ACCESS was established in 2008 as a joint venture with the council and Serco, one of the UK's leading service delivery companies. ACCESS was tasked with delivering a 10 year, £265 million contract to transform the council's ICT (Information Communication and Technology) and Property Services - with the aim of bringing over £73 million of savings to the council.
Since then the ACCESS team at City Park and 220 High Street have played a key role, supporting and developing the IT needs of the Council Family - helping us to work more efficiently in these challenging times. The partnership has achieved almost £40 million in core savings and released an additional £12 million each year - money that can be released into frontline services. The council now pays £8 million less each year for the IT and property services provided by ACCESS than it did when the ACCESS partnership started.
Faye Shaw, ACCESS Chief Executive Officer said: "We continue to use technology to enable us to deliver against our priorities across the entire range of the council's services. And with the Transforming Glasgow programme well underway, technology is playing an increasingly important role. "ACCESS is playing a huge part in the delivery of several significant components of Transforming Glasgow which is enabling digital channels to be the preferred method of accessing council information and services for all Glasgow citizens, with more services and information now available online."
In December 2015, ACCESS opened its new state-of-the art Operations Bridge, at City Park in the east end. The centre is the first of its kind in the UK - allowing ACCESS to proactively monitor the council's network and infrastructures all year round. It also provides a central point for immediate out of hours IT incident logging and rectification.
Stephen O'Connor, Head of Infrastructure said: "With an increasing number of staff practicing mobile working and working out of hours, there was a requirement to address the changing needs of the council's new working practices.
ACCESS invested in some of the most up-to-date technology to enable us to provide a round the clock service. We can now have engineers on site within the hour during the night, or ready and waiting for the premises to open the morning after the incident is reported. This means we can provide the Council Family with a faster and more efficient service."
Stephen added: "Earlier this year, we were able to respond quickly when our monitoring systems detected problems resulting from major power surges across the city from 6pm till 1am. Our speedy response helped to make sure our systems were stable and secure, preventing severe disruption to the Council Family, their customers and service users.
"The Bridge is also being used as a central point for IT co-ordination for major events - including the recent Election and the Scottish Referendum. And in July we supported the Homeless World Cup held in George Square - by installing a temporary infrastructure to support the event's telephone, data and wireless networks."
Stephen added: "We've had a lot of positive feedback. Staff in areas where out of hours work is common place are particularly benefitting since they can phone at any time during the night for help with issues such as password resets and printer problems. Previously they would have had to wait until the following morning for a resolution. But now with a quