Colchester Borough Council, situated in Essex, are responsible for providing a variety of services in the area they manage. From education to housing, leisure and waste collection, they provide and organise the frontline services that residents rely on.
Colchester Borough Council (CBC) have consistently been on the forefront of cloud adoption – having adopted a cloud first strategy in 2018. They have adopted Microsoft 365 and Power Platform to power their transition away from legacy technology.
In line with their cloud-first strategy, CBC wanted to replace a legacy tool used to manage public requests for services ranging from abandoned vehicles to graffiti removal. Following discussions across the Essex Online Partnership it became clear that most other local authorities carry out this type of work but either use a licenced third-party tool or rely on email.
A successful funding bid to the Local Digital Fund (LDF) was made with the overall objective of developing a product that can be packaged and deployed amongst the partner authorities.
We supported CBC by creating a solution built on Power Apps allowing a customer to request a service from the council (such as bin collection). The Power App and Power Automate flows we created both communicated with the customer as well as ensuring the correct team in the council received the task to address.
FSP have supported CBC to scale this solution to other partner authorities by creating a new architecture that makes the solution configurable for different customer needs.
The project has provided a solution which is relevant across all local authorities and uses existing (often unused) Power Apps licencing to provide a replacement to legacy or third-party tools.
The key areas where real benefits will be felt are:
- Reduction in costs by implementing a solution which is shared across all members of the Essex Online Partnership – avoiding multiple solutions being built to achieve the same objective.
- Leveraging of existing product licencing – by utilising existing Power Platform capabilities through existing Microsoft 365 licence.
- Efficient Resourcing – local authorities need to be ever more efficient at delivering more with less funding.
The model of building a solution once and sharing across all authorities increases efficiency in spending where there are many areas of service that are repeated from one local government to another.