As an existing Crown Commercial Service provider, Idox is delighted to announce that following a successful tender, Cloud Amber (an Idox company) has been awarded a place on the new Traffic Management Technology 2 (TMT2) Framework Agreement.
The TMT2 agreement is for the supply of traffic management technology products, solutions and professional services for use by UK Public Sector organisations. Cloud Amber has been awarded a place on the Framework in respect of:
- Lot 3: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Data Systems
- Lot 7: Urban Traffic Management Control and Common Database Systems.
- Lot 14: Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
- Lot 15: Catalogue
Cloud Amber is a leading innovator who delivers intelligent and deeply integrated transports solutions across all forms of transport including Network Management, Fleet Operations and Informed Personal Travel.
For further information visit: Cloud Amber
For more information about the Framework, visit: Traffic Management Technology 2 (TMT2)
Smart growth, inclusive growth and sustainable growth are the three strategic priorities that form the basis for the leading European funding programmes in 2017 and beyond. In an interview with Marnix Smit, European Grant Specialist at Vindsubsidies, we uncover the latest funding opportunities available for the public sector from the European funding pot.
“The largest grant opportunities for public sector organisations lie in related topics such as sustainable urban development, smart mobility and energy efficiency,” Smit commented. He added, “threats from large international investment programmes and Brexit will have a profound influence on future funding opportunities for those operating in the public domain”.
What funding is currently available and what are the anticipated changes for the public sector in 2017?
Digital technologies present significant opportunities for improvements and savings in local government. With their ability to aid cost-savings, assist economic growth and deliver better outcomes for local residents and communities, digitisation is becoming ever more important for local councils and their partners.
However, whilst many are already reaping the benefits of digital, significant barriers are preventing others from keeping up with the pace of change and achieving their digital vision.
As a leading supplier of digital software, services and content to local authorities across the UK, Idox’s latest whitepaper The Digital Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities for Local Government outlines the digital challenges facing local authorities, and presents practical examples to demonstrate how councils can make – and have made – digital transformation a reality.
As the first in a two-part digital whitepaper series, The Digital Landscape provides the digital context ahead of Digital Solutions for Local Government, expected to be published in the New Year.
As part of plans to expand its research funding information service across Europe in support of public sector and related organisations, RESEARCHconnect is able to report an impressive year of activity.
With over 40 new clients joining the RESEARCHconnect family since the beginning of January and building upon its existing footprint in the UK, RESEARCHconnect is fast becoming the online research funding service of choice for universities and research institutes across Europe, including Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Slovenia and Sweden.
The value of the RESEARCHconnect service is reflected in feedback from its users. Tina Rucigaj, Business Secretary at the Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia commended the service, finding it “very satisfying”, with “added value coming from the product, besides saving time, in the additional information about specific calls that you cannot find elsewhere.”
Rolf Klappert, Head of Grant Office at Switzerland’s Université de Neuchâtel, also had positive findings to share: “In a country where industrial, export-oriented activities are crucial for economic development, it is essential to identify tailored funding opportunities for research and innovation that will contribute to maintaining and enhancing competitiveness. The RESEARCHconnect service helps us discover new and interesting funding opportunities to be shared with the researchers of our institution and also the private sector in our region.”
2017 holds further opportunities for RESEARCHconnect to build on these successes in Europe, extending into new countries for the first time. A key opportunity for universities and institutions to see the benefits of the service will be at the EARMA Annual Conference, taking place in Malta in April. RESEARCHconnect is returning as Gold Sponsor of this flagship event in the European research calendar and looks forward to welcoming all those with an interest in enhancing their research funding identification processes.
Idox announces the integration of Sport England’s back office planning application management system with its integral Consultee Cloud service.
Idox’s Consultee Cloud links local planning authorities and consultees via a direct, online channel, and provides the solution necessary to speed up the process of distributing, coordinating, receiving and responding to planning consultations of which there are hundreds of thousands per year. Town planning process stakeholders use the e-consultation cloud to complete both internal and external consultations online, benefitting from both time and resource savings.
