Lewisham Council uses Wazoku to crowdsource ideas for savings
Lewisham Council has launched a crowdsourcing initiative to capture ideas from its 3,000 staff about ways to reduce budgets by £95 million over the next four years. The new platform - We.Create - is based on Wazoku's Idea Spotlight for Government, a Software-as-a-Service that allows public bodies to create internal or external communities for ideas, innovation, feedback and insight. While Lewisham will start by using Wazoku internally with its staff, there remains the option to use the communities feature and capture ideas from external groups including local residents. Council managers will run weekly reviews in We.Create relating to specific service areas and also across services, all linked to the cuts. Staff can then submit ideas in response, for review and assessment. Strong ideas will then feed directly into the decisions made by the councils. Ideas will come from all across the council, as leaders were keen to enable a large group of people with different perspectives to address the council's challenges, even if they don't relate directly to their service area. Wazoku is partnering on the project with consultancy The Social Innovation Partnership, a social advisory business that aims to combine academic research and rigour with strategy and delivery support to solve some of the most intractable problems in society.
Pictured: Lewisham Town Hall, by N Chadwick/Geograph.org.uk
Skyscape Cloud Services wins Pathfinder 20 award
Skyscape Cloud Services has been announced as the winner of this year's Pathfinder 20 index of the UK's most exciting emerging technology companies, at an awards ceremony in London last week. Founded by August Equity, The Pathfinder 20 index assesses companies on growth prospects, innovation and the ability in the longer term to become industry leaders. The award win follows soon after a £4m minority stake investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund), an independent company established to help Britain's growing small and medium-sized businesses. Skyscape has won contracts with a wide range of public sector organisations to date including the Cabinet Office, Home Office, HMRC and MOD. Indirectly, via partners, Skyscape supports infrastructure hosting for a large number of other central government departments, and a growing number of local authorities.
Pathfinder 20: www.augustequity.com/pathfinder/about
New product range for GeoInformation Group
The GeoInformation Group has launched a suite of new geographic information products to help businesses and public authorities develop contingency plans and reduce their exposure to risk. The suite contains four geographic information product groups: UKMap, a detailed and multi layered topographic database to locate and map out key geographic features including buildings, land use, transportation, retail, road and trees; UKBuildings, a comprehensive profile of residential and commercial building stock; UKLand, a database identifying land use, land cover, vegetation and clutter; and UKSurvey, a bespoke mapping service using high resolution aerial imagery. Uses for public sector bodies include to help them reduce energy consumption, the company says. The company's solutions have been used by 300 public sector organisations such as MoD, Metropolitan Police, London Fire, Transport for London and the Forestry Commission, it says.
GeoInformation Group: www.geoinformationgroup.co.uk
Government guidance on using Samsung devices in public sector
The UK government has published End User Devices (EUD) Security Guidance for Samsung KNOX on using selected Samsung Android smartphones and tablets. The move follows testing by the government's Communications and Electronics Security Group (CESG). Samsung KNOX is an Android-based solution designed to enhance the security of mobile devices. Launched in 2013, it provides a comprehensive set of tools to deliver safe and secure mobile working - by protecting Android handsets from data leakages, malware and malicious attacks. Samsung KNOX enabled smartphones currently available in the UK covered by the guidance from CESG include the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Samsung Enterprise Mobility: www.samsung.com/global/business/mobile