In recent years there has been a surge in the number of people who travel more than 90 minutes to work each day. These ‘supercommuters’ rely on reliable and efficient infrastructure. Idox is a leading supplier of integrated transport solutions, especially traffic management for the road network, through its Cloud Amber solutions.
In this article, Idox’s Rebecca Jackson looks at the pros and cons of supercommuting.
Full article: Supercommuting: is it worth it?
The Hippodrome, on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Leicester Square, first opened on 15 January 1900, with a circus and variety show that included live polar bears, elephants and an illuminated pool containing 100,000 gallons of water that could shoot fountains of water to the roof.
The initial focus for CAFM Explorer, Idox's leading integrated facilities management solution, will be Helpdesk & Planned Maintenance tasks across the four-storey casino and theatre venue. The flexibility of the software will allow The Hippodrome to expand their implementation in the future at no additional cost.
Joely Drummond, New Business Manager, commented, "Idox are delighted to welcome such a recognisable venue as the Hippodrome as a customer. We look forward to working with the facilities department and helping to maintain one of London's most popular attractions."
For more information on CAFM Explorer please visit www.cafmexplorer.com.
For local authorities, tackling noisy neighbours is one of the most challenging aspects of their work. As a leading provider of planning, building control and environmental services to UK local authorities, Idox understands and actively engages with councils to deliver solutions that enable better decision-making.
In this article, Idox’s James Carson looks at what local councils are doing to address anti-social behaviour.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) has extended its portfolio of Idox integrated digital solutions to reduce costs, improve services and increase engagement with citizens and elected members.
ERYC have used a range of Idox solutions over a number of years including Planning, Building Control and Land Charges within their administration teams together with Idox Public Access, a web based solution designed to publish planning related information to citizens.
ERYC wanted to capitalise on the additional benefits achievable by updating their application portfolio and to extend their capability with the addition of solutions such as Idox’s EDMS, Enterprise and Consultee Access specifically designed to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve services by increasing engagement with Town and Parish Councils and citizens.
This summary article highlights the implementation of Idox Consultee Access and also refers to a more comprehensive case study of the broader project.
Fundamental requirements of this improvement project:
- To provide an integrated system that is as relevant to regular planning consultees such as an internal local authority department or the Environment Agency as it is to ad-hoc consultees such as members of the public or the Town and Parish Councils.
- To increase the level of automation associated with information flow between the various systems in use within the authority designed to increase efficiency and balance workloads across teams.
Key benefits achieved:
- 4,300 automated electronic planning consultation responses received in first 7 months from initial Consultee Access user groups
- 29 working days saved in the same period arising from online consultations
- 91% of initial internal Consultee Access user responses now received electronically
- 95% of Town and Parish Councils registered to consult on line via Public Access
- 80% of Town and Parish Councils who have so far been consulted using Consultee Access have submitted electronic consultation responses within the first four months
- A range of automated workload reports and graphs is available to managers and staff providing a transparent view of team performance
- Another key benefit is the ease of access to planning application associated documentation made possible by EDMS
James Dodd, Project Service Lead for Consultee Access implementation at East Riding of Yorkshire Council commented: “Consultee Access has so far proven itself as a winner in terms of saving valuable service time reducing duplication and manual processes. We have, in the very early stages of implementation, so far had 4,300 responses back via the Consultee Access System which, if it took 3 minutes previously to manually replicate the comments and publish them, equates to 29 full working days. Multiply this across the future rollout of the system and it is certainly looking encouraging”
Andrew Riley, Chief Operating Officer, Idox Software Ltd added: “This project perfectly illustrates the benefits delivered by integrating a range of back-office services with easily accessible solutions such as Public Access and Consultee Access. The fact that our systems are being used to such obvious positive effect, as highlighted by the statistics quoted, demonstrates the return that can be achieved with a minimal level of training."
Following the successful implementation of Consultee Access, EDMS and Idox Enterprise, ERYC are currently working with Idox on the development of mobile solutions for a number of areas: not just Building Control but also Planning. Being able to undertake more work in the field will help improve work / life balance for staff and reduce the level of unnecessary re-keying of information.
