Simplifying the development of new services
One technology in particular makes the provision of new stakeholder services possible and affordable. IP (Internet Protocol) brings the technology that drives the Internet into a public body’s own information systems, and – because it uses open standards – makes affordable services that were one too expensive to consider. So the deployment of a secure IP infrastructure is almost always the first step that an organisation must take when seeking to simplify administrative services and facilitate stronger relationships between it and the people it serves.
A secure IP network provides the foundation on which a public body can easily build a wide range of affordable and highly effective communications solutions and productivity tools. These can provide attractive returns on investment, often paying for themselves quickly in cost savings and efficiencies, and continuing to allow better services to be delivered to stakeholders more cheaply for many years to come.
More accessible = more responsive = more agile service provision
The use of a single IP network presents distinct advantages in ICT maintenance and allows substantial savings to be made on inter-site links for telephone calls, data exchange and the streaming of video, whether for videoconferencing or video surveillance:
- Using shared bandwidth on a multi-site network can deliver savings of up to 30 per cent on subscription and telephony costs.
- IP infrastructures allow stakeholders to access obscure information quickly and inexpensively without visiting the organisation’s offices. For example, a member of the public can be remotely guided through documents by an agent in the public body’s contact centre. This can be achieved over a single network using co-browsing.
- Unified messaging brings messages sent via any communications medium together in a single tool. This allows an organisation’s people to use a single secure source to access every type of message (telephone call, email or fax) from wherever they happen to be. This helps them to be immeasurably more responsive to stakeholders, elected representatives and colleagues alike.
More streamlined = more efficient = more effective
Bureaucracy and paperwork in the Public Sector is often a reflection of the need for greater accountability. However, that does not mean that bureaucracy cannot be streamlined. An IP network enables data to move just as freely as communications, and that provides opportunities for reducing the time it takes to complete paperwork – and automating the subsequent follow-up – without compromising on the need for transparency.
The migration process
IP simplifies the development of these types of new applications and services, which must be customised to meet the particular needs of the individual public body. NextiraOne manages the migration towards an IP infrastructure using a well defined and phased approach, tailored to meet the needs of each organisation.
These phases include a thorough assessment of what is already in place (legacy systems), feasibility studies, network architecture analyses and the upgrading of those elements of the network that would otherwise create bottlenecks. They also include the setting up of a pilot structure in order to check that what is planned corresponds to what is needed, and the identification of critical issues before the system is rolled out.
The exchange of information over an IP network requires shared systems to be deployed across the network that are able to handle, identify and prioritise the different data flows. And these exchanges must be made compatible with existing applications and equipment. NextiraOne is actively involved at each stage of an IP network’s deployment, ensuring the interoperability of existing systems and applications, and the compatibility of legacy data. This last constraint is resolved by the adoption of XML, which NextiraOne uses when customising and developing many applications for its clients.