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The World is Going Mobile and Northamptonshire County Council is Ready

 

Fiona Lennard

15/01/2013

​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.
 

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Fuse Collaboration Services is a Cloud Solution Provider and Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in delivering SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Azure cloud-based solutions. Based in Northampton, UK.

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‘We’d love you to stick around’. But stick around where?3728<p class="lead">Here at Fuse Collaboration Services both our personal and professional email inboxes are receiving a steady flow of emails from companies asking us to stay on their mailing lists. This is the most obvious and public aspect of the new GDPR that is currently being implemented.</p><p>There are a couple of positive side-effects from these new regulations, not least that by forcing you to opt in to mailing lists to make sure you are only receiving what you want to receive a company will really know how engaged you are, making your email address all the more valuable when it comes to marketing.</p><p>Companies have been responding to the GDPR changes by re-working their data management policies, but how much time is being put into how these policies can be enacted day-to-day, especially away from the aforementioned marketing email lists?</p><p>For example, if you have written a policy that says that emails are going to be stored for one year before deletion, how are you going to store them away from an active email server (thereby reducing the burden on a day-to-day server), or keep hold of them once a member of staff leaves? Or what happens if data is accidentally deleted by a member of staff?</p><p>Furthermore, data security is made all the more important as more and more companies opt for a flexible working approach where their staff can work from remote locations, such as home or (dare we say it) a high street coffee chain with its free Wi-Fi access.</p><p>Domestic or public internet access networks are unlikely to have the same levels of security as a company's, which makes it all the more important that any data transfer between a central hub and remote laptop is encrypted and has the latest security.</p><p>Chris Evans of Computer Weekly has highlighted <a href="https&#58;//www.computerweekly.com/feature/GDPR-brings-serious-implications-for-data-storage" target="_blank"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">five areas</span></a>&#160;which will impact the day-to-day work of the data storage manager under GDPR, including&#58;</p><ul><li>encryption; </li><li>detailed application-to-storage mapping;</li><li>security and audit; </li><li>validation of test and development requirements;</li><li>and collaborating closely with colleagues.</li></ul><p>Ultimately, you need to be able to give all your customers, clients, stakeholders and staff the confidence that their data and documents are stored securely, but also in a way that allows you to respond to data requests quickly and efficiently without having to wade through a mound of irrelevant information.</p><p>You also need to have the peace of mind that any deleted information can be recovered within your policy timetables, whether they be one year, five years, or longer than that.</p><p>There is also a danger that you could be sucked into a one-size-fits-all approach using policy and storage templates that have been designed for organisations that are in a different sector or are of a vastly different size to your own.</p><p>Fuse's data back-up and storage solutions tick all of the boxes you need to have that peace of mind to concentrate on your main business, namely growing as a company, while also being tailored to your specific needs.</p><p>Fuse uses a mixture of cloud-based packages to meet your requirements and allow your staff to access their relevant information <em>securely </em>regardless of where they are working. Our solutions are also easy to monitor by your in-house IT team, so that in the unlikely event of a data breach it can be identified, resolved and reported quickly.</p><div class="well well-lg"><p class="lead">Give us a call on 01604 797979 and we can have a chat about how you can make sure your data policy matches your day-to-day operations and requirements.</p></div> | Chris Wearmouth | 693A30232E777C6675736563735C632E776561726D6F757468 i:0#.w|fusecs\c.wearmouth16/05/2018 23:00:002018-05-16T23:00:00ZData security and rentention in a cloud based infrastructureData security in a cloud based infrastructure14/06/2018 09:56:102278htmlFalseaspx

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