Furthermore, ERYC are also considering the additional efficiencies which could be delivered by using the Idox Consultee Cloud, which provides a direct communication link between any Local Authority and the major consultees. The Council also plans to look more closely at iApply: the single portal for Planning, Building Control and Licensing applications and registers over the forthcoming months.
Download the full story visit: East Riding extend portfolio of Idox integrated digital solutions
Idox is a supplier of specialist information management solutions to the public sector and to highly regulated asset intensive industries around the world in the wider corporate sector.
Our Public Sector Software division serves over 90% of UK local authorities with market-leading solutions to effectively administer information & knowledge, business processes & workflow as well as connecting directly with the citizen via a range of advanced digital services.
In England, the devolution of powers to local government is a key theme of the current political landscape. Local authorities are creating partnerships, known as ‘combined authorities’, and are attempting to secure ‘devolution deals’. These deals are expected to provide regions with greater responsibility over areas such as transport, housing, and health.
This devolution of powers could bring a number of changes for Idox customers. Therefore, at Idox, we’ve decided to take look at the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, which will provide the statutory framework for devolution. In addition, we’ll outline some of the controversial issues that have been highlighted during these early stages of the devolution process.
Premises & Facilities Magazine held their 22nd annual awards ceremony on November 4th, at The Brewery in central London, with over 500 guests attending to celebrate partnerships in facilities management.
CAFM Explorer, in partnership with Manchester City Football Club, came a close second in the ‘Partners in Sport’ category.
Claire Visser, VP Facilities & Infrastructure, commented, “It was a shame to come so close but a great achievement to be the only software company shortlisted in any of the partnership categories. It was a very enjoyable evening and a great opportunity to network with existing and prospective clients.”
For more information on CAFM Explorer, Idox’s leading facilities management software solution, please visit: CAFM Explorer.
Horsham District Council have selected Idox to deliver the Exacom hosted solution for Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 monitoring. Under the agreement Idox will also be responsible for data integration with Horsham’s existing land and property solutions previously supplied by Idox.Tweet
Congratulations to the NEC, the events and exhibition centre and part of NEC Group, on winning this year’s Impact on Sustainability award at the BIFM Awards 2015.
Focussing on zero waste to landfill, the organisation managed to save 1,303 tonnes of carbon in 2014 alone, as well as saving more than £700,000 in landfill tax. The NEC manages to meet its targets by closely monitoring activity on site with KPI audits and regular compliance checks.
Led by the facilities team, the whole organisation, including suppliers, event organisers, staff and local communities are part of what is calls a ‘culture of change’.
The NEC use Idox’s total facilities management software, CAFM Explorer, to manage assets, PPM, helpdesk requests, contractor management and multi-level reporting at the Exhibitions Centre, Genting Arena, ICC and Barclaycard Arena.
Following a stringent judging process, Idox is pleased to announce the five category winners that have each been awarded £3,000 in recognition of their achievement and merit:
- Innovation in Supporting Local Economic Development:
Citadel Associates – Ignition Autos Community Garage and Training Centre
- Innovation in Promoting Community Engagement:
Media Trust – Community Focus Project
- Innovation in Promoting Healthy Living:
Cedarwood Trust – Soup-a-Gran
- Innovation in Supporting Children and Young People (aged up to 18 years):
ICU Transformational Arts Ltd – Breaking the Silence Empowerment Programme for Girls
- Innovation in Promoting Environmental Sustainability:
South Eastern Regional College (SERC) – SERC Woodland Project
These projects were selected by the Awards Panel based on their ability to demonstrate a creative and forward-thinking approach to improving the life of their communities.
Idox was pleased to welcome four people to the panel this year who were all involved in the decision making process – Dawn Austwick OBE, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund and panel chair, joined by Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Executive of ARMA (Association of Research Managers and Administrators), Clare Goff, Editor of national regeneration magazine New Start, and Paul Welshman, Associate Director of Enterprise of the University of Salford.
