In brief …. 24 July 2015
CCS claims big IT savings
The Crown Commercial Service has claimed significant savings in the IT spend for central government in its annual report.
It says that software audits alone provided savings of £85 million for central government in 2014-15, accompanied by £3 million on IT hardware through memoranda of understanding with suppliers, and average savings of 20% on services procured through G-Cloud. It also claims successes for the Complex Transactions team, such as £57 million on IT contracts for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
One of its priorities is to make further investments in its own technology, such as primary components of the Crown Marketplace, an integrated system to support the delivery of management services. It also plans to provide greater levels of automation including simple online catalogues.
Gravesham takes dania documents templates
Gravesham Borough Council has taken delivery of a document template solution from Danish company dania software. It plans to use the dynamictemplate software in reducing the number of its templates to single figures as part of its efforts to reduce costs.
The solution automatically collects the relevant data for individuals or businesses from the council’s central IT systems, speeding up the process for staff and ensuring that citizens receive updated and correct information.
It can also be integrated into electronic document management and line of business systems that are already in use, including Idox Uniform and Northgate Information@Work.
Pictured: B Johansen, partner of dania software, hands over the dynamictemplate solution to Darren Everden of Gravesham Borough Council.
Cardiff goes to Attenda for SAP service
Cardiff City Council has signed a two-year deal for managed service provider Attenda to run business processes on an SAP platform. It follows an earlier deal to accelerate completion of a number of critical SAP upgrade projects.
The procurement was made under G-Cloud 6 and Attenda will provide local technical support and service management from its regional office in Caerphilly, South Wales.
Phil Bear, ICT service manager at Cardiff City Council, said: “This partnership will enable us to meet the stringent service expectations of our end customers and enable our own IT team to focus on essential SAP business processes. We chose Attenda for a number of key reasons; primarily, their UK focus and highly skilled, UK based SAP team, but as importantly, their flexibility, depth of services, and partner-led approach to client relationships."
Schools ‘must address data gaps’
Schools have to deal with significant gaps in their data and make more use of cloud solutions to benefit from new education technology, according to a white paper from software provider Advanced Learning in association with educational expert Professor Stephen Heppell.
The white paper suggests that outdated management information systems (MIS) prevent schools and learners from obtaining real insights into what drives effective teaching and learning. The report also highlights that the education sector should learn from other sectors, such as the NHS, in utilising technology to build more transparent learning outcomes.
Heppell said: “Schools are often reluctant to change their existing MIS but need to realise education is entering a decade of remarkable opportunity. To avoid being left behind, schools must move away from archaic systems and address major shortfalls in the quality and reliability of their data to enable pupils to realise their full potential.
“Only by making better use of the information they already have, whilst finding ways to harness powerful and untapped data from emerging technologies, will they be able to adopt more effective teaching strategies.”
Salford University signs Figshare and Arkivum for research data management
The University of Salford has selected an integrated solution from Figshare and Arkivum to manage its research data. It supports the storage of primary data generated during original research projects, alongside derived and summaries data used to support publications.
The suppliers said the solution meets the requirements of funding bodies to maintain high security standards while giving the appropriate staff, students and researchers open access to the data.
David Clay, associate university librarian, said: “The two systems work seamlessly together and exceed all of our current requirements for managing open access to our funded research data. We see this as a long term collaborative partnership and are looking forward to deploying new functionality as our needs and requirements grow.”