Vodafone expands work with rural local councils
Vodafone UK has received the support of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), the national representative body for 9,000 parish and town councils in England, and Countryside Alliance, the major British campaigning organisation on rural issues, for the company's Rural Open Sure Signal Programme. The programme is a community led initiative, which is giving 100 rural communities, in poor mobile coverage locations across the UK, the opportunity to receive 3G mobile access. Vodafone UK is encouraging small businesses and community councils to actively engage with their local villages to apply for the installation of Vodafone's innovative Open Sure Signal technology. The system uses 'open femto' technology to provide a 3G signal in areas which traditional mobile coverage has been unable to reach. About the size of a domestic broadband box and in a range of colours, the units use existing broadband services to deliver the Vodafone 3G mobile signal. The units can be installed on any number of buildings including village halls, pubs, shops and homes across the community to ensure widespread mobile coverage. Vodafone's initial Rural Open Sure Signal trial has seen the connection of 12 rural communities across the UK, from Walls in the Shetland Islands to Newton St Cyres in Devon. Applications for the Rural Open Sure Signal programme close on 14 October 2014, with the first communities to be connected by the end of the year.
Pictured: Walls, Shetland Islands - one of the Rural Open Sure Signal trial areas - by Colin Smith / Geograph.org.uk
Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme: www.vodafone.co.uk/rural
UNIT4 Agresso upgrades work with 27 councils in Ireland
Business software firm UNIT4 has announced a new agreement under a current contract with the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) in the Republic of Ireland to upgrade the UNIT4 Agresso Local Government ERP Platform at 27 local government organisations in the country. This means 90% of Irish councils will benefit from the latest version of Agresso, the company says. The implementation begins in September 2014 at a pilot site, next will be a validation site and then the remaining 25 councils will be rolled out using a rapid 'out-of-the-box' implementation methodology. "The technology platform will also help foster a culture of greater financial awareness with real-time budget checking, Key Performance Indicators [KPIs], dashboards and commitment accounting with workflow approvals controlling the movement of money," said LGMA senior consultant Brendan Nicholson. UNIT4 Agresso Income Manager will provide the public with a convenient and efficient means to pay the councils for services online, the company says. UNIT4 Agresso Procurement will help deliver savings by guiding employees through workflow aligned to Ireland's National Procurement Agenda, including aggregated tenders to achieve value for money on all expenditure, it says.