Dawn Austwick commented: “It’s great to see organisations developing new ways to support people to achieve their ambitions, build confidence and overcome common issues like unemployment and isolation. These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the innovative approaches that are helping to transform lives and communities across the UK, and this is something we’re keen to support at the Big Lottery Fund.”
Rebecca Erskine, Director of Idox Grants added: “The Awards attracted projects from across the UK that demonstrated a creative and forward-thinking approach to improving the life of communities in one or more locations. Among the winners were projects which: promoted healthy eating amongst an isolated older generation; supported teenage girls at risk of sexual exploitation and self-harm; addressed mental health issues through art; brought together an isolated local community with a prison community via the medium of poetry; and upskilled young people to improve their employment opportunities.
“The Awards are our way of recognising the impact that inspiring initiatives have on building the confidence of local people and creating vibrant places for them to live, work and play. The winning projects the panel selected are a true celebration of community spirit and invention across the UK.”
About Idox – Grants
The Grants arm of Idox is recognised as Europe’s leading provider of funding and policy information. Established in 1985, it is committed to the provision of funding information and support and seeks to help organisations at every stage of the funding process, from identification of suitable funding to application and grants and bid management.
Government figures indicate that there have not been enough homes to meet the needs of the UK’s growing and ageing population. In 2007, it was forecast that 240,000 homes needed to be built per year until 2016 to keep up with increasing demand. However, after the credit crunch, housing completions fell to just 100,000 per year. Inevitably, this has created tension for the housing sector’s outlook – positively as a driving force for innovation but highly negatively in terms of pressure on resources.
As a provider of funding information services to housing associations and support bodies across the UK, Idox has examined the latest thinking on housing sector funding and the country’s changing demographics. In this article, it looks at how key stakeholders are responding to the funding environment and community-based initiatives designed to help address the housing challenge at a local level.Tweet
Since the General Election held in May this year, Idox’s Elections services team has been busy delivering a wide-range of electoral services for both local authority and NHS Trust by-elections and community council elections including Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Birmingham City Council, Fife Council, Moray Council, Perth & Kinross Council, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, South Lanarkshire Council, Glasgow City Council, The City of Edinburgh Council and Cheshire and Wirral NHS Trust. Additionally Idox provided internet voting site to elect staff members for the Council of Europe and a range of technical services to support the delivery Norwegian local elections on 15th September 2015.
The range of managed election services delivered by Idox includes: managed print services, postal vote managed services, e-counting and electronic voting as well as the project management and supervision required to deliver success in conjunction with the council’s own workforce.
As a leading supplier of electoral services, Idox understands and actively engages with the issues and challenges that electoral administrators face and specialises in designing and delivering a wide range of innovative and cost effective solutions.
For more information about our range of elections services, visit: Idox Elections.Tweet
Birmingham City University has reported over £34,000 funding secured by its students via its subscription to Idox’s Open 4 Learning funding service.
Open 4 Learning is an innovative and easy-to-use funding information tool designed to help those in further and higher education find out more about the funding available to support their learning.
Launched in 2013, the Birmingham City 4 Learning portal is now an established part of the University’s student support services portfolio, offering registered users free access to thousands of funding opportunities.
A recent survey of students’ use of the portal returned impressive feedback. Of the 124 responses received, 35% of respondents had applied for funding as a result of the funding opportunities identified through the service. Of these respondents, 47% had successfully obtained funding, making for a total recorded funding success of some £34,330.
Assistant Director of Student Services Matt Till notes:
“BCU provides a wide range of internal financial support, but enrolled students are always looking for ways to supplement their income, especially those from the lowest family income and students with family responsibilities of their own. The ability to identify additional sources of funding for students is increasingly important.
“Open 4 Learning really adds value to our financial support offer and enables the University to support students to access a much wider range of funding opportunities, particularly via charities and trusts. It is an excellent tool for undergraduates and postgraduates alike.”
Read Birmingham City University’s Open 4 Learning case study in full. The document is part of a series published throughout 2015 in celebration of Idox’s 30 years as Europe’s leading publisher of funding and policy information.
