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Greater Manchester launches partnership for GM One Network


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Digital infrastructure abstract
Image source: GMCA Digital

A new partnership has been set up to provide stronger digital connectivity to public sector organisations across Greater Manchester.

It has been formed to deliver Greater Manchester One Network (GM One Network) – which builds on Greater Manchester’s Local Full Fibre Network – as a single infrastructure for public services in the city-region.

It includes Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale and Bury Councils, Transport for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

They will work with Cisco and Engage ESM to provide data connections to over 1,300 public sector sites including schools, community centres, fire stations and traffic control signals.

Cisco will design, implement, and operate the GM One Network, while Engage ESM will work with it to design and integrate ServiceNow IT service management with Cisco’s management tools. This is intended to provide a front end for case and request generation and to manage workflow and associated data across the various systems.

The solution will also provide GMCA with an infrastructure to support event management.

Additional suppliers are expected to be announced in the coming months.

Do things once

GMCA Digital said the creation of GM One Network supports Greater Manchester’s ambition to be a world class digital city-region and is one example of the ‘do things once’ approach, aimed at providing cost savings and service improvements by streamlining systems and reducing waste.

Mayor Andy Burnham said: “This is a huge achievement for Greater Manchester’s public sector and really demonstrates the value of collaboration. Through transforming our public services we are boosting our towns and cities, cementing our position as a world leading digital-city-region.

“Ensuring our services are more efficient supports our ambition that everyone in Greater Manchester, whatever their age, location or situation, can benefit from the opportunities digital brings.”

The initiative also includes a multi-year social value programme, including support for start-up businesses in Greater Manchester to create new products and services to support communities. It will involve business mentoring, co-development of new products and university led research.

Social value

Other commitments will include the creation of apprenticeship and mentoring opportunities across the region and efforts to tackle the digital divide in Greater Manchester, such as through the Greater Manchester Databank.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA portfolio lead for education, skills, work, apprenticeships and digital, said: “For our people, having the right infrastructure in place can remove barriers to social, economic and public sector reform objectives. It’s great that once again, our partnerships with the private sector include strong social value commitments, that will be of real benefit to our people across the region.”

Public sector infrastructure and networks haven’t changed much in the last 25 years, however the amount of interconnectivity between public sector organisations has increased as we work more closely together, making GM One Network an important and vital project for our region.

Adele Every, head of public sector for Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “GM One Network will enable new ways of working; it will underpin how public sector organisations in Greater Manchester deliver services, supporting collaboration across the public sector and crucially, goes beyond the technology, with the creation of an ecosystem to build the skills and programmes that will ensure that everyone in Greater Manchester can benefit.”

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