Poll shows most urban councillors unaware of IoT
Two-thirds of councillors for urban authorities do not know about the potential of the internet of things (IoT) for saving money on local services, according to research by polling organisation Comres.
It questioned 629 councillors from around Great Britain for research sponsored by mobile network operator Vodafone, and found that 67% did not know of the potential for connected devices – also called machine to machine – to provide more cost-effective services. This was despite 83% agreeing that technology will be important in delivering services.
Matt Key, director of M2M sales and commercial at Vodafone, said: “While the importance of technology seems to be widely appreciated by local councillors and residents in urban areas, the lack of awareness of the massive benefits to be gained from M2M and the internet of things means that urban councils are missing out on opportunities to deliver better, smarter and more cost effective services in the areas which matter to their local communities.
AmicusHorizon sets up self-service for residents
Housing association AmicusHorizon has launched a customer service platform that includes a personalised portal for its 28,000 residents. It used Firmstep’s Self and Forms solution in building the platform.
The portal gives residents access to all digital services through a single sign-on, enabling them to update their personal details, check the status of repairs, view rent statements and check payment history. Firmstep said that 30% have signed up since it was launched earlier this year.
Suzanne Adams, programme manager at AmicusHorizon said: The initial launch of the Firmstep platform has been hugely successful, we’ve seen impressive early adoption rates of 30%, with 64% of those signed-up returning to use the portal. As we start to drive channel shift and offer more services online, we’re confident this will continue to increase.”
AmicusHorizon is now planning to add features for requesting repairs, shared ownership applications, garage applications and requests for payment cards.
Empath Hospitals make transfusions choice
Empath has appointed CliniSys and Capita IT Enterprise Services to deliver a blood transfusion system to three key hospitals served by the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust - Leicester General, Leicester Royal and Glenfield Hospitals.
Empath is an independent organisation established by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust to deliver shared pathology services. The deal represents the third joint strategic project for Capita and CliniSys following wins at NHS Bristol and the Pathology Partnership in the East of England.
CliniSys WinPath Enterprise software is powered by Capita’s healthcare hosting platform which supports many clinical applications across the UK. Empath now has a single partner providing integrated service management for the application through to the network.
East Kent Housing chooses Northgate
East Kent Housing (EKH) – which manages council housing for Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet councils - has signed up to use the housing solution from Northgate Public Services. It will provide 17,000 residents with a web portal for a range of services, including viewing rent accounts, making payments, reporting repairs, requesting information and completing online surveys.
The new solution will replace one for each council, and contribute to streamlining the management of housing for the authorities.
Paul Bartlett, single system project manager for EKH, said: “This is good news for our tenants and staff who can now look forward to being able to access our housing services more easily and quickly by using a simple single IT system across a range of services and geographical locations. It will also help us to provide a better and more efficient housing and repairs service which in turn could help us increase customer satisfaction and make EKH more effective in what we do.”
Pictured: Front cover report: Internet of things: making the most of the second digital revolution (Open Government Licence v3.0)