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eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
Ashford Borough Council has awarded a far-reaching contract to Mitel for IP telephones and associated software to handle interactions with members of the public.

The Kent authority has chosen the Mitel 3300 Integrated Communications Platform as part of the foundations of a five-year technology and business process overhaul. The technology links to teleworker and contact centre software that together promise to allow effective, extended-hours CRM - with the 'c' in this case standing for 'citizen'.

Rob Neil, head of ICT services at Ashford, told silicon.com that the council's e-government review has allowed for the doing away of multiple reception areas and switchboards, allowing centralised interaction with citizens and tens of thousands of square feet of space to be sub-let.

However, improving customer service was an equally important driver.

Neil said: "CRM in general has been a nightmare for councils. Citizens tend to think of 'the council' [as one entity] when in reality it is 10 to 15 business units. We set out to create one view, like in business - only without the same sort of cross-selling and up-selling."

The value of the Mitel contract has not been disclosed but is thought to be under £100,000.

The deal is clearly not only about improved efficiencies and space saving. Neil said teleworking will become more of a factor when longer opening hours are expected of facilities and it isn't always practical for staff to stay late or come in at weekends.

Nor does the deal mean the council is going Mitel-only. It will keep around 500 to 600 extensions based on Siemens Realitis technology.

Mitel has been making strides with IP telephony rollouts recently, often in the retail sector where numerous branches often connect back to central hubs.

Autor: Tony Hallett

Quelle: Silicon, 03.08.2004

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