About Idox Software Ltd
Idox is a supplier of specialist information management solutions and services to the public sector and to a wide range of industries around the world in the corporate sector. Idox is Europe’s leading provider of funding and policy information services and has, since 1985, supported organisations at every stage of the funding process from identification of suitable funding to application and management.
Many countries around the world are focusing on the transformation of public services through eGovernment. IDOX is a market-leading developer and provider of a broad range of software solutions for UK and international public sector organisations – especially local government. These solutions help clients comply with regulatory requirements, as well as enable online delivery of services to the public.
In this article, Idox’s Steven McGinty looks at the approach to digital government in Singapore and what the UK can learn from a country which has repeatedly been ranked highly for its citizen-centric services.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), developing and proving innovation in British technology and manufacturing processes, has turned to Idox’s leading facilities and property solution, CAFM Explorer, to help improve the management of its growing estates operation.
The MTC plan to use CAFM Explorer to provide an integrated approach to all building services, planned maintenance, asset and property management functions. CAFM Explorer will enable the estates team to deliver joined up services across a growing property portfolio and improve service quality to the workforce. CAFM Explorer makes use of an integrated database to store information across all facilities and property disciplines giving MTC greater real-time visibility of their asset status and enabling clear and improved strategic decision making across the estate.
The MTC has seen significant growth during its 5 year existence. With continued growth expected for some time to come, a decision was made to bring the facilities management in-house in order to regain complete control. This decision led to a review of the technology used by the incumbent provider.
Colin Bradley, Estates Manager at The MTC, says “We needed a solution that not only enabled us to easily transition from our existing platform but also one that covered all our short, medium and longer term requirements. Having all facilities and property functions managed in one integrated system will provide the control and efficiency we need to deliver across the estate. ”
“We are witnessing an interesting change in attitude towards the out-sourced facilities management model where a service provider is managing many key processes.” says Claire Visser, VP Facilities & Infrastructure - Idox. “Typically, with an out-sourced contract model, the organisation may have little visibility or control of their data. This can create an uncomfortable position for many customers who have now decided to in-source the management of their facility while retaining the provider to carry out the necessary tasks.”
CAFM Explorer will enable the MTC to create and assign automated work order tasks that, while carried out by a service provider, remain the responsibility of the in-house Facilities Manager for reporting and analysis.
About The MTC
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) develops and proves innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile, low risk environment, in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions. It focuses on delivering bespoke manufacturing system solutions for its customers.
The MTC operates some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, and employs a team of highly skilled engineers, many of whom are leading experts in their field. This creates a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new processes and technologies on an industrial scale.
The MTC’s areas of expertise are directly relevant to both large and small companies, and are applicable across a wide range of industry sectors. The MTC’s members include global manufacturing companies from multiple sectors. Research partners include the University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and TWI Ltd. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult which is supported by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board).
About Idox Software
Idox plc is a supplier of specialist information management solutions and services to the public sector and to a wide range of industries around the world in the corporate sector. CAFM Explorer is a fully integrated and complete facilities and property management solution used by over 550 customers in 48 countries. Now in its 30th year it continues to innovate and develop to support this constantly evolving industry.
Entrepreneurs and SME owners starting or growing a business and seeking to boost their funding knowledge will welcome the news that Idox now offers a dedicated ‘Business Grants for Beginners’ e-learning course.
Building on the success of its ‘Get Grant Ready’ e-learning programme – the equivalent course for those engaged with the public and not-for-profit sectors – ‘Business Grants for Beginners’ empowers learners with a clear understanding of how to find and choose appropriate funders and apply for business funding with confidence.
Covering everything from ‘Different Types of Funder’ to ‘Why Applications Fail’, the CPD-accredited programme includes many practical exercises to ensure trainees fully immerse themselves in the course material and draws upon Idox’s experience as a provider of business funding information.
Idox plc is a supplier of specialist information management solutions to the public sector and to highly regulated asset intensive industries around the world in the wider corporate sector.