Mark Critchley, GIS Manager at Sport England explains, “The integration of the Consultee Cloud service with our in house planning application management system ensures applications are received and responded to directly instead of by email. The integrated service reduces effort and removes errors for our administration team to log applications, whilst also establishing a more streamlined process for our Planning Managers to send responses back to planning authorities.”
Marie White, Senior Planning Administrator at Sport England adds, “With around 2,400 applications handled by Sport England every year, the time saving alone will be significant. We expect this efficiency to continue to rise as more and more planning authorities carry on joining the service. With application numbers running into the hundreds for some, an automated service is definitely the way forward in terms of streamlining and making a success of the process.”
Paul Beaney, Operations Director at Idox, highlights other benefits of Idox’s Consultee Cloud, which in addition to being a service for back office integration can be accessed via a dedicated website with single login. “The website not only provides a clear visual indication of priority by ordering consultations according to expiry date, it’s geographical information system (GIS) feature also allows consultees to plot the location of applications on a map. This allows them to easily identify clusters of development and plan appropriately.”
About Sport England
Sport England is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, responsible for increasing the number of people doing sport and activity in England – no matter what their background, ability or age. This is achieved by investing in organisations and projects that will get more people playing sport and creating opportunities for people to be more physically active. Website: www.sportengland.org
Idox's Public Sector Software division: serves over 90% of local authorities through supplying leading applications for core functions relating to land, property and people. Our planning, regulatory services and election management solutions provide the market-leading tools that allow our customers to effectively administer information, business processes and workflow. Website: www.idoxgroup.com
As cities realise the need to improve sustainability, many are turning to innovative technologies to address challenges such as traffic congestion and air pollution. Here, the ‘smart agenda’, with its focus on technology and urban infrastructure, overlaps with the ‘sustainability agenda’ – usually associated with energy, waste management and transport.
With our broad range of digital capabilities, Idox is supporting local authorities across the UK to address some of these challenges through such solutions as Cloud Amber (enabling the efficient movement of people and goods); iApply (helping to transform Planning and Building Control with a streamlined online application service); and OnSite (a suite of new, role-based apps dedicated to helping local authority staff in their day-to-day work).
In this article, Idox’s Steven McGinty reports on smart-eco city developments in Glasgow, London and Manchester.
In the UK, increased life expectancy means that people can expect to live longer than ever before.
In the second of two articles on planning for an ageing society, Idox’s Donna Gardiner highlights some of the ways in which planners can help support the creation of age-friendly environments by influencing the design of the urban environment, transport, housing and the wider community and neighbourhood.
Read the full article: Planning for an ageing population: designing age-friendly environments
On average, the UK’s population is becoming older and living longer, healthier lives. Between 2014 and 2039, the government predicts that over 70% of UK population growth will be in the over 60 age group. Although this trend is partially countered by migration, by 2037 there will be 1.42 million more households headed by someone aged 85 or over.
In the first of two articles on planning for an ageing society, Idox’s Donna Gardiner looks at key considerations for local government, and in particular for planning departments.Read the full article here: Planning for an ageing population: some key considerations
European funding programme, Eurostars, scores SME driven research projects highly with top scoring projects coming from Health, Life Science and ICT projects in the Netherlands in addition to Biotechnology and Medical Technology in the UK.
Vindsubsidies, on behalf of a consortium formed by Twente Medical Systems International (TMSi), Eindhoven University of Technology and the French partners Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and La Hospital Amiens-Picardie, recently won a substantial Eurostars grant amounting to almost €700,000 for a prestigious health project to reduce preterm birth.
Preterm birth is the major cause of child mortality and morbidity (63%) in the EU. Drugs to suppress preterm delivery are available but they only work if administered at the right time. TMSi and its partners have developed a self-care monitoring device to measure uterine contractions which allows timely drug administration to reduce the risk of preterm birth.
Proud to Contribute
Tim Lage Venterink, consultant of Vindsubsidies, commented: “it was a pleasure to contribute towards such a worthwhile and significant win. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to contribute towards such a fantastic project that offers help to so many people.”
