A Progressive City Council Delivers Enhanced Library Services to Its Users
Allied's Managed Infrastructure Services helps County Council to deliver enhanced and high performance library services to its users.
About our Client
Our client is one of the largest County Councils in the UK and is responsible for public services such as education, transport, strategic planning, emergency services, social services and public safety.
Our client required a new library system to replace their old one, which was shared with an adjoining county council. Allied Worldwide was asked to supply a proposal to meet the requirements to install the new Library IT system in 12 current libraries and one new library, which was under construction. The new system needed to be capable of providing service during the opening hours to the members of public, which exceeded the original system capabilities.
With the PFI contract guiding principles being exceptionally complicated Allied Worldwide had to provide a detailed solution which complied with the stringent guidelines. The solution had to include a proposal for a new IT backbone and network, which could be integrated into the council's current infrastructure, and which allowed public access to the library network, without compromising the security of the County Council's network.
Other high level specific challenges were:
- To provide a desktop environment that matched the needs of the staff and the public.
- To accept the risk management of the third party IT companies which were involved in the project.
- To deliver a 5 year FM and support contract, which not only measured the maintenance of the systems installed, but also offered guarantees on the output of the equipment, applications and operating systems, on a daily basis.
- The delivery of the new system also had to be completed within strict timescales.
The contract had financial liabilities in case of failure to comply with the timelines & the service output specification.
Allied Worldwide proposed a solution which was accepted in August 2000. The project was a 2 phase roll-out; phase 1 included installation of the new system into the existing libraries between January and March 2000. Phase 2 included rolling out the system to the new library in the first quarter of 2002.
The rollout of the new IT infrastructure included:
- Provision of an Allied project team including Project Manager, Network Consultant, Network Design Consultant, Rollout Support Professionals, Commercial Manager and a Legal Manager
- Design of a new network
- Installation of the new library system hardware (SUN Unix running Solaris), library system software (Sybase) and data conversion from existing library software system to the new library software system
- Installation of network cabling (CAT5e) and infrastructure (Cisco)
- Installation of internet and VPN with a separate firewall
- Installation of desktop equipment and all related software
- Acceptance testing of all new services and equipment within the PFI guidelines
- All processes and procedures to accompany the contract
Allied has helped the County Council to provide seamless library service to its users without any disruption. The rollout was successful and the new system and procedures were accepted without any financial penalties. Allied Worldwide commenced the 5-year contract immediately after the solution was accepted.
Our experience of managing projects, under PFI guidelines and framework were a key factor in the success and timely completion of this project. This council has continued with Allied Worldwide, as a partner for it’s IS strategy and projects.