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Glasgow revamps e-government plan

Cisco wins £42m contract to update infrastructure
Written by Gemma Simpson, Contributor

Cisco wins £42m contract to update infrastructure

Glasgow City Council is revamping its IT infrastructure with a £42m contract to give the public a single point of contact for local services.

Alan Stewart, councillor and spokesman of ICT for the council, told silicon.com: "We have lots of different switchboards and networks but what we need is one state-of-the-art network for the whole of the local authority."

The e-government initiative is focusing on combining voice and data networks to give everyone the same level of service no matter how they contact the council.

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Stewart said citizens can get in touch with the council using a variety of means - whether on the phone or through emails - with a single point of contact handling every enquiry.

The rollout is still in the preliminary stages but a system to help councillors collect council tax is already in operation.

Stewart said the council is already beginning to notice benefits - with communications between staff and citizens sped up.

He told silicon.com: "To have the IT infrastructure in place - as well as the staff that can process it all quickly - means it's more efficient and you're not chasing up the same people for the same money."

The programme will also enable greater integration between the council's departments - such as social services and education - and external agencies such as the NHS.

The contract will connect the council's 300 offices via LAN and WAN infrastructures with Thus - using the Cisco Unified Communications System - providing the council with IP telephony services to connect council staff with the council's call centre which handles citizens' enquiries.

Cisco and Thus are also working on other connected-government initiatives such as the Glasgow Young Scot card - an electronic card giving young people in Glasgow access to leisure facilities, libraries, discounts at local shops, and a payment facility for school meals.

Stewart said Cisco and Thus provided the best value in terms of cost and service support.

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