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In brief …. 29 May 2015



Essex Property Group launches interactive maps

A group of Essex public sector organisations has set up an online map service to provide information on the land and property estates owned by its members.

Essex Property Group (EPG) made the interactive map fully available in April after a period of internal use, providing access to anyone with an interest in publicly owned land in the county.

The map was developed by public service solutions provider Idox and is based on Esri’s ArcGID Online technology. EPG said it is now helping to identify colocation opportunities for public authorities and supporting One Public Estate locality reviews.

The solution has been designed to meet the requirements of the EU INSPIRE Directive and the Local Authorities (Data Transparency) Code 2014. It has no limit on its geographic coverage and could be expanded.

Andy Riley, managing director of Idox’s Public Sector and Information Solutions Division, said: "We were keen to propose to EPG a new approach to sharing data. This is an example of the type of solution that enables individual organisations to cross traditional geographic and political boundaries; sharing knowledge, information and resources with the prime objective of maintaining or improving service levels whilst reducing costs.

“We are keen to expand the use if this type of solution throughout the public sector."


Hounslow extends Liberata contract

The London Borough of Hounslow has extended its deal with business process company Liberata to run its revenues and benefits operation for the next 30 months. As part of the £9.5 million deal, Liberata will oversee the digital transformation of the services.

The company has been working with Hounslow since 2005 and claims to have saved it about £22 million by developing multi-skilled employment teams and improving debt profiling.

Councillor Theo Dennison, cabinet member for finance and citizen engagement, said: “The extension of the contract will streamline administrative services so we can save money for council taxpayers and free up funds for our priorities such as schools and care for older people.”


Northern Ireland mapping deal

A three-way deal between mapping organisations is set to open up new channels for government and business users to obtain location data on Northern Ireland.

Ordnance Survey (GB), Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and Land and Property Service (LPS) have agreed that each will provide access for customers to view mapping from the other two through their web platforms. They expect the service to become operational late this year.

Mick Cory, director of mapping at LPS said: “Businesses and government increasingly operate across borders. This is a solution that meets an emerging demand for Ordnance Survey information across these islands. It has the potential to meet future uses and demands, including open data and new services.”


Cloud Code of Practice gets European approval

The Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) Code of Practice for Cloud Service Providers has been formally recognised by the EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) by winning a place on its Cloud Certification Schemes List (CCSL).

The CCSL, which has been compiled and assessed by ENISA in collaboration with the European Commission and the Cloud Select Industry Group (C-SIG) on Certification, has been designed to help end users and CSPs determine which cloud certification schemes fulfil their requirements and can offer the correct level of reassurance.

Alex Hilton, chief executive officer of CIF, said: “This is a major milestone for the Cloud Industry Forum and the broader cloud community.  There are no dedicated cloud standards in the market, making it difficult for small business customers to identify trusted advisors.

“We hope this recognition will encourage more users of cloud services to actively seek providers that are CIF-certified, and likewise more CSPs to seek certification.”


Advanced launched SaaS financial management for councils

Advanced Business Solutioins has launched a cloud based financial management system specifically for district and borough councils. It has claimed that the service, named Advanced Saas Financials, can provide access to finance technologies for fees at 25-60% lower than long term IT contracts.

The system automates the management of core every day financial processes and includes workflow-driven electronic invoice and payment handling along with advanced purchasing controls. It is available through G-Cloud 6 and the Crown Commercial Service’s RM1042 agreement.


Capita acquires Pervasive

IT solutions provider Capita has taken over Pervasive, a specialist in enterprise wireless networks, mobility managed services and ‘bring your own device’ solutions. The latter has a significant presence in the local government, healthcare and further and higher education sectors.

The business will sit within Capita IT Enterprise Services as part of the Technology Solutions division.

Peter Hands, executive director of Capita IT Enterprise Services, said: “We are continuing to see a shift in working habits with the increased use of mobile devices, requiring flexible technology that enables employees to enhance productivity. Pervasive has a strong record of providing wireless networks to clients across multiple sectors, offering the agility to respond to changing customer requirements.”

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