Oldham Council Improves Library Services with Allied's Managed Infrastructure Solution
Oldham Council improves user satisfaction and provides seamless library services with a new IT infrastructure under Allied's managed services program.
About our Client
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council is the principal local authority for the supporting people programme, in its area. It is responsible for local policy, providing social care, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the district.
Oldham Council wished to develop a holistic and accessible approach to the provision of cultural and lifelong learning services as evidenced by its new Cultural Quarter policy. Therefore they took the opportunity to replace two ageing buildings with a new state of the art building which reflects that policy.
The new building would become the Central Library and Life Long Learning building in Oldham's Cultural Quarter; it is a state of the art design being both sustainable and "green" and provides the local community and visitors with a wide array of IT services ensuring accessibility for all.
Allied were brought in at a very early stage in the design process and worked alongside the construction company, architects and property management consultants, to design a complete solution to meet the council’s strategy. Co-operation agreements were also agreed and signed at this time, to minimise the project timescale, allowing us to work alongside the construction contractors.
To provide an efficient infrastructure solution, under a managed services program for enhancing the learning, studying, social and physical environment of the facility and meet the guidelines of government PFI. In addition, Oldham Council needed a flexible, adaptable and consistent service, capable of responding effectively to changes in educational requirements, the needs of the general public and agreed technical enhancements.
High-level specific challenges were to:
- Improve standards in the environment of the library and lifelong learning services.
- Provide a safe and secure environment for recreation, research, study, teaching and learning.
- Achieve value for money and optimise running costs through ICT services.
- Incorporate current technology, and in particular non-curriculum-related IT, into the design and operation of the facility.
- Manage third-party IT suppliers and meet all the licensing requirements.
- Provide required administration, coordination and technical support.
- Provide assistive technology to meet the community and staff requirements.
- Apply local agenda sustainability issues.
The solution provider is also responsible for all IT suppliers and sub-contractors during both the project implementation stage and the 6 year managed services period. Any delays to the project completion and failure to comply with output specification would incur financial penalties.
Allied implemented a new IT infrastructure under a managed services program which included the design, implementation and support of hardware, software and systems at the client site. Our solution included but was not limited to the following:
- Allied provided a full project team including technical architects, a project manager and a coordinator, technical rollout teams, management of a large number of 3rd party suppliers and manufacturers and back office assistance.
- Design and implementation of the (Cat5e) cabling infrastructure, wireless network including secure public access, Cisco network infrastructure and Windows based Data centre, adequate system security, complete printing and faxing facility for both staff and public, PC booking system, VoIP telephony solution and a multi lingual translation solution.
- Upgrading the Library Management Service with new servers, software packages and an online public access library system.
- Network and Data centre monitoring, including off-site remote access to enable network and server monitoring from Allied’s head office.
- Incident and problem management from 1st level to 3rd level support.
- On-site helpdesk facility, with an online portal which connects with the Allied Service Desk at the head office.
- Remote desktop access and support.
- Provide a wide range of assistive technology ensuring inclusion for all. This consisted of intranet for the staff, adaptable equipment for the young children, assistive equipment for the sight impaired (Braille readers etc) and many other forms of assistive technology to include members of the public with other physical disabilities.
- All documentation including technical design and process & procedure management.
- Staff IT usage and 1st line support training and knowledge sharing.
- Service delivery and KPI monitoring.
- Cost control measures and new solution negotiations for additional or ad hoc IT requirements; and undertake any meeting as required by the council.
- Reporting on project progress, system usage and SLAs.
The cooperation with the construction company and their sub-contractors worked extremely well and neither party caused any delay to the other.
Allied provided the council with the required IT infrastructure and a specific managed service program to meet the terms of the contract and output specification and also the needs of the users. The facility opened to the public on time and within budget.
Since its opening in 2006, the number of visitors to the Library and Life Long Learning facility has doubled from the previous facility. The council has extended its services to the community and the facility is now a key cornerstone in the Cultural Quarter. The Oldham Library Learning Centre was also among the finalists in the Prime Minister's award.
Allied delivered an optimum managed service with "no stone unturned" at this facility and since inception our services have continue to expand, giving our client a continuous value add service, fulfilling the concept of PFI.
The council has also benefited from Allied's supplier partnerships and best value has been proven over and over again. Allied commenced the 6 year managed Service immediately after implementation and provides a fully managed service 7 days per week.
The SLA currently stands between 98 - 100%