The four-year ICT programme will underpin the Council wide ‘Transforming Folkestone & Hythe’ programme and will deliver major improvements for residents and local businesses whilst substantially reducing annual operating expenditure.
Steve Makin, ICT Contracts Officer at Folkestone & Hythe District Council adds: “By moving to a Software as a Service model, we will have the ability to change traditional processes whilst still being able to integrate with technology used within the Council and by our partners. Also, moving away from an ‘on premise’ infrastructure will make us more secure and resilient and by using a world leading technology stack means we can take advantage of new innovations for the benefit of our residents, businesses and staff. Most importantly, consolidating systems and data onto a modern, flexible platform, we can provide a single customer view with a seamless experience for the resident no matter which service they require or department they talk to.”
In the first phase, Arcus Global will implement; its Local Government Platform to replace multiple disparate legacy systems and de-supported infrastructure. This will give the Council’s citizens and businesses a new multi-channel Customer Engagement system; enabling end to end customer self-service; an internal self-service staff hub and fully featured back office applications for business areas such as planning, building control, land charges, gazetteer, environmental health and licensing. All on a single platform with one data layer which will be used by all Council staff, customers and partners.
In the short term remaining legacy back office systems will be integrated via an open API layer. They will be moved onto the platform and switched off where it makes sound commercial sense to do so.
Makin continues: “We selected Arcus Global as it is a market leader with a lot of experience developing cloud solutions and applying world leading technologies to local government. Our research found that Arcus is uniquely placed to not only provide a front of house solution, but also allow us to remove a number of legacy applications and fix the underlying issues associated with integrating a wide range of departmental based systems. At times our customer contact team could have up to 8 or 9 applications open at any one time to resolve customer enquiries. However, we do not simply require a CRM and online account – we appreciate the importance of addressing the back-office systems too and Arcus allows us to provide a complete solution for a wide range of business functions on a single technology stack.
The new platform will mean that as a Council we can continue to improve services for our citizens and businesses, allowing them to interact with us in the same way they do with private sector companies – offering access to end to end transactions how and when they want. By encouraging low level transactions through the online channel, it gives the customer more responsibility and the ability to self-serve and stay up to date rather than contacting the customer contact team. Our resources can then be put to better use and we can focus on the customers with greater needs.”
Cllr Rory Love, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Customers, Communications, and Digital Delivery, said:
“We live in the age of the Digital Revolution. Our customers expect the same quality and convenience of service from us as they receive in other aspects of their lives. To meet their expectations and demands, we need to use the Digital Revolution to transform how the Council works and redesign public services around our residents.
Our award-winning Council has already received recognition for its progress in embracing the Digital agenda. A wide range of services have been successfully moved online, with positive customer feedback and successes in managing demand. This partnership with Arcus Global takes us on the next stage of our exciting journey. An early ambition is a new ‘My Account’ feature for our customers, giving them a quick, convenient, and secure customer experience.”
Denis Kaminskiy, Chief Executive Officer at Arcus Global comments: “Folkestone & Hythe District Council has shown it is a very forward-thinking council that takes digital transformation seriously. It is not simply a buzzword, tick in a box or something done in siloes, but a necessary step in ensuring IT is modern, resilient and effective to support transformation of the whole business. Its commitment to consolidate its systems to create a single customer view illustrates that it’s a council which truly understands the importance of data and how to maximise it to provide a more efficient service. We are incredibly excited to help the team achieve this goal and can’t wait to get started.”