Castle Point Borough Council
About Castle Point Council
Castle Point Borough Council in Essex serves a population of approximately 86,000 people across four areas - Benfleet, Canvey Island, Thundersley and Hadley. With the main office located in Benfleet, it is the largest employer in the area with a strong workforce of 600 staff delivering more than 150 services to its residents.
The business challenge
Castle Point Council were experiencing issues with the reliability and stability of its network and devices. The hardware was aging and becoming difficult as-well-as expensive to replace. As an offset to this, staff morale was decreasing and the requirement to modernise their infrastructure and deliver a better staff experience was vitally important.
The council’s IT team engaged with Capita Managed IT Solutions in November 2016, seeking a cost effective and stable solution to upgrade their back-end IT infrastructure. Capita proposed an infrastructure refresh solution based on Huawei technology, and the project was completed and new infrastructure operating by June 2017.
The infrastructure refresh project began in January 2017 and was spilt in two parts. The first was the replacement of devices in occupied areas. As the majority of staff deliver critical services to local residents, minimal disruption to staff ability to work was key. The Capita team worked outside core hours and overnight to complete this stage of the project.
Following the device refresh the structured cabling was installed within the floors and ceilings of the building, this proved difficult as the building structure was in place since 1990. Once this was completed, the managed switches were put in place to provide connectivity for staff.
Barrie Delf, IT Manager at Castle Point Council says; “At a time of austerity, cost makes an important impact on public sector decision making. The difference in proposal costs based on Huawei and incumbent providers made the decision for us easier, however we were concerned that the Huawei technology was unknown to us. As we trusted the Capita team, we took on-board their assurance that the technology was reliable and the support second to none. I am pleased to say we have not regretted the decision. The liaison with Capita throughout the project was excellent, their co-operation with our operating times and understanding of the project was fantastic”
The infrastructure refresh at Castle Point Council was delivered on-time, within the council’s budget and with no disruption to the critical service to residents.
The technology is modular and can therefore be easily built upon as the council’s requirements change and the delivery of digital services evolve.
Residents in the Castle Point area are also impacting positively from the refresh. They can now access an online help system when they visit the council building. Rather than having to wait for staff to become available, they can use the facilities to look up information or complete applications for key council services, with staff available to support when required.