Case studies

  • Case Study

    Birmingham City Council

    Birmingham City Council’s “Enabling Agile” mobile working project includes a number of imperatives to meet the requirements for mobilisation of end users. A key requirement was to provide secure mobile access from any connection for its 55,000 employees, ideally without impacting efficiency.

    The City of Birmingham is covered by a wide range of high speed networks including BT's WiFi hotspots, Vodafone 3G/GPRS, Home broadband, Council WiFi and many other hotspots such as hotels and cafes. The aim was to make all the networks available securely, using the most appropriate network to increase the effectiveness and productivity of Council staff.

    The solution

    By using Capita’s NetMotion Mobility based Secure Mobile VPN (Virtual Private Network) infrastructure service, Capita and Service Birmingham were able to deliver a secure, seamless, mobile solution to the Birmingham City Council workforce. The service was proven in exhaustive trials over 18 months within the Council, together with Service Birmingham.

    The solution offers Council staff flexibility to access back office applications, without change, using any network. Council users are empowered at the frontline point of activity by wirelessly enabling existing applications and virtually any application that works in a wired environment can now work wirelessly.

    The unique seamless roaming functionality means employees no longer have the inconvenience of interruptions due to connection breaks and subsequent application failures. Users connect to broadband at home to access their tasks for the day, and then roam seamlessly onto 3G/GPRS, WiFi and other networks.

    The results

    “The success of this project can be clearly seen with the massive uptake from Council employees who saw how the mobile VPN could and has changed the way they work for the better. We hit the original licence capacity within two months and that was through employees requesting the mobile VPN as a result of word of mouth,”

    - Richard Murphy of Birmingham City Council.

    Richard continues, “Our target is for 17,000 agile workers within three years, our initial 1,100 NetMotion licences alone has significantly helped set us on the right path of reaching that target.”

    The solution has freed Council employees from the complexities of handling multiple wireless connections. They roam across networks, traverse dead spots in coverage and even suspend and resume devices, all without losing data or logging in again, using any type of IP connection.

    Reaching the agile workers target and helping employees be even more productive were key objectives of the project. However the Council has also seen a significant reduction in the operational costs of its cellular and ADSL broadband services through the Capita Secure Mobile VPN solution’s efficiencies.

    This saving is estimated to be over 50% per year. Further savings have also been identified by the reduction in data transfer costs on the 3G/GPRS connections due to NetMotion Mobility XE link optimisation and compression sharply reducing traffic.

    However above all else this solution has made technology complexity transparent to users and brought an increased level of productivity, flexibility and improved work life balance for the Council workforce.

    Benefits to Birmingham City Council:

    • Savings of up to 50% per annum on cellular and ADSL broadband services costs
    • Increased levels of productivity, flexibility and improved work life balance for the Council workforce
    • Key applications are always available for users, offering protection against connection loss and preventing subsequent application crashes
    • Designed to have the capacity to scale up easily to meet the needs of Birmingham Council’s growing mobile workforce
    • Accommodates the future Council plans to secure voice and video over suitable wireless connections.

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