Milton Keynes Council, a local government authority in Buckinghamshire, England, provides a full range of services to nearly a quarter-million residents, including social services, tax, libraries, waste collection/disposal and planning, and is a local education authority.
The IT strategy for the council is very much based on understanding what our customers want and how they want service delivery made to them. The main challenges for the whole authorities is doing more with less. So developing the technology supporting people so they can work more effectively. We've seen changing in trends of how people communicate with the council. Part of our channel strategy is often moving people to the cheaper forms of delivery service and that generally means by either telephone or via the web. And we've seen a large increase of use of mobile technology, in terms of either contacting the council or accessing council information via the website.
As part of how we look at how we deliver services, we need to look also internally at how the officers within the councils use the assets in order to deliver those services. And it's very key that we give them the right tools in order to do that. We're trying to select the solution we are seeking to help us deliver services, we have to ensure that we present best value to the counsel.
The work that we've done with Mitel has been key to the development of the council. We are very much a Mitel based organization but also we're very much Microsoft based organization. And it's important for us to actually what we do is leverage the value after both of those by integrating them and making sure that we come up with the most effective way using both of those tool sets.
The green agenda is very much at the forefront of all our thoughts and how we can improve and reduce our carbon footprint in the environment. We've looked at various technologies. We've already looked at virtual service and we've completed that project. We're investing in virtual desktop infrastructure in such a way that they can have their desktop at every desk they sit at rather than having a dedicated desk.
So again, reducing by nearly 60-70% of the carbon output that will be on a traditional desktop, but also delivering those same services into the home environment or in some cases into mobile environment as well. When adopting any new technology, there is always a process of change and that change needs to be managed in the right way. So with the council we're going through accommodation strategy, which will see us consolidating estate. Which means that people will have to adopt those in order to be able to work effectively. And there's an element of support in terms of making sure that they are given the right support in order to use the technology in the most effective way.
For us, the challenge is really ensuring that we continue to provide good services to our residences and that however they contact us we're able to give consistent, good quality information to them. So one of the things that we are doing is looking at how can we use telephony more effectively because whilst it works very well in our contacts center and we've got that management information around, who's calling, when our peak times are, how we can manage that. That's not consistent across the organization currently.
So what we're doing, as well as developing online services to enable customers to self-serve, we're looking at improving our telephony across the organization. Because whilst we've already got that technical solution, we haven't, perhaps, implemented it everywhere that we could have done.
Flexibility and home working will also be a key area for us to look at going forward. Because with some of our drivers around accommodation, rationalization, and looking to really make effective use of resources, we will need to ensure that where we can, options such as flexible home working are in place so we can also deal with things like sudden peaks and demands.
Ensuring that our Mitel telephony solution integrates with that online customer service platform and also the system used by our contacts and our agents has been a real challenge for us and I think it's been a really positive process. We've had excellent feedback from all of our program team and suppliers.
My ultimate aim would be for our customers to receive that consistent quality of service. So to do that, what need to ensure is that any contacts that come in integrate with the Microsoft product and the telephony solution, so that our agency that all is well in work stream.
The aims that we have at the moment are to fully virtualize the Mitel infrastructure. Where Mitel have provided a strong platform, that has brought virtual server technologies into the mainstream and to gain business benefits, cost reduction, and improvements to service.
We've now taken the next step to start bringing virtual desktop infrastructure with contacts and to clients to deliver the possibilities of improved home working and flexible working. The council sees Mitel as the core of its communications infrastructure.