By Geoff Prowling: Head of Public Sector Business Operations, Telefónica UK
We understand that time and money are precious resources for the public sector. These organisations face a challenging mire of constant budget reductions, combined with an ever-increasing expectation to deliver more with less. And they need to do all of this while upholding necessary security regulations and empowering their people to work smarter and more flexibly. To address these challenges, the convergence of infrastructure solutions is a natural route to deliver cost savings and productivity gains.
I’ve worked both in and with the public sector for nearly thirty years, with a particular focus on IT procurement. And having driven a number of large procurement contracts for Leeds City Council, I’ve not only experienced these challenges first-hand, but I’ve seen the potential for drastic improvements in productivity and efficiency when services are successfully converged. Rationalising a fixed infrastructure allows people to work smarter and more flexibly, and combining fixed solutions with a mobile network can truly mobilise public sector organisations. This is what we offer through O2 Gateway.
O2 Gateway didn’t come about by accident. We recognised the unnecessary complexity and confusion of the Enterprise ICT market, and wanted to simplify it for our customers. That’s why O2 Gateway brings together multiple services into one platform, all delivered from one secure provider. We’ve capitalised on our mobile heritage, but we’ve evolved our mobile-centric offering to include wifi and fixed networks, too. For our customers, this means significant economies of scale and cost savings.
And now that O2 Gateway is CAS(T) certified, we are in a unique position to support the public sector in tackling their challenges. We are the only operator that the UK Government has awarded CAS(T) certification to for both our mobile and WAN services. We offer a truly converged service not just to public sector organisations, but to all our customers.
Receiving CAS(T) accreditation for O2 Gateway demonstrates the strength and security of our offering. It shows that our services are compliant with UK Government security requirements – which are of course also applicable to private sector organisations. What’s more, CAS(T) is aligned with ISO27001, but offers extra peace of mind to customers as a higher level of security accreditation. The key difference is that the majority of ISO27001’s controls are not mandated, whereas the requirements for CAS(T) certification are all compulsory.
We’ve worked hard to reach the stringent standards set out by the UK Government for Information Assurance. We have a network to be proud of, and we can leverage this on our customers’ behalf to drive much-needed cost savings and productivity gains without compromising on security. O2 Gateway is the crucial enabler to allow improved delivery of services in the public sector.
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