The deal is expected to save £600,000 this year and is Salesforce’s first win through the G-Cloud. It will see Hounslow use the company’s Servicecloud, Force.com, Marketcloud and Salescloud offerings.
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The development platform is expected to integrate with the latest web and social technology, replacing proprietary applications. Hounslow will use apps from Salesforce’s app store as well as developing its own.
Anthony Kemp, director of the project, said: “The council’s new platform-based approach puts customers at the heart of its services and fulfilment activity by creating the ability for staff, residents and partners to build applications on the platform."
Kemp said the G-Cloud was most suited for a more flexible approach to technology.
“Traditional, full tender procurement processes don’t allow rapid change, due to their timescales and cost,” he said.
The council expects to make a number of purchases through the G-Cloud as it builds on its platform strategy.
“We are well underway with our next steps which will be to select productivity and document management solutions. Whatever we select will follow the same principles that underpinned our decision to select Salesforce,” he said.
Over the next six months, our ICT strategy and architecture will mean that we are not tied to any device, operating system or browser, he said.
Kemp said the key to the council’s strategy was to move away from a tech-driven approach.
“Many local government line-of-business applications were developed in a pre-web 2.0 era requiring extensive on-going support.
"In contrast, Hounslow raises the bar for digital in the local services sector. Doing all of these things, but then taking it further, using digital platforms and apps to enable real transformation of the business on top of flexible, scalable technology and support.”
Mark Thompson, strategy director at consultancy Methods, and senior lecturer in information systems at Cambridge Judge Business School, said: “Hounslow and Methods are paving the way for eventual component-based re-use of business functions – and resulting widespread innovation across the UK local services sector – in a way that directly complements GDS’ transformational activities in central government.
"This will be of interest to all innovators in local services.”