Using Technology to Improve Services for Residents in Kent

I think predominantly the
overarching approach is one of partnership and honesty. So we have been an absolutely open
book with Kent from the get go. We’ve been very honest
about any difficulties we have been honest
about our budgets our costs and our pricing. I think that has instilled
a good level of partnership between ourselves and Kent. And set the right kind of framework for working together right from the get go. It’s all about
partnership and innovation. So it’s all about what
does the future look like and how can we help them
deliver services to the future. And we all recognise
that what the network looks like today and the services
that we deliver today will not be the same again in the contracts
and without absolutely looking to us to create that
roadmap so that they understand what the future looks like. I operate out of KCC. We’re a partnership so although I sit within KCC we’re actually funded entirely by
our partners and that in itself is a challenge. We have 30 different public
and private sector partners. We have a managed service from
Capita, which covers mail relay, firewall
management, telephony, and without KPSN and without
Capita providing services every one of
our partners would have to provide all those
services for themselves at a higher cost. The core upgrade that we’ve
been planning recently, we’ve worked closely with
Cisco, one of the manufacturers that Capita have a
good relationship with and they’ve introduced us to
a new range of hardware that is particularly well
suited to having a regional network and that’s saved us a
considerable amount of money, in the
hundreds of thousands, to give us what is effectively
a new cutting edge technology. So that’s
worked really well for us. I work as the KPSN
senior finance officer. So that involves all aspects of
running KPSN on a daily basis. So processing their invoices,
raising purchase orders, all the way up to the
more strategic elements such as building
KPSN’s budget each year, developing their
medium term financial plan. I feel the added value that
we get not just from the fact that it’s a good value
contract economically would be I think Capita’s
commitment to engaging with us as much as
they can. In terms of who benefits most
from the service that we get from Capita, I would say probably
the end users, so the residents of Kent. They are allowing all the borough district councils in Kent
– Kent County Council, Kent fire, health – to deliver a more
cost efficient service and therefore make
more of the money that they get from
central government to deliver better services
to the residents of Kent. In operational terms
the benefit has been that we’ve got a common
platform that all departments sign up to. They know what is
required of the contract, and they can actually manage
that and go forward. Capita provided added value because they
have a diverse supplier base they can bring to
the table. They’ve run workshops with
the partnerships on different technologies that
we want them to bring to the table. They’re always
really helpful to us. The staff that we actually
work with on a day to day basis are always really good
guys to work with. So I would describe them as
just another bunch of colleagues that I work with. I think one of the sort of
additional benefits from Capita is the fact they
seem to know someone for everything. Extending the contract with Capita was an easy decision. As a rule of thumb,
they have delivered on time and on budget on
the majority of the projects. Three words to sum
up Capita I guess would be challenging
on occasions, fulfilling on occasions, and it’s
a partnership. My overall experience
has been a positive one I’d say, very, very
positive. Approachable, on the whole
reliable and their wish to deliver –
reliable delivery and approachable. Yes they’re trusted.

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