Surrey County Council signs £18m networking deal after wait for new IT director

Surrey County Council has embarked on a major IT-driven business transformation project for the first time since restructuring its IT division.

Surrey County Council has embarked on a major IT-driven business transformation project for the first time since restructuring its IT division.

The council has signed a five-year £18m deal so that it can migrate some 13,500 network nodes spread across 180 locations from a bespoke IP network to Cable & Wireless’ UK-wide IP VPN.

By switching to Cable & Wireless’ network, Surrey expects to cut its operating costs by up to 25%.

The new network should also enable Surrey to sell some of its properties without incurring excessive costs or significant disruption to front-line services.

Surrey, which is the UK’s fourth-largest council, had started no business transformation projects involving IT since John Gladman stepped down as its head of IT in spring 2006.

The IT department was restructured and brought within a new corporate services division, including finance and human resources. A new head of IMT, Dominic O’Carroll, was appointed on a part-time basis in autumn 2006.

O’Carroll, who is now in the post full time, will work with Surrey’s estates and planning function to rationalise the number of properties owned by the council.

Cable & Wireless will take 12 months to complete the migration to the IP VPN. The new network will make it easier to share information with other public sector agencies both within Surrey and outside the county.

O’Carroll said, “There are the issues of starting to share on a wider basis and there will be a lot of work on the optimisation of the SAP platform.”

Related article: Surrey targets £46m savings from integrated SAP call centre

Link to SAP

Related article: Network allows flexible working

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