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Sefton shortlisted for prestigious local government award

Sefton Council has been shortlisted for a prestigious public sector award for part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local authority’s ICT Client Team in partnership with Procurement colleagues, swung into action at the beginning of the pandemic, to ensure the council’s core functions could remain active. Now more than a year later they are proud finalists of the 2021 GO Awards, which celebrates the very best procurement achievements from across the UK’s public, private and third sector organisations.

Sefton are finalists in the COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award category after judges were impressed with the way the council managed to transform it’s historically physical office based contact centre into a bespoke, virtual system within 12 working days.

It took just two day’s for Sefton Council’s ICT Client team, working alongside the Procurement team, to find, assess and obtain an entirely new cloud based telephone system, allowing for a seamless and cost effective transition of services, meaning the most vulnerable and in need residents were still given the support they needed without delay.

Sefton secured 8×8, a world renowned VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) provider who worked with the local authority to quickly install a brand new system allowing for our dedicated contact centre staff to work safely from home while continuing to do their jobs.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “For some time we had been looking into how we could make our customer interface more agile but the urgent need for a fully functioning remote contact centre arose with the sudden arrival of the COVID 19 pandemic.

“This meant we had to act fast in order to maintain vital services to our residents and communities.

“Traditionally proper procurement and ICT works take time but by utilising national frameworks and the skill of our expert officers, we were able to carry out an entire procurement process from start to finish in just 48 hours.

“COVID-19 has created huge challenges for the public sector and will have a lasting impact on Sefton as a borough for years to come.

“Nevertheless the outbreak of the pandemic presented a moment to rethink and transform specific services, which in the long term will help in the council’s economic recovery while maintaining vital resources and support for our communities.

“The ‘new normal’ calls for extra safety, greater agility and enhanced services for our residents, businesses and partners— which is what we have achieved with 8×8, thanks in no small part to our amazing ICT Client team, procurement team and contact centre workers.

“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the GO Awards and we look forward to the final in September.”

Jamie Snaddon, Managing Director, EMEA at 8×8, said: “The speed and agility with which Sefton Council completely transformed their historically on-premises contact centre into one that is cloud-based, remotely accessible, and allows for full connectivity is truly incredible. We are thrilled to have been a part of Sefton Council’s positive efforts to transform the services it delivers to the community.”