Should we feel sorry for the public sector?
Challenged by layers of legacy IT systems; costs rising for IT to simply “keep the lights on”; low technical fluency; failure to leverage scale.
The public sector is trying to play catch-up but is lagging behind the private sector.
Although that’s not great news for the citizens it serves, it presents huge opportunity for the Managed Service Providers, System Integrators and Value-Added Resellers that will ultimately help it get to where it needs to be.
For them, partnering with an expert vendor which already provides invisible, back-end support upon which the public sector relies is the kind of no-brainer strategic decision capable of paying huge dividends.
And when that vendor itself is committed to championing those partnerships, the opportunity suddenly begins to look very appealing indeed.
“In a recent UK government spending review, an additional £8bn was ear-marked for digital transformation projects – we want to help our partners win as much of that business as possible,” says Peter Robinson, EMEA Sales Enterprise Manager at global digital workplace management software provider VOSS, which is one of those well-placed vendors.
“Citizens, customers, consumers; however we describe them, their behaviour has changed over the last couple of years. All of us are demanding better-quality interactions with our telcos, our insurance companies, our banks. We’re looking to get things done online faster and with more accuracy.
“The public sector is not immune to the same challenges faced by the private sector and it is pivoting towards these new ways of working and playing catch up. They’re in a difficult situation because legacy systems hold them back and there is a lack of technical fluency among senior leaders.
“Also, government departments are still a little siloed. They tend to go off and do their own thing and there’s a lack of communication around best practice. With the big projects, the worst thing that can happen is failure because it’s public money and high profile.”
Of course, key to rapid digital transformation of any kind is a migration to the cloud.
But in a highly risk-averse environment such as the public sector, even those enabling steps are hard to take.
People are afraid to push the button. Ergo: inertia.
“We can help our reseller partners to support their public sector customers understand on their journey to the cloud,” says Robinson.
“We enable them to manage a hybrid environment for as long as is necessary across as many different platforms as necessary. And then we can help take them to where they want to go.
“Here at VOSS, we saw the writing on the wall in relation to the move from traditional voice platforms to the newer more agile UCaaS platforms, and that’s the way government departments are going.
“A lot of people might not realize that VOSS works with some of the largest suppliers to the UK public sector providing the management platforms that for many years have underpinned traditional voice and UC services.
“For example, we are currently working with multiple central and local public sector bodies to support the move away from Cisco HCS to Microsoft Teams, including Direct Routing, using VOSS Migrate to control the staged migration of users and dial plans, ensuring a risk-free pathway to the new platform.
“We are also working directly with one of our major service provider partners to support their local government clients in migrating from legacy platforms to Webex Calling. This is also a requirement that needs to happen at speed and with reliability and predictability. VOSS Migrate sits right in this sweet spot.
“Whilst some governments ministers may wander around government departments putting notes on desks saying: ‘Where are you?’, the fact is that big public departments will never see a full return to the office, and UC technology needs to support this shift to hybrid working practices.
“That means they will always have to support disparate number of platforms going forward. That plays to VOSS’ strengths, especially as analogue voice gets retired.
“We have a unique approach to the public sector where we support our partners by working with them alongside their customers and also directly with the end user so that all parties get full value from the VOSS suite. That’s a win, win, win.”
Practically – from a VOSS perspective – that’s about cloud migration, UC automation, and UC analytics and assurance.
Partner with them and do all of that whilst sweating legacy assets, and it’s likely your public sector customer is going to want you around for a very long time.
To learn more about how VOSS can help you help your public sector customers digitise, click here.