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How did West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue increase productivity by 35% after five minutes of training?

Check your pocket. You’ve got a smartphone, right? It handles e-mail and texts and photos and instant messages — and it just happens to also send and receive phone calls. Now look at your desk. You’ve got a phone there, right? Does it handle instant messages? Does it handle video chats? Does share documents? No….

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The call that’s going to save the Scottish Borders Council £1 million

Cutting a £1 million from an organisation’s budget over the course of three years is no mean feat. Those kinds of savings usually come with a hefty cost – fewer staff, shuttered programs, lost resources, etc. But sometimes it can come from replacing an old, inefficient system – like a traditional telephone system – with…

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services launches PSN360

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services (FCOS) has just announced a set of secure services delivered over the Government Secure Internet (GSI) or Public Services Network (PSN), based on Microsoft’s technology – Microsoft Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Lync – available through the G-Cloud Framework and Cloudstore. Here is the press release for more details……

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Social Tools in the Workplace

Microsoft research released on 27th May reports that almost half of employees believe that social tools used in the workplace aid their productivity but interestingly, more than 30 percent of companies underestimate the value of these tools and therefore place restrictions upon their use by employees. For the public sector, this also affects how government…

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City Council makes significant savings replacing existing system with unified communications

Faced with the challenge of funding cuts, rising customer expectations, and having to move premises, Leicester City Council embarked on a business transformation strategy. It needed to take control of its data, enhance customer experience, and modernise its infrastructure to support flexible, collaborative working. As part of this modernisation programme, the council looked to replace…

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A Titanic Lync Up

Guest blog post from Steve James from Kent County Council. Originally posted on the UK Schools Blog. The 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster was a great opportunity to create some learning experiences. The H2L team in Kent had the ideas and the material and had previously used Flashmeeting to deliver their content. They had already…

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North Wales Police deploy Lync to save lives

Through the use of Unified Communications and Microsoft Lync, North Wales Police has been able to dramatically improve their ability to respond to critical incidents and support their local communities. It’s also led to a minor revolution in their ways of communicating with other the emergency services. Here is their experience in their own words…

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The Shared Learning Group is now in the Clouds

The SLG (Shared Learning Group) consists of 3 London Boroughs, 3 city councils, 2 county councils, 2 Metropolitan Councils and an independent state government all working in collaboration with Microsoft to share best practice and knowledge. Members seek to improve citizen experiences of councils through jointly delivering business-driven innovative solutions with ICT as the key…

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Channel Shift in Public Services: Have we reached the tipping point?

According to the latest data available from SOCITM, two-thirds of customer contacts with local authorities are now online. This means that 400 million+ of customer contacts received by English local authorities each year are now coming in through online and digital channels. Reducing the cost per customer contact is a major benefit of transitioning to…

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