Bringing local government into the 21st century is fraught with well documented challenges. In 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) carried out a survey into local government leaders’ views on digital transformation. The research identified six key barriers to digital adoption:
- Legacy systems and ICT infrastructure
- Lack of development funds
- Unwillingness to change / non-cooperation of colleagues
- Lack of in-house digital skills
- Culturally uncomfortable for the organisation
- Supplier inflexibility
In our latest blog, Idox’s Steven McGinty discusses what’s holding back digital transformation in local government.
Stoke City has launched its new online shop as the first phase of a strategy to create a world-class digital experience for the club’s fans.
The Premier League club has invested in new ecommerce technology - the cutting-edge Magento 2 platform - and teamed up with experienced sports digital agency Rippleffect to offer its fans a sophisticated online shopping experience, far-ahead of some of football’s biggest clubs.
With more than half of all traffic to the club’s store now arriving from wireless devices and that number increasing year-on-year, a mobile-first approach has been taken, ensuring fans can browse, find and purchase official merchandise however they choose to shop.
Potters’ fans were consulted as part of the process to establish their aspirations and expectations for the platform; while statistical analysis was used to identify online behaviour patterns across both football and retail. These insights, coupled with the extensive capabilities of the Magento platform, allowed Rippleffect to plan and create intuitive user-experience with features designed to make online shopping enjoyable and effortless for the fan.
The new site provides opportunities for fans to customise and experiment with products. Key features include a simple, yet effective product search and a drop-down menu featuring every current club player, allowing the user to hover over a name and see their chosen player sporting each available kit. There is also an option to enter into a responsive kit-builder and quickly personalise items on any device.
Rippleffect partnered with Touchretail to provide a full EPOS solution, recently implemented within the tills at the club’s retail stores. These are now linked to the checkouts in the new shop site, creating one overall till system. This allows Stoke City to maximise reporting and gives the club a global view of all transactions, both on and offline.
Importantly, the new platform has provided Stoke City with the flexibility and scalability to leverage any new ecommerce functions and tactics. Plus, multiple payment and shipping providers ensure fans are catered for wherever they are in the world.
Stoke City appointed the Idox Group-owned Rippleffect as its new long-term digital partner earlier this year and the two teams will now collaborate on a new, fan-first official club website that will launch in time for the 2017/2018 season.
Commenting on the partnership, Stoke City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: "Rippleffect are without doubt one of the most reputable digital agencies in sport, particularly in football where they have forged long-term working relationships with a number of leading clubs. We are delighted to be entering into a digital partnership with them as we look to create websites that offer first-class experiences for our fans."
In the first of three articles looking at the challenges facing the building control sector, we highlight the growing demand – driven in part by changes to the building regulations due in 2017 – for future-proof digital infrastructure.
What does this mean for the public and private sectors? Idox’s James Carson examines the current and future plans in place to prepare the UK for a digital and better-connected future.
Read the full piece on the Idox blog: Digital infrastructure: laying the foundations for a better-connected future
Providing his first major update on the state of the public finances since becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond acknowledged in the 2016 Autumn Statement that the post-EU referendum UK’s economic outlook has become more uncertain. With a potential £59 billion gap to account for over the next five years, emphasis was placed on plans to boost investment in infrastructure and housing to equip the UK economy for life outside the EU.
In this blog, the POLICYfinder team outlines the Chancellor’s key announcements across the public sector and related sectors, with reactions from stakeholders.
As part of our commitment to supporting digital service delivery and best practice across the UK, Idox is pleased to announce its latest partnership with the Better Connected programme.
As a Socitm and Boilerhouse Communications initiative, the programme is targeted at analysing digital performance in local authorities and other local public services.
Idox will support Better Connected’s 2016-17 work in accelerating digital transformation across local government, providing expertise to deliver surveys and content in the areas of Building Control and Licensing.
With a host of digital products supporting both sectors – not least online application service iApply and new role-based app suite OnSite – Idox will provide the industry and technology knowledge required to deliver the aims of the Programme. Most notably, this includes delivering to decision makers in local authorities and the wider public sector, accessible and tangible data and intelligence that offers the opportunity to make digital improvements in the lives of local citizens.