Idox is Europe’s leading provider of funding and policy information services and has, since 1985, supported organisations at every stage of the funding process from identification of suitable funding to application and management.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC), is responsible for coordinating investment and driving forward development of the new Ebbsfleet garden city, building up to 15,000 new homes.
To help deliver this project, EDC has selected Idox’s Uniform solution to provide a development management system to administer planning applications and development control. The new solution will be integrated with Idox’s Document Management (EDMS) solution, simplifying users access to relevant documents and plans and supporting the publication of documents to citizens and other interested parties.
EDC will also implement Idox Enterprise which will enable managers to monitor workflow and reallocate tasks to balance staff workload.
Finally, EDC will adopt Idox’s Public Access system which will enable developers and stakeholders to view and track progress of applications online and automatically be notified of new applications and status changes.
All of the solutions will be provided as a managed, hosted service for a minimum period of 3 years.
For information about EDC, visit: Ebbsfleet new garden city.
Idox recently attended the Thames Valley Property Forum which focused on the implications of infrastructure expansion on the Thames Valley business community.
In keeping with the infrastructure theme, Idox showcased FusionLive, an end-to-end, cloud-based construction project collaboration and document management solution, and CAFM Explorer, Idox’s leading facilities management software solution.
A summary of the key topics discussed and their effects on the local business community is included below.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Holdings, informed delegates that the delay in building a new runway at Heathrow Airport is costing the UK economy £1billion every month. He went on to say that the future prosperity of many Thames Valley businesses rested upon the Heathrow expansion and that emerging international markets were all far away.
Holland-Kaye commented: “You can only get to those growing markets by air and via a national hub airport such as Heathrow. Equally, inward investors need good UK connectivity.”
Connectivity formed the basis of Lord Adonis’ keynote speech, commenting: “Connections are so important in the infrastructure world,” and went on to highlight the need to ensure improved future Thames Valley connectivity through the proposed Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRaTH), and linkage to the north-south High Speed 2 line from the planned London junction at Old Oak Common.
Lord Adonis further added: “Great things have happened. Infrastructure affecting Reading and the Thames Valley is improving, but there’s no place for complacency. There’s still a lot more to do.”
Other topics covered during the day included demand for workforce housing, and the need for the Thames Valley to be perceived as a ‘cool, smart’ place to live, with cutting-edge technology required to support this trend.
Watford Borough Council have extended their contract with Idox to outsource elements of their planning service.
UK Planning was originally set-up in 2003 to provide Planning Application scanning and indexing services. Under a new managed service contract, Idox will scan, index and redact approximately 1800 planning application cases per year with a guaranteed turnaround time from receipt of document through to publication to Watford’s document management system.
A new map of the UK evidence ecosystem has identified Idox as a key provider of commercial services and programmes on ‘what works’ in social policy. Developed by the Alliance for Useful Evidence and The Social Innovation Partnership, the map is designed to give a picture of the diversity of organisations involved in supporting evidence use in the government and public sector. Idox is highlighted for its long-standing focus on supporting evidence-based policy, along with other consultancies, such as Arup, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC.
Two key Idox products are also recognised for making research relevant and accessible to practitioners – not just researchers. The Idox Information Service holds over 200,000 summarised research resources and covers over thirty areas of public policy, including planning, economic development and housing. Idox also contributes data to the Social Policy and Practice database, which focuses on health and social care evidence.
Last month the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee launched an inquiry into the UK’s digital economy. This is expected to explore the opportunities in the sector, which currently employs 1.5 million people in the UK. As a market-leading supplier of software and services, IDOX recognises the importance of technological innovation and on 8 October announced that it had acquired the UK trading arm of Reading Room Ltd. Reading Room, founded in 1996, is a digital consultancy business with a focus on delivering websites and digital services that enable its customers to make critical shifts into digital business and client engagement. It has an international reputation for its award winning and innovative approaches to strategic consultancy, design, and technical delivery.
In this article, Idox’s Steven McGinty looks at the remit of the government’s digital economy inquiry and why digital innovation will be key to the UK’s economic success in the future.