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Brisbane City Council

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OVERVIEW

The Brisbane City Council needed a complete upgrade of its information and communications technologies (ICT). As Australia's largest local government, it has 7,700 employees and supports more than one million people in one of the nation's fastest growing capital cities.

With the help of an external consultant, the council had developed a long-term plan to manage the city's growth that involved transforming operations and customer experience channels. But implementing the plan just wasn't possible with the council's existing ICT infrastructure.

"OPTUS' MANAGED SERVICES ARE ENABLING COUNCIL TO FOCUS ON OUR CORE ACTIVITIES AND BETTER SERVICE THE COMMUNITY AND LOCAL BUSINESSES."

CHALLENGE

The Brisbane City Council was also facing increasing telecommunications costs and an ageing analogue telephone system. Its service and billing reports had little detail, so it was difficult to identify specific costs and analyse network performance against service level agreements (SLAs).

The Brisbane City Council decided it needed an ICT partner that could rationalise the council's contracts, improve service levels and reduce costs. It also wanted to transform its telecommunications system, operations and customer experience channels.

It was also an important criterion that the successful ICT partner could be trusted to deliver a solution based on council's broad organisational requirements, and that the provider fully understood and supported the transformation process across the entire organisation.

Council was looking for a whole of business solution to offer multiple communication channels to residents as a part of a customer experience improvement program. It was important for council to provide greater value to them by choosing a new platform to integrate its voice and data services for better efficiency and additional functions such as web and social media based communications for greater choice and convenience.

The council was also looking for:

  • a new network that would deliver better efficiency and lower call costs

  • a managed solution that would improve the council's reporting capabilities to gain greater clarity of telecommunications usage, network performance and detailed cost centre reporting.

After a tender process, Brisbane City Council chose Optus Business as its new ICT partner, based on its capabilities and track record as one of Australia's largest managed services providers.

Council was confident that as a full service carrier Optus could support its business transformation plan requirements, and that Optus' network platform could easily integrate with council's current and planned capabilities in the future.

SOLUTION

Brisbane City Council is now enjoying the benefits of an Optus Whole of Business solution that includes a comprehensive suite of telecommunications products and managed services. The main infrastructure upgrade comprises of a new wide area data network (WAN) based on Optus Evolve, Optus MultiLine fixed voice services and managed IP telephony with 7800 extensions.

This new infrastructure provides the platform for the council's new value-added services - such as the fully managed contact centre with enhanced call handling capabilities and 24/7 access for citizens.

Brisbane City Council also offers new communications channels which, for example, allow citizens to report problems using webchat or by SMS.

New social media feeds from Brisbane City Council delivered via the Optus Business data network allow quick public announcements and live interaction with citizens, which can be especially helpful with disaster responses such as storm damage. Brisbane City Council's integrated communications channels will allow the council to add self-service and other new digital features in the future.

The solution also includes regular cost and usage reports that provide the detail Council requires to stay on budget and allocate resources more efficiently. The council has regular meetings with the Optus team as part of its continuous improvement process.

Optus is providing a helpdesk team of three staff inside the council. This team manages administrational telecommunications inquiries and works alongside the council's IT staff to provide a complete on-site support service for Council staff.

The solution also includes 5,000 SIM cards, mobile voice, data and even some traffic light control switching. Using the Optus mobile network, the council can remotely monitor this equipment and improve efficiencies around repairs and operation.

Councillors have another productivity tool thanks to Apple iPads that allow them to share council papers and other information. Documents are stored in the cloud and accessed using Hub. Using an app council members can access content whilst on the move promoting a paperfree environment by providing electronic forms of content from a centralised and highly secure environment.

OUTCOME

The Optus Whole of Business solution is delivering a number of immediate benefits, including streamlining of systems and processes, reduced call costs, efficiency improvements and increased cost control capabilities. Most importantly, council has improved its communications channels with citizens.

Adopting the solution required a large and complex transition process across all of the council's communication services and sites. In managing this process Optus is enabling council to focus on its core activities and better service the community and local businesses by deploying staff to where they are most needed. Council is able to enjoy the delivery of a continued quality of service and to have ongoing discussions about other potential capabilities that can be tapped into from an integrated network, a direct benefit of having a trusted working relationship with a single ICT partner such as Optus Business.

The multi-channel digital platform and managed contact centre are providing greater choice and quality of services for citizens, and the council now has a platform upon which it can build future services.

Council's transformation has been well received and, in fact, it is the most 'liked' council in Australia on Facebook. It intends to keep developing its multi-channel communications, including allowing citizens to serve themselves and tailor their own communications channels and experience with council.

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