Working on the move

Graham ChickWouldn’t it be great if we could afford to introduce all sorts of new technology that could sort out all of our service delivery problems…but we simply don’t have the budget available to even think about how to start!”
    
This is a familiar cry within the Public Sector, but believe it or not, every Government Department, local Council or NHS Trust could make significant in-roads into improving their own technology base in an extremely cost effective and low cost way. Firstly by identifying the many, specific problems that generate most heartache - most ‘pain’ - and then addressing those problems in a systematic way - by working with carefully selected specialist suppliers that have both the experience and the expertise in delivering software solutions. These solutions can be implemented initially as a small pilot project, that can be refined and then rolled out as and when resources and budgets permit – or individual projects become self funding in that the cost of adopting the technological solution quickly produces savings at least as much as the cost of deploying the technology.
    
By way of example, established in April 2000, NHS PASA (Procurement and Supply Agency), an executive Agency of the Department of Health claim to have already saved over £1billion to the NHS as a whole – money that can be spent on direct patient care. Two of PASA’s key tasks are to “promote creativity from suppliers and encourage small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to do business with the NHS”, and to “Encourage the introduction of beneficial, innovative products and technologies into the NHS”.
    
So let’s take a look at some of the issues that could be addressed by using low cost innovative telecoms technology.

Adoption of more flexible ways of working
It has been possible for a number of years now to distribute data, securely, to any number of remote locations, but it has only recently been possible to also intelligently route incoming calls seamlessly, on an individual number by number basis, to any person working anywhere – effectively creating the ultimate of a truly virtual working environment. Adoption of advanced telephone routing technology provides a number of opportunities to significantly reduce operating costs ranging from allowing employees to work from any number of disparate council offices – with the incoming caller oblivious to the employee’s working location. This will enable some offices with high operating costs to be closed and possibly sold off, and call centre staff being able to work either from home or, at the very least, closer to home thereby reducing their travel time to and from work each day.

Environmental issues
With all political parties now advocating the adoption of much more environmentally friendly working practices, doesn’t it make sense to investigate how many of your office bound administrative staff could work just as efficiently from locations much closer to home.  This will significantly reduce CO2 emissions from driving to work each day and will reduce the need to build ever more roads to handle the ever increasing numbers of commuters.

And how did YOU cope with the recent floods?
Adopting low cost technology that enables administrative and call centre staff to work from any alternative location or locations in times of adversity – the recent extensive flooding throughout the UK being a case in point – would enable key members of staff delivering mission critical telephone services such as help lines and support lines to continue to deliver such services from wherever it was most appropriate to work from given the particular circumstances.

Civil Contingencies Act
The Act is now in full force and requires all Category One Stakeholders to adopt comprehensive business continuity plans to ensure that all councils, NHS Trusts and Local Government Departments can continue to deliver services in times of adversity. Adoption of a more flexible working solution as described above would go a long way to ensuring compliance under the act – without the need to spend any extra money.
    
There is no doubt that as technology becomes ever more complex, there is no way that end-user IT Managers or IT Directors, who have a number of other responsibilities, let alone Finance Directors who have to sign off the budgets to acquire such technology, can ever hope to know as much about a certain application as the specialist vendors, who have developed low cost, easy to use specific applications to address these issues.
    
So why not take that first step today and contact GemaTech, a specialist telecoms technology company that works closely with its clients, such as Kings College Hospital London and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to provide the best technological solution to meet their needs.
    
Remember….adopting the right telecoms technology can be a lot cheaper than you think! For more information
You can contact GemaTech by calling 0800 32883541 or emailing govtech@gematech.com or by visiting our web site at www.gematech.com   

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