Improving access to public information

In an age where more and more essential public information and support services are being delivered over the web, it may come as a surprise to hear that 39 per cent of UK adults don’t have access to e-mail or the internetThere is concern that inaccessibility to digital technology in some parts of society might become a new driver of inequality in the 21st century. With one in four UK citizens never having been online1, digital inclusion is impacting many key policy areas across central government, local government, education and health.
As public sector organisations are under increasing pressure to make information more accessible and reduce costs, many are looking to the mobile channel to help them improve public services. 86 per cent2 of the UK population now own a mobile, and many companies in the private sector are seeing a 30 per cent3 reduction in customer service costs through using mobile technology. Sending notifications, updates or reminders by text message (SMS) for example can be far more cost effective and environmentally friendly than e-mail or postal correspondence, and research suggests citizens find text messages more convenient than other forms of communication.

Mobile internet
The growth of the mobile internet is making it even easier for citizens to engage and interact with public sector organisations ­– capitalising on the fact that 76 per cent of UK mobile phones are internet enabled and 17 million people regularly access the web from their mobiles. A figure that is predicted to rise steeply over the next 12 months due to the introduction of more sophisticated handsets and the falling price of data.  
2ergo is a leading global provider of mobile enabling technology, specialising in mobile relationship management and mobile marketing with a key focus on the public sector. 2ergo products and solutions enable organisations to take advantage of integrated mobile communications and allow organisations in both the public and private sectors to mobilise their business processes, reduce costs and improve service, among other advantages.  

Working with the public sector
Within the UK the company is currently working with a number of public sector organisations, including Derbyshire County Council, Shetland Islands Council, Lancashire Constabulary, and Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service. The Emergency SMS Text Service, launched by Lancashire Fire & Rescue in conjunction with Lancashire Constabulary, is to help members of the public who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech impairments. The service is designed to enable these target groups to contact the fire service and police in Lancashire without needing help from anybody else, and is just one example of how mobile technology can help deliver better public services.

An approved supplier

The company has grown by 628 per cent in the last five years, and that growth looks set to continue. From January 2009 2ergo is an approved supplier of mobile messaging products to the public sector under an OGC framework agreement for Mobile Solutions.  
Commenting on the agreement Chris Brassington, 2ergo group managing director, said: “Being awarded approved supplier status is a huge feather in our cap. It’s testament to the standard of the broad range of products and services we provide, our experience as a supplier to a wide range of public and private sector organisations, the quality of our customer care and the ever-increasing standing of our organisation overall.”
Brassington is enthusiastic about the benefits mobile technology holds for the sector. He says: “Digital inclusion, reducing avoidable contact, improving access to information and green ICT are just some of the issues that mobile technology can address. There are numerous applications available on the mobile phone today, and that number is growing daily.              

“Mobiles can be used to send and receive text messages (SMS), multi-media messages, voice calls and e-mails, provide access to the internet, make secure payments or transfer funds, at a fraction of the cost associated with traditional forms of communication.
“The announcement follows other landmarks for us in recent months, including unveiling a new identity, rebranding our US arm and recruiting a new senior management team. More recently, we were recognised as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK by the Deloitte Fast 50 award programme and confirmed our continued success by announcing we would transfer our headquarters in February to the Digital World Centre in Media City, Salford Quays.”
Leading brands such as O2, FOX News, Yahoo! and AT&T rely on 2ergo technology to help them communicate with customers more effectively. The relationship with O2 includes managing the mobile customer relationship management for all of O2’s 18 million customers in the UK. The company is currently working with Derbyshire County Council, Shetland Islands Council, Lancashire Constabulary, and Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service.

1 Socitm, December 2008
2 Ofcom, August 2008
3 2ergo case studies

For more information
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