revenues & benefits solutions utilising the latest web-based technology.
Castle Morpeth BC has received computer services from Northumberland CC's IT department for over 20 years and the current deal with the department runs until March 2003. During this interim period, Sx3 will carry out all the implementation work, ensuring that the project can go live on 1st April 2003.
Following a best practice review, it was vital to the council that it
obtained the best value for money for the provision of its computer
services, and also that there would be sufficient time for migration from
current systems before the expiry of its current contract in March 2003.
Julie Brown, IT manager at Castle Morpeth BC believes the
managed services option is the best solution available to smaller councils.
'We undertook a radical review of our IT service provision in autumn 2000
and looked at all the options open to the council. Sx3's managed services
solution was the most cost-effective solution open to us in delivering world
class solutions. Within 18 months, we will become one of England's leading
councils in terms of web based services'.
Castle Morpeth BC chief executive Peter Wilson said: 'We are delighted to
have signed this five-year contract with Sx3 for our managed IT services.
This option presents the council and its citizens tremendous value for
money. Whilst we have a contract with Sx3, this is far more like a
partnership, and I hope that it will be long and fruitful.
'This major project will deliver better and more accessible services to both
citizens and council staff alike.'
Ms Brown sees the new web based services as part of a larger offering. 'Since
we are a highly rural area, it is vital that we ensure we have multiple
delivery options to the people of the borough,' she added. 'Internet take
up in Castle Morpeth is around 35%, so it is vital that we integrate all our
activities to ensure consistent and constant messages. We are planning to
introduce a customer contact solution which will ensure a single point of
contact with the council, be it via web access, telephone or face-to-face'.