Pioneering approach secures leading PSN role

NetworkFrom voice and data connectivity right through to technology-enabled business transformation, BT has long been recognised as one of the public sector’s leading ICT solution providers.

So when the UK government began developing its PSN (Public Services Network) vision, prospectively transforming the marketplace to create a multi-vendor, secure network of networks for the public sector, there were some who questioned how BT would respond.

The PSN programme is the foundation layer of the government’s ICT strategy which itself supports the Open Public Services agenda. Its aim is to create a competitive marketplace for secure, interoperable networks, opening up the prospect for more ‘shared services’ and cross-organisation collaboration.

Central to the programme is the UK government’s ambition to achieve significant savings on voice and data networks by greater standardisation of requirements and centralised procurement through Framework contracts.

Increased competition

“As the leading network IT provider to the public sector,” explained Mark Langdale, PSN lead for BT Global Services, “it would have been easy for us to view the changes driven by PSN as unwelcome.”

“But we didn’t. We have embraced it because we recognised that the essential benefits of PSN for our customers – cost savings, greater interoperability on secure, resilient networks, and driving wider business transformation – were all things that we have a long track record in delivering across central and local government and the wider public sector. PSN in fact has presented us with the opportunity to innovate and show how responsive BT can be.”

As well as quickly committing itself to the PSN programme by working with the Cabinet Office and other suppliers to design the technical architecture and accompanying standards and codes, BT invested early to develop the required core services and capability.

Enhanced portfolio

BT’s approach has meant it has already won places on the two PSN Framework contracts and is amongst the leading suppliers for securing PSN certification for its services most recently adding the IL3 Management Service, the first in the PSN marketplace, to its PSN portfolio

Said Mark Langdale: “The requirements of certification on the more complex products and services are drawing the very best from BT’s design, security and service management capabilities. We are determined to lead the way in ensuring our customers big and small, can secure the benefits of PSN.”

According to Mark Langdale, BT is now recognised for leading the way as a PSN supplier.

“Thanks to a combination of commercial and technical innovation and expertise from across the company, we have already helped major government departments move to PSN.”

“All in all we are very proud of the role we have played in helping develop and implement the government’s vision for ICT.”