GLASGOW, February 19, 2007 - Glasgow City Council is implementing Access Glasgow, a comprehensive e-government strategy to improve the delivery of services to nearly 600,000 citizens. Fundamental to this approach is a modern, high-bandwidth communications infrastructure provided to the Council by THUS and a unique relationship with Cisco®. Access Glasgow will deliver a citywide network platform to integrate data, voice and video communication and support a host of front-line applications like online consultation and planning, tax collection and benefit payments.
The programme will also enable greater integration between Council departments - such as social services and education - and external agencies like the National Health Service to provide citizens with a single point of contact for service delivery.
The programme is being funded by savings generated from improved technology, management and maintenance. The strategy focuses on combining voice and data networks, where appropriate, to give citizens, elected members and council employees the same level of service whether they communicate with the council in person, by phone, by fax or online.
Bailie Alan Stewart, information and communications technology spokesperson for the Glasgow City Council said, "E-government is first and foremost about changing the way the Council works, rather than simply being about technology. ICT has the capability to enable the Council to deliver high-quality services at best value as well as make a real contribution in assisting all of our citizens to develop to their full potential. However, we need high-quality technology to do this, and the expertise of companies like Cisco and THUS continues to play a key role in helping the city achieve this vision."
The Council network comprises local- and wide area networks (LANs and WANs) that connect 300 offices. THUS, using the Cisco Unified Communications System, will deliver IP telephony services to Council staff and a multi-lingual contact centre. With advice from Cisco on wireless technologies, the Council has also developed a wireless communications strategy which will include facilities such as hot-spots in libraries around Glasgow.
Cisco technology and THUS services are already being used to support connected-government initiatives such as the Glasgow Young Scot Card, an electronic card that gives young people in Glasgow access to leisure facilities, libraries, discounts at local shops, and a payment facility for school meals. Cisco technology is also enabling the use of innovative applications such as VIPonair, Europe's first Internet radio for the visually impaired, and it is providing on-line access via libraries to the Real Learning Partnership which brings together resources from the key learning providers in Glasgow including universities, colleges, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and the Council.
Glasgow City Council is developing its city-wide network with THUS based on Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series Switches and Cisco Catalyst 3560 and 3750 workgroup switches. The Cisco Unified Communications System comprises of Cisco Unified CallManager for the telephony system, Cisco Unified IP phones and Cisco Unified Contact Centre.
"Glasgow City Council is an example of how utilising the knowledge and expertise of companies such as Cisco and THUS- as well as its technology - are helping local governments plan and deploy improved e-government services to the community," said Paul Wingate, Head of Public Sector, Cisco Scotland. "Cisco is at the centre of a shift in service provision, where local governments are not just speeding up service delivery but are also changing the way they work to make services more cost effective and more accessible to more people."