London & Belfast, January 25th, 2011 – New Forest District Council (NFDC) has joined the growing number of large council bodies to have engaged specialist, independent EDM solution provider, Kainos, to transform their efficiency using electronic document management and workflow technology.
The contract, worth £350,000, will see the roll-out of a comprehensive, corporate EDM solution, with meaning-based technology from Autonomy at its core. This will be deployed right across the council, affecting up to 700 users.
NFDC is the second largest district council in the UK, serving a population of 190,000. The area covered by its 1,000 full-time employees is highly distributed, stretching from Southampton in the east and Bournemouth to the west and up towards Salisbury in the north.
The project has a number of important goals, including optimising the council’s main accommodation assets, achieving efficiency and savings, coping with the accelerating growth in information and data, supporting remote working and adhering to record keeping and data security standards.
Among the plans is the improved utilisation of NFDC’s two major administrative premises allowing the council to streamline its information management activities and share premises with a partner organisation. Says Head of ICT Services, Ken Connolly, “The plan is to dispose of a lot of rubbish held in paper storage systems or even just cluttering up offices and develop a corporate repository of information – a single version of the truth. This will make us much more efficient, and underpin our aim to develop a culture of information sharing.”
Anticipated benefits, to be felt over the next three years, include a vast reduction in the accommodation currently consumed by the storage of physical records. “Storing information electronically will free up a large area of office space which we can rent out, producing a revenue stream,” he explains. There will be IT efficiencies too. Ken estimates that 25% of the council’s current backups are duplicates, draft documents and older versions of reports.
Kainos beat five other suppliers to win the tender, awarded through the Buying Solutions procurement process. NFDC was impressed by Kainos’ extensive track record of rolling out transformational EDM solutions across other large councils, including Havant Borough Council, which Ken’s team visited.
Explaining NFDC’s reasons for choosing Kainos, he says, “The Autonomy solution impressed us because of its close integration with Microsoft Office, and the fact that it’s so scalable. On top of this, a key differentiator was Kainos, as the supplier. They had obvious depth of experience in implementation, and added real value around the issues associated with change management. We perceived a real passion for the solution and a depth of knowledge that really stood out. We had a good feeling about them right from the start.”
“Pilot projects, already underway in the Property Services and Internal Audit departments, are going well,” Ken adds. “A major roll-out across Planning Services is scheduled for April. We’ve sold this as a truly corporate solution, so it has a very high profile in the council.”
About New Forest District Council (NFDC)
New Forest District Council (NFDC), situated in Hampshire, is the second largest District Council in the UK, covering an area of 753 square km, lying between the large urban centres of Bournemouth and Southampton. For more information, visit www.newforest.gov.uk.