£237m BT VoIP extension to ring up savings for Whitehall

Videoconferencing on the up for DWP agencies
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Videoconferencing on the up for DWP agencies

The Department for Work and Pensions has extended a £237m deal with BT to expand and support its VoIP network.

BT Global Services will provide maintenance and new connections to the single network that carries the DWP's voice and data traffic, under the terms of the three-year contract extension.

DWP COO Dean James recently revealed how creating the converged VoIP network has helped the government department save £1.5bn.

The network links up 22,000 customer service agents across DWP's contact centres and is able to automatically route calls to the least busy centre. In 2010 BT will expand the network to link up almost 30,000 customer service agents.

The network regularly handles more than two million calls in a single day, to agencies such as Jobcentre Plus and the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).

The deal will also see BT provide phone and videoconferencing services to a range of DWP agencies - including Jobcentre Plus; the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service; Northern Ireland Social Security Agency and the CMEC.

Sir Leigh Lewis, permanent secretary for the DWP, said the deal would allow the department to further reduce its costs and to better serve people relying on its services.

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