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Restructured contract strengthens ICL and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council outsourcing partnership ...
Restructured contract strengthens ICL and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council outsourcing partnership

ICL, the IT systems and services company has announced the revision of its£3.4m per year outsourcing contract with Bolton MBC. Worth£14m, the new agreement reflects ICL's leadership in creating outsourcing partnerships and will see the development of joint management teams, flexible resource allocation and a detailed information strategy for the council.

ICL's initial outsourcing contract with Bolton MBC began in July 1994 and focused primarily on IT facilities management. It was implemented at a time when the wider business advantages which outsourcing could bring to local government had not been fully established. The new relationship has developed innovative approaches to both IT and outsourcing and further develops the creative partnership established in the original contract.

Solutions developed range from the design and launch of Bolton MBC's website, to corporate electronic mail and information systems for members, plus an emerging data network which supports the entire council and provides information to the public.

The new agreement has been financially restructured to remain in line with both ICL and the council's developing relationship. It will give ICL a much more strategic role across the council's business structure and involve closer sharing of business plans. This will facilitate greater flexibility and speed of response to the IT and communications demands of the council in support of business drivers for the borough.

Council leader Bob Howarth said: 'Our customers - the citizens of Bolton, increasingly expect higher levels of service and better access to information. We intend to respond to this in as flexible and effective a way as possible, and this restructured contract with ICL will enable us to take the maximum advantage of new technology at the same time as ensuring our services deliver best value.

'The new agreement strengthens our partnership and integrates our businesses in a two-way relationship which gives ICL the opportunity to put forward and deliver innovative and cost-effective IT solutions in support of our services'.

Philip Wilson, managing director of the ICL's outsourcing business, said: 'Our successful relationship with Bolton Metro can largely be put down to the fact that as a partnership, we are always willing to think creatively. Many companies don't realise how much an outsourcing contract can open up new opportunities and ideas. At ICL we make sure that this is a primary focus of the partnership.

'At Bolton Metro, we have focused on the development of a cohesive and flexible relationship. We have set up a joint partnership board to oversee how we can contribute to council service priorities, identifying and implementing IT projects to support them. The contract enables the council to respond to demands quickly and re-allocate resources if necessary. This has allowed them to become far morecustomer-focused and ensures that resources are far more targeted throughout the business,' he concluded.

ICL will maintain its offices at the Wellsprings site in Bolton, employing a total of 60 staff. Remote management will be controlled from other ICL offices which include Stevenage and West Gorton.

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