Public Sector Focus


How can cost-conscious organisations benefit from an imaginative provider?

Advertisement feature

Rafael Cortes, head of marketing at Foehn, discusses what cloud service providers can do to deliver innovative solutions for their clients.

At some time or other, we’ve all met those over-used phrases that have been repeated so often that their meaning becomes distorted. “With all due respect …” normally precedes a torrent of disrespect. “To be quite honest…” begs the question, are you normally not honest? More recently, there’s a phrase favoured particularly by politicians and public-sector that is used in the wake of a mess-up on their part. “We take this matter very seriously…” is a verbal sticking plaster that attempts to persuade the public that those responsible are not as incompetent as they appear to be.

So, it was interesting to see the Crown Commercial Service respond to suppliers and customers regarding their decision to extend G-Cloud 9, with the quote, “We have taken your feedback very seriously…”. A statement of the obvious or a slightly patronising smoke screen? Either way, it does little to appease the dissatisfaction of the many smaller IT suppliers that have believed in G-Cloud, worked hard to meet changing demands and have built their business model around the G-Cloud process. The end game sounds promising, but the wait poses some important barriers to new members, new products and new pricing. 

Less of semantics, though, and being more positive, what can the smaller cloud service provider do to ensure their clients receive the best in cloud innovation while waiting for the G-Cloud renaissance. At Foehn, our solutions have been built on the needs of the smaller business and there are two key areas that don’t appear in the list of system features but account for much of our success:

  1. Simplification of cloud communications management

Simplicity of design, and subsequent ease of utilisation, is what people want and there is a realisation that ‘employee engagement’ is critical to the adoption and utilisation of technology. At Foehn, this has always been a strong factor in our approach to both software development and user interface design for our cloud communications. Simplicity enables the IT manager to delegate simple management tasks to business users and to undertake configuration work in-house, formally requiring third party expertise. In both instances savings in time and cost can be significant.

Many businesses are now realising that it’s not the application bristling with the most features that delivers best return. It’s the one that is simplest to use. By encouraging employee engagement with tools that are enjoyable to use, businesses are learning that ‘simplicity’ is not a fluffy, nice-to-have. On the contrary, it delivers hard commercial benefit and brand values that attract loyal clients. 

  1. Software development skills

In-house software development skills are important for integration projects but also provide reassurance of an active innovation and development roadmap to support your system.

If the development skills are based on open source, then all the better. Open source projects are not tied to standards and can require less coding thanks to existing code made available by both the community and the bigger participating vendors. Quality of code is better too. Independent verification by members of the open source community outside the business means code tends to be of a higher quality. Also, it’s human nature that a developer, knowing the code is going into the public domain, is likely to submit cleaner code.

Faster execution, shorter time to market and right-first-time results mean the business can save direct costs and improve profitability associated with agility and market competition.

No doubt G-Cloud will improve and will deliver a better service – in time. Meanwhile, cost-conscious customers (and imaginative suppliers) might look to the less obvious aspects of service delivery to find savings and business benefit. Voxivo is our flagship cloud phone system launched last year. It incorporates these advantages alongside the competitive features, pricing and business benefit that are the focus of G-Cloud.

Take a look at Voxivo or learn more about what the public-sector buyer needs to consider when acquiring a cloud-based phone or contact centre system.

UTM for Voxivo can be found here.

UTM for public-sector buyers can be found here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Counties urge government to step in amid rocketing house prices

16/02/2018Counties urge government to step in amid rocketing house prices

House prices in county areas have risen by three times the rate of those in London over the last year, prompting the County Councils Network (CCN... more >
LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

16/02/2018LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has today hit out at the Council of the Isles of Scilly for its belated response to a report highlighting in... more >
Councils want power to push developers on 420,000 unbuilt homes

16/02/2018Councils want power to push developers on 420,000 unbuilt homes

Councils have warned that more than 420,000 homes in England are still waiting to be built despite planning permission already being granted. ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
149x260 PSE Subscribe button

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >


The power of apprenticeships

14/02/2018The power of apprenticeships

David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, describes how the apprenticeship levy can help public sector organisations unlock leade... more >
Building connected communities

22/12/2017Building connected communities

Andrew Walker, policy researcher at the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), argues councils must be supported to develop good connectivity ... more >
The police say they are under pressure. Are they right?

22/12/2017The police say they are under pressure. Are they right?

Rick Muir, director of the Police Foundation, considers whether budget constraints and growing demand are actually having a major impact on the w... more >
The future of communal heating in Cheshire

22/12/2017The future of communal heating in Cheshire

PSE’s Josh Mines speaks to Dan Griffiths, projects and programmes manager at Cheshire East Council’s Skills & Growth Company, abo... more >


Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >
Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

10/12/2017Andy Burnham: the crisis unfolding in front of our eyes

With homelessness on the rise across the country, politicians in central and local government are desperately looking for new solutions. Andy Bur... more >
This is Manchester, we do things differently here

10/12/2017This is Manchester, we do things differently here

Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City Council, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the region’s pioneering plans f... more >