Results from the first Idox-sponsored survey, Building Control, are anticipated to be published in early December.
For further information on the Better Connected programme, visit https://betterconnected.socitm.net
The recent Channel Shift in the Public Sector conference focused on how public sector organisations are harnessing the power of digital services to drive efficiencies and savings.
Every year, local government are mandated to deliver over 100 different services even though funding is still being cut to meet central government targets. In addition, citizen expectations are higher than ever before. They want to be able to engage with councils on their terms, wherever they happen to be and on whatever device they are using 24/7 365 days of the year.
Councils are working hard to address these challenges and have looked towards using technology and digital tools in more innovative ways to drive transformation. Many councils have identified citizen self-service as a way to reduce costs and increase efficiency to meet customer expectations. However, it’s not just about cost savings but providing the same level of service, for more people with less resource.
One of the topics discussed at the conference, highlighted how councils have reduced the processing costs of managing customer contact in the ‘front office’, by designing out avoidable manual contact when implementing and utilising digital services. Councils commented that they had seen a rise in customer satisfaction and an increase in online transactions whilst face to face contact and calls had decreased. However, it’s also about recognising where digital services can add value and where they can’t.
For example, by offering a digital service to report potholes - whilst this may have reduced face to face or phone contact, the number of potholes reported increased which impacted the budget required to fill the holes.
Making services accessible in one place has been highly successful for Harrow Council since the introduction of their MyHarrow Account. Harrow delivers online digital services that work both for the customer and for the council which have delivered real savings and increased customer satisfaction as more transactions are being resolved at first point of contact.
Harrow actively encourages online transactional customer contact and includes a portal where selected local businesses can offer discounts to its citizens.
iApply by Idox fits perfectly into this trend for digital self-service by offering local authorities the opportunity to benefit from an out of the box digital solution that makes submitting the most popular transactions (Planning, Building and License applications) simple for customers and cost effective for the authority. iApply offers significant efficiencies gained from direct synchronisation with back office systems reducing and even removing the need for manual intervention.
For more information about iApply, visit: digital self-service.
For six consecutive years, Melbourne has been ranked the 'most liveable city' by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The study assessed over 30 indicators, across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.
In our latest article, Idox’s Steven McGinty looks at the factors that have helped Melbourne achieve “most liveable city” status – including the role of smart city initiatives such as the use of data and digital technologies to meet the changing needs of its residents.
In addition to managing the regional road network, Oxfordshire County Council’s management team is responsible for managing all infrastructure contracts and ensuring real-time passenger information is available for the 100 bus routes across the county’s network.
Idox’s traffic management solution from Cloud Amber provides information on the 270 bus stops across the county, collating data to a single source and keeping passengers informed of any delays. Idox’s Icarus solution broadcasts vehicle and traffic information in real time. In conjunction with Voyager, another Idox solution, this enables updates to be available to busy passengers at the bus stops and bus interchanges.
Click here to read more about Idox’s digital traffic management solutions.
Today, the idea of researcher mobility is highly valued and more important for our world than ever before. In the context of Brexit and a changing international research landscape, RESEARCHconnect’s Jack Hood explores why this is the case, uncovering the factors facilitating and hampering mobility and the new concepts of mobility being mooted.
Future City Glasgow has had many successes since it was launched three years ago. The projects proposed by Glasgow City Council were designed to explore innovative ways to use technology and data to make the city ‘safer, smarter and more sustainable’.
Idox fits perfectly into this trend to deliver digital services by offering a broad range of digital solutions to support public and private sector organisations.
In this article, Idox’s Steven McGinty describes how the Future City Glasgow initiative has been exploring innovative technology and data applications to make the city safer, smarter and more sustainable.
Full article: Future City Glasgow: successes, challenges and legacy
The Knowledge Exchange is the information and intelligence arm of Idox, supporting policymakers and practitioners across the UK. One of its key products is Scottish Planning & Environmental Law (SPEL). Published bi-monthly, the journal is one of the leading information sources on land use planning and environmental legislation. In this article, Morwen Johnson considers recent significant court cases affecting planning in Scotland.