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WIGAN MBC's HOUSING ALMO REPLACES MAINFRAME SOFTWARE TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

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Wigan MBC's housing company is set to replace its in house mainframe housing systems in order to improve efficiency...
Wigan MBC's housing company is set to replace its in house mainframe housing systems in order to improve efficiency for officers and access for tenants. Wigan & Leigh Housing provides services for the council's 26,000 housing stock and believes the new Sx3 iWorld solution will enhance the services already in place.

The existing systems, which lack integration and ready access to information, will be replaced with Sx3's FIRST Housing from the iWorld suite of application solutions in a contract worth over £800,000. This customer focused, web-enabled solution will improve efficiency, integration and management information for officers, and provide open access for tenants.

Peter Gee, chief executive at Wigan & Leigh Housing explained: 'We were looking for a flexible solution that would be able to reflect any changes in customer requirements and the housing management organisation rapidly and effectively.

'We were particularly interested in web-enabled solutions and systems that would improve customer-access such as the online rent account enquiries and direct debit applications solutions.'

Sx3's iWorld was chosen because of its functionality, web-enabled systems, customer access and the council's confidence in Sx3 staff.

David Mannion, account manager at Sx3 said: 'Sx3 has become the preferred choice of organisations looking to successfully meet their e-government targets.

'This is based on the technology we provide, our experience and track record, and reference-ability.'

In April 2002 the council formed the Wigan & Leigh Housing company, an Arms Length Management Organisation. An ALMO is a company owned entirely by a council to operate at 'arms length' from the council, and is run by a management board made up equally of tenants, council members and independent people.

The ALMO then gained a 2 star rating in its best value inspection which delivered extra government funding of £58.3m for 2002/2004 with the prospect of furt her funding of £79m in 2004/2006.

'Our ALMO has had a great start in its first year of operation, and the new software from Sx3 will help us to improve the services that we provide for our tenants and staff,' said Mr. Gee.

Sx3 will be running a comprehensive 'train-the-trainer' programme for the 350 staff that will use the system.

Mr. Mannion said: 'iWorld is a state of the art solution. The web-enabled software complemented by added-value products, for example choice based lettings and iWorkflow, will help Wigan to create a better housing service.'

BACKGROUND NOTES:

Sx3 is a member of the Viridian Group plc and was launched in September 1998. The company employs 1250 people throughout its four divisions - Sx3 Ireland, Sx3 Applications Solutions, Sx3 Infrastructure Services, and Sx3 Scotland. Sx3 offers a wide range of IT related business process outsourcing products and services, including network and systems integration, software development, and desktop managed services.

Viridian Group plc's Irish energy interests include: Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), regulated electricity transmission, distribution and supply in Northern Ireland; competitive Irish energy supply company Energia; the Huntstown power station near Dublin; the Moyle Interconnector, which links the Irish and Scottish electricity grids; and NIE Powerteam, a high voltage electrical contractor. Viridian Group's non-energy businesses include; Sx3, an IT and outsourcing business and Fleet Solutions Ireland, a vehicle supply and management company.

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