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The World is Going Mobile and Northamptonshire County Council is Ready

​Background

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) serves a community of approximately 692,000. The largest population areas being Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Daventry.

The Challenge

With a requirement to rationalise the development of websites throughout the council, this coincided with the appearance of content managed solutions. NCC decided to turn to Microsoft for their solutions on the basis of stability, longevity and access to a large development skill pool. Following initial implementation, NCC elected to partner with Fuse Collaboration. Supporting their primary environment, Fuse Collaboration are responsible for porting and redeveloping NCC’s websites over to SharePoint and ensuring all sites are smartphone ready.

Process

All solutions are centred on Microsoft SharePoint. Providing a stable and responsive architecture for a series of central and ‘arm’s length’ sites for the council. These include the primary council site and ‘Your Day in Northamptonshire’ site. Further sites include Adult Learning Online, Training and Development (built in conjunction with NCC IT), plus Olympus Care Service, part of NCC’s social care team.

The Adult Learning Online site incorporates course bookings and payments and is integrated with the Microsoft CRM Dynamics environment used by the Customer Service Centre. Freeing up resource significantly to better support the adult and child social care team.

Results

The combination of SharePoint and Fuse Collaboration enables the council to deliver web and smartphone friendly websites. Successfully rendering the layout specifically for the aspect ratio of a smartphone, but keeping access to all of the functions and facilities of the site.

The traffic ratio between PC/Smartphone access is approximately 80/20 (120,000 PC/20,000 smartphone visits per month). Over the next few years that figure is likely to switch with NCC now positioned to handle that changeover.

Furthermore, using SharePoint has enabled areas of the council to break away and still obtain their website services via the council.

For example, the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Service has split away and become a charitable trust. As such, the site has to be branded differently. Following development by Fuse Collaboration this site now sits within the SharePoint environment even though the branding is different.

Fuse Collaboration have also been providing a flexible SharePoint Managed Service to NCC for many years providing 2nd, 3rd and 4th line support, augmenting the internal IT teams, for the internal staff intranet, external partner extranet with LGSS, plus securely hosting the external public-facing websites.

Testimonial

“This is something that could not have been achieved before. Fuse Collaboration have been great to work with. Their level of responsiveness and trust is high. They use an iterative approach to development and their support generates a high degree of confidence. Their Managed Service is seamless, for us it’s just one call”
Richard Beards, Web Team Leader, Northamptonshire County Council.
 
“It has been a real pleasure to support Northamptonshire County Council in delivering excellent public services over many years. The relationship has been a real partnership working closely with the various IT and business teams to augment their skills and resources with our SharePoint Consultancy, Software Development and Managed Services teams. We have worked with them to design, build, deploy, support and customise the internal staff intranet, external partner extranet (for LGSS) as well as public facing websites and microsites for both the council and LGSS – all built on SharePoint.”
Chris Gillott, Business Development Director, Fuse Collaboration Services Limited.
 

About the author

Fuse

Fuse is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, based in Northampton. We help organisations of all sizes to maximise IT efficiencies through the use of Microsoft cloud computing solutions.

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