Lincolnshire County Council expects to save £2.5m a year in its network costs by joining the East Midlands Public Services Network.
Lincolnshire currently has two separate contracts in place for a WAN in schools and its own corporate network but both will end this year and it will move to the new services supplied by communications provider Kcom. Lincolnshire was the first council in the consortium of East Midlands local authorities sign up under the European tender exercise.
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The council will cut network costs 50% by replacing existing IT contracts, with the first services are expected to go live in June.
The contract covers the seven district councils in Lincolnshire and a broadband services for 349 county schools.
Judith Hetherington Smith, CIO of Lincolnshire county council said: “There are two future benefits which we hope will be useful in future, such as allowing us to consider cloud services. We are also hoping it will improve our health services in speeding up the links between the county council and health through the NHS Spine. At the moment it is painfully slow as we have to go through two separate secure networks.”
The council currently outsources most of its IT functions, but Hetherington Smith said it would look at alternative options such as the Cloud Store when contracts end in 2015. “Future IT sourcing will give us an option to review working with one partner and possibly move to a multi-sourcing approach.