Huntingdonshire ditches CRM shared service with Cambridgeshire

By Sooraj Shah
04 Jan 2013 View Comments
A call centre worker

Hinton insisted that there were no issues with its shared services set-up with Cambridgeshire County Council and that it continues to work with Cambridgeshire in other areas.

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"I think for them, strategically it was not the right time to move systems – they have a lot more users and Onyx is used much more widely around the county than the district so it was a much bigger decision for them. We are still sharing the county council's telephony system, which is provided by Avaya and is excellent, we have just renewed that contract," Hinton said.

However, the project leader did say a disadvantage of working within shared services agreements in general is that not everything can be the way that everyone wants it.

"There are going to be certain things that have to be compromised, you can't have everything your own way and you always have to be aware of that," he said.

But he stopped short of suggesting that politics played a part in continuing to share a CRM product with Cambridgeshire, as has reportedly been the case with other shared services agreements.

In fact, Hinton said that the council is actively undertaking shared service initiatives with other authorities in a number of areas and that it even worked with neighbouring districts to compile preliminary market evaluations for this project, before deciding against a joint procurement.

The council is now in the process of implementing the solution to a "fairly aggressive timescale" as it looks to go live in March.

It is approaching the final stages of building then moving into testing and training but will not go through a separate pilot stage.

"We're building it to go live from day one. After that we'll be looking to do additional things like integrating it with our website forms so if a member of the public requests a service online, rather than it being transferred into email it will come directly into the CRM solution as a live request," said Hinton.

In future the council will explore how the system can be adapted for mobile workers in the field, and the potential of using the solution in customer service centres to aid staff who deal with face-to-face queries.

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