8th February 2013: South Lanarkshire Council, one of the 32 unitary council areas of Scotland, has awarded a £3.25m, five year Telecoms Expense Management (TEM) contract to Azzurri Communications. Azzurri has migrated South Lanarkshire’s entire fixed line voice estate from BT (2,000 lines), while the council’s existing non-geographic numbers shift to Azzurri’s own virtual network. All calls are now captured and analysed via Azzurri’s ITEM (Intelligent Telecoms Expense Management) online management portal, which delivers clear visibility of the council’s telecoms assets and costs. Azzurri has also introduced a new audio conferencing facility.
South Lanarkshire, like virtually all Public Sector organisations, were faced with the challenge of saving money whilst maintaining and in many cases enhancing the services they provide to their citizens. They arrived at the point where they wanted to put out the provision of their networks services to tender, which included fixed calls and lines, non-geographic numbers and audio conferencing. They approached this extremely thoroughly, inviting 11 suppliers to bid for the contract via the Buying Solutions Framework.
Each bid was assessed against rigorous scoring criteria, with a number of different areas analysed. Paul McNair, IT Manager (Networks) for South Lanarkshire said: “There was a degree of nervousness about moving away from BT as our fixed line provider. The service we were receiving was mixed, but sometimes its better the devil you know, especially if you’re working with a big brand, like BT.”
McNair continues: “But the procurement process helped us understand that we could get much better service and support, hugely better value and vastly improved management information by moving to another supplier.”
CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY: One of the major benefits South Lanarkshire has seen is through the implementation and usage of ITEM. It has allowed the council to centralise all their billing data into one portal. This information was initially made available to council HQ staff, but it has been so successful that other key stakeholders within the council now use it too – for example, head teachers, who can now log on to the ITEM portal and view their own fully itemised billing data. In the past they’d received a cost summary containing limited detail, making it very difficult to drill down into the call activity level to manage costs effectively.
COST SAVINGS: The council has achieved cost savings of over 25% against their previous BT Global Services contract, based on reduced rental costs across a range of services, reduced per minute call costs and improved bill management.
A TRUSTED MANAGED SERVICE: McNair concludes: “Azzurri and South Lanarkshire have built a great working relationship together. It’s productive and collaborative, with Azzurri always responsive and professional in their management of us as a customer, especially when issues with service delivery and billing have arisen. I’m very pleased that making this significant change to our telecoms provision has been proven to be the right decision for the council.”
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