Key Statistics

5

Contact Centres

140

Agents across 3 council areas

700k

Citizens

24

Hospitals & Health Centres

Challenges

Vale of Glamorgan Council was using an ageing, unsupported technology infrastructure that didn’t handle new digital customer channels. This, along with stretched public sector budgets and rising customer expectations, meant that Vale of Glamorgan needed a new solution that would cater to both theirs and their customers needs.

The council also needed to adhere to new Welsh Government legislation ensuring better Welsh language services, more diverse self-service options for customers and future sustainability across the country.

To achieve these goals, Vale of Glamorgan Council needed a future-proof solution.

The Connecting Wales Solution

Connecting Wales: the shared communication & contact centre platform for the Welsh public sector. A framework which enables any Welsh public sector body to procure the latest communication, collaboration and contact centre capabilities via the cloud. This solution dramatically improved Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ability to serve their citizens and their operations as a Welsh public sector body:

  • Access to the latest omnichannel contact centre capabilities
  • Shared service, dual language, contact centre platform
  • Workforce management and optimisation capabilities
  • Collaboration and conferencing for all employees
  • Core telephony with mobility
  • Self-service AI and chatbots
  • Cost effective and highly flexible

What is Connecting Wales?

The Connecting Wales initiative arose from discussions which took place through the Customer Focus Wales network of local authority professionals, who were aware that much of the communications and contact centre technology being utilised by their respective councils, and which was installed between 10 and 15 years previously, was reaching its technical ‘end of life’. Many of the 22 Welsh councils, like others across the UK, were facing similar issues – a requirement to make further efficiency savings because of year on year budget reductions, while coping with changing customer behaviours and preferences about how and when they wish to access services.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council and Wrexham Borough District Council took the lead and built a business case for a shared technology and customer-facing contact centre platform. The Welsh Government provided support with initial funding to allow the first stages of the project to get underway. This evolved and led to a framework agreement which enables all councils and other public sector organisations in Wales to procure services through Connecting Wales. Vale of Glamorgan was the first council to go live on the shared service platform, along with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Impact

"We are proud to be leading on this exciting project which provides a platform for increased collaboration across public services in Wales, maximising use of resources and ensuring that we continue to deliver excellent services for our citizens. FourNet's innovative design and tailor-made service will help to transform the digital services of local government and the public sector in Wales, and we look forward to many more councils and public sector bodies joining us in Connecting Wales."

Rob Thomas
Managing Director at Vale of Glamorgan Council

"This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when local authorities and other public sector organisations work together. I am delighted Welsh Government funding is supporting collaboration across local government, allowing them to develop and use innovative technology to provide a better service to their customers and to make their staff's jobs easier."

Julie James
Minister for Housing and Local Government Welsh Government