BT will play a key role in the Met’s digital transformation efforts across London
BT has won a contract worth around £100 million to deliver high-speed fixed and wireless networks, along with a range of cloud and IT services, to the Metropolitan Police.
The contract will underpin the Met’s technology transformation programme, with the aim being to help frontline police officers work more quickly and efficiently across the capital by supporting faster responses to emergency calls and the speedier deployment of officers.
BT will build a high-speed wide area network to connect around 500 of the Met’s sites across London, as well as upgrading local area networks.
A corporate Wi-Fi network will also be implemented across the entire Metropolitan Police estate to support the mobilisation of frontline officers and allow 20,000 civilian staff in 170 offices to work more flexibly.
“We’ve built a longstanding relationship with the Metropolitan Police and are working with them to help them find better, smarter and more productive ways of working,” said Colm O’Neill, managing director of BT Business and Public Sector.
“Our systems will greatly enhance the way the force organises itself and responds to crimes across the capital, while reducing its IT and infrastructure costs. Moving to a cloud-based infrastructure, for example, will allow the Met to get even more services for less money, helping it to invest in future policing priorities.”
One of the main cloud deployments will be a secure voice system which will support around 20,000 IP enabled phones across 500 sites, key to the day-to-day running of the force.
Finally, this digital push will also involve overhauling some of the force’s back-office IT systems, including its WorkForce Management system, which is relied upon for staff scheduling and rostering.
The Met’s efforts to modernise its systems come amidst a wider digital transformation drive by UK government organisations, with one reports suggesting the government could save £2 billion by 2020 if it sorts out its digital strategy.
However, the trend of continuing to sign expensive and long-running IT outsourcing contracts with huge vendors – something which the Metropolitan Police has form in – has remained point of frustration.
There is a belief that the government can change, but more work will have to be done at a cultural level as well on the technology front.
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