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Shared Services Network to provide economies of scale to public sector organisations across Sussex worth £20million.
The LINK is a collaborative ICT programme for public sector organisations across Sussex and surrounding areas.
The seven-year contract is expected to grow to be worth more than £20m, starting with the networks of East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Brighton and Hove City Council (B&HCC).
The LINK Programme encourages the participation of all public sector bodies in Sussex, pooling demand and resources to drive better benefits.
It is also open to police, healthcare and emergency services in the Sussex region, and allows for greater collaboration between organisations.
Working in partnership with MDNX, the LINK is expected to deliver important savings and benefits by offering a common public sector network across the region.
The single network platform will be exploited to enable a range of future shared services and collaborative delivery. It will reduce the barriers to joining up services for citizens, and to sharing resources like telephony and data centres to reduce costs.
ESCC and B&HCC will be first to transition to the LINK Network, moving their council, library and school services to the LINK in a focussed 12-month transition plan to achieve direct savings of more than £2 million.
A number of other public sector organisations in the area are already in advanced discussions to migrate their networks to the LINK Network.
MDNX will deploy a powerful network to deliver economies of scale across Sussex. The secure carrier-grade core will run multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) using the existing MDNX 10Gbps resilient network. The network contract is structured to allow MDNX to drive best value and performance across the region by using a range of providers.
‘Network integration enables networks - both fixed and wireless - to be designed freely by selecting the optimum infrastructure provider and technology option for each location. This achieves the necessary performance, resilience, security and cost requirements, all within the Public Service Network (PSN) framework,’ said Wayne Churchill, chief operating officer at MDNX. ‘This approach opens the door to other public sector partners in Sussex being able to easily join the LINK and enjoy the benefits of these shared services.’
‘This exciting project not only gives us a better and more flexible network platform, it is a major driver to support closer working between partners in healthcare, emergency services, education and local government,’ Tony Summers, CIO at ESCC highlighted. ‘Using an integrator gives us the flexibility to switch to new technology and new carrier services as they become available and as our needs evolve. This approach lets us build a relationship with a supplier partner, without being tied to a fixed solution, which is vital in the dynamic environment we face.’
‘Through a well-established LINK Governance Structure, the spirit of collaboration in Sussex has already been harnessed to deliver concrete benefits,’ said Paul Colbran, CIO at B&HCC. ‘The LINK provides common standards, simplified management and interoperability. The LINK will provide us with a flexible, secure foundation for cross sector ICT collaboration and give us a strong platform for the future.’
The procurement of Link Voice telephony services is expected to conclude shortly, and the planning for the development of other key services using the same joint working approach is well advanced.