The Public Sector Challenge: Reaching the public through effective communication

    There is little doubt that the way we choose to communicate is continuing to evolve, both professionally and personally. Communication is becoming easier than ever too. Mobile devices are now ubiquitous and the appetite for cloud-based applications and services means data can be accessed and used everywhere.

    It’s clear that more established communication methods continue to be important; 144 billion emails are sent around the world every day and on average people still make, receive or avoid 22 phone calls a day. But these now sit alongside other rich communication channels, such as video conferencing, web conferencing, live chat and interaction across social media.

    The streams of communication are shifting, and this is having an impact in the workplace.

    The communications challenge for the public sector

    In the UK, we speak to many public sector organisations and here the pressures to communicate effectively and efficiently are no different than in the enterprise. In fact, with high levels of criticism around overspending over the last five years, the pressure is on to deliver high quality services while demonstrating the taxpayer’s money is being spent wisely.

    This isn’t only at central government level, as local government organisations juggle reducing budgets with increasing service demands. Multiple functions and departments and widely dispersed estates that can typically house any number of functions, from libraries to crematoriums to leisure centres, make the typical council a wildly complex organisation. Collaboration and communication has to work within teams, between functions, with other public sector bodies – and most importantly for the citizens.

    Changing communication in local government

    Our work with Milton Keynes Council demonstrates the way in which shifting streams of communication can positively impact an organisation.

    Here, the company has actively embraced a culture that supports flexible working and provides the tools and applications to help staff work and communicate more effectively. By working with Mitel, Milton Keynes Council has a powerful blend of unified communications features that are enhancing customer service for its 245,000 residents, supporting home and flexible working programmes for 2,800 council employees, and reducing overall costs.

    Maximising the benefits of best of breed technology

    The challenge for many organisations is maximising the full benefits of all previous communication investments even when new technology is brought on board.  As Paul Wheeler, Head of IT Strategic Development at Milton Keynes Council puts it:

    “The council is very much a Mitel focused organisation but we’re also very much a Microsoft organisation. It’s important for us that we leverage the value out of both of them, by integrating and making the most of both these tool sets.”

    Such an approach can allow organisations to create a seamless communication experience and improved internal communication through voice and data. It’s a requirement that is only going to grow. Keeping pace will be the challenge that businesses now face. In a world where information surrounds us, clear communication and collaboration is more important than ever.

    To find out more about Mitel’s work with Milton Keynes Council click here to see a video case study.