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In brief …. 4 February 2016



Haringey launches MyAccount

The London Borough of Haringey has set up a new digital customer platform named MyAccount, provided by its customer transformation partner Agilysys.

It was launched earlier this week, making council tax and housing benefits services available so customers can view their accounts and apply for discounts and exemptions online. Haringey and Agilysys are planning to integrate MyAccount in other services such as environmental reporting, pest control bookings and parking.

Councillor Jason Arthur, the cabinet member for resources and culture, said: “Moving a number of transactions online will give Haringey residents greater flexibility in how they can access our services. As more services and transactions become available online, we’ll also be able to reduce costs, saving money for the services people in Haringey most rely on.”

G-Cloud 6 extends six months

The G-Cloud 6 framework is to be available on the Government's Digital Marketplace until 1 August, six months beyond the original schedule, according to a blog notice from the supporting team.

It said the extension has been made to give buyers the option of using G-Cloud 6 and 7 while it works on the next iteration, and that this is in line with the terms of the framework agreement.

Bluesky partners with Cyberhawk

Aerial mapping company Bluesky has announced a partnership with airborne inspection and surveying firm Cyberhawk, aimed at providing a broader range of aerial survey and mapping services through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) ˗ otherwise known as drones.

The collaboration will enable Bluesky’s customers to take advantage of the rapid data collection and shorter mobilisation, acquisition and processing times associated with Cyberhawk’s UAV technology and iHawk cloud software.

It will provide Cyberhawk clients with access to the latest aerial survey sensors and equipment, including an integrated sensor for the capture of aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data.

Phil Buchan, commercial director at Cyberhawk Innovations, said: “The partnership with Bluesky will allow us to complement our existing UAV offering with nationwide coverage of aerial photography and 3D height data, as well as more specialist capture and production including thermal surveys, LiDAR and even air quality monitoring and night time surveys.”

Healthcare providers to test new Advanced tech

Two healthcare providers are to trial new technology from Advanced Health & Care to enable out of hours (OOH) and NHS 111 staff to use the Adastra patient management system to make appointments directly into EMIS Web, the most widely used primary care clinical system in the UK.

Derbyshire Health United (DHU), an NHS 111 provider, and gtd healthcare, a not-for-profit provider of primary care, urgent care services and OOH dental services in the north west, will pilot the system from spring 2016. By using the integration their staff will be able use Adastra to book GP and urgent care centre appointments for patients using the OOH and NHS 111 services directly into EMIS Web.

Jane Pugh, gtd healthcare’s head of business services, said: “Adopting new ways of working is key for us, and we believe the integration of Adastra and EMIS Web will blur the boundaries between urgent and primary care and streamline patients’ care pathway.

“Furthermore, the system will create flexibility for our clinicians, allowing those who are visiting patients in their homes, working from our care coordination centre and remotely from our treatment centres to access patient records and book follow-up appointments.”

Lancs students' union to use Advanced accounting

The University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union is aiming to reduce the time needed for management accounts reporting by half, with the implementation of automated accounting technology from Advanced Exchequer. The union will also go live with a mobile expenses app in June 2016.

It will automate a series of paper based processes using Exchequer to produce management reports in four rather than eight days. Statement of recommended practice reports, which currently take three days to create, will be produced immediately.

Four finance staff will use the system to automate data input and create the reports, and 20 budget holder managers will be able to view them. Invoices will now be scanned in and archived online, rather than printed and stored, and will be able for viewing by drilling down to a transactional level.

eXpenses365, a mobile app developed specifically for students’ unions and which integrates with the accounting system, will also go live in the summer. It will be used by the union staff and around 3,000 students.

South Wales Uni chooses iTrent

The University of South Wales has chosen iTrent, MidlandHR’s cloud based solution, as its single platform for talent management, workforce planning, HR and payroll. The university is implementing a broad range of iTrent modules including HR, payroll, self-service, performance management and learning and development to support its 3,500 employees across three different payrolls.

Catherine Thomas, the university's executive director, organisational development, said: “iTrent’s ability to integrate with our finance system and other corporate business systems will ensure that moving forward we have ‘one version of the truth’ whilst its integration with Business Objects will provide us with high level business intelligence and reporting.

“This will give managers access to a standard suite of reports which can be tailored to suit their needs. Previously, management struggled to extract, or even identify, the data they needed, with reporting having to be carried out on a ‘request’ basis.”

DCMS praises small broadband providers

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said that a number of pilot schemes for broadband delivery in remote areas has shown that small suppliers can compete with the major companies in the industry.

It has published a report on the pilots that shows suppliers can mix technologies to provide broadband to hard to reach areas, and that small firms can win open public procurements while meeting EU state aid requirements for receiving public funding. In addition, communities can work together to create viable commercial conditions for small projects.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our pilot scheme has demonstrated that alternative technologies can help us take superfast speeds to the hardest to reach areas of the UK and I’m very pleased that smaller suppliers are now competing for, and winning, contracts for the next phase of the roll out.”

The Government is now discussing with the suppliers how to ensure the long term sustainability of their projects.

BIS backs driverless car tests

Eight new projects have been awarded £20 million in funding to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new ‘talking car technologies’.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said the projects are the first to be funded from the government’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund. They range from developing autonomous shuttles to carry visually-impaired passengers using advanced sensors and control systems, to new simulation trials for autonomous pods to increase uptake and improve real world trials.

Trials to test driverless cars on the streets are currently being worked on in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes, and Greenwich.

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