Established in 1974, Cheltenham Borough Council aims to enhance and protect its local environment, strengthen its local economy and support its communities. The Council is responsible for the provision of arts and culture and ensuring that it provides value for money services.

Faced with transforming public services, driving innovation and meeting efficiency targets, collabora tion and shared services are now moving to the top of local authority agendas. For Cheltenham Borough Council, working closely with five other district councils in Gloucestershire (Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Stroud and Tewkesbury district councils and Gloucester City Council) and neighbouring West Oxfordshire District Council is a familiar task. Driven by government initiatives, such as Choice Based Lettings (CBL), the Council has been working with geographically dispersed teams for a number of years. However, sharing information with colleagues at the other councils was a time-consuming challenge. Christopher Cox, Programme Manager, Cheltenham Borough Council, explains: “For everyone to have visibility of content ahead of a meeting, large files were being sent via email. As well as burdening our inboxes with attachments, we spent time at our face-to-face team meetings establishing which version of a document was final. We had to ensure that everyone’s version of the document incorporated all the comments and feedback that had been sent via email.” With some of the councils based approximately 80 miles apart, attending numerous face-to-face meetings was proving costly in terms of both time and money. “Having used Huddle for some of my own projects, I recognised its potential for Cheltenham Borough Council’s partnership projects. For document management and secure collaboration, in particular, I felt it would be invaluable,” Chris continues. “We also looked at deploying other collaboration tools, including SharePoint, but they required a lot of infrastructure work and had a slow design and deployment process. We could get up and running on Huddle immediately and everyone could access the information they needed from wherever they were, which is great for remote teams.” Huddle is now being used to support the GO Shared Services Programme, a collaboration between Cheltenham Borough Council (including Cheltenham Borough Homes) and Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire district councils. The aim of the GO Shared Services Programme is to establish shared services covering finance, HR, payroll and procurement based on the deployment of an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system shared by the authorities. The programme will result in cashable savings, service efficiencies and improved service resilience. Using Huddle, Cheltenham Borough Council has created a central document repository that is accessible to all partner organisations. All content relating to the GO Programme can be viewed, commented on and versions tracked. Huddle’s phone conferencing facility has also resulted in the number of face-to-face meetings being significantly reduced.

“With the government budget cuts, councils are looking to save money and come up with new and improved business processes, while continuing to provide the highest level of public service. This, and the continued push for shared services, resulted in the GO Shared Services Programme. Using Huddle, all of the project team, stakeholders and suppliers can access the correct document versions, whether they’re at home or on the move with their iPhones. Thanks to the Profiles page, people also have their colleagues’ contact details in a central place and can actually see who they are working with. Huddle has enabled us to create a true partnership project.” Share this

About Huddle

Huddle provides next-generation content collaboration for government & enterprise. Its patent-pending intelligent technology ensures relevant content is delivered directly to Huddle users, with no need to search. Business units of any size work more efficiently by huddling together within an online secure cloud service accessed via web browsers, desktop or mobile devices. Co-headquartered in London and San Francisco and with offices in New York City, Huddle’s customers include 80 percent of Fortune 500 and 80 percent of UK government departments, as well as companies such as Kia Motors, Driscolls, the BBC and PwC. The company is privately held and backed by venture capital firms DAG Ventures, Eden Ventures, Matrix Partners and Jafco Ventures. More information can be found at www.huddle.com

“We looked at deploying SharePoint, but it required a lot of infrastructure work and had a slow design and deployment process. We could get up and running on Huddle immediately.”
Christopher Cox,
Programme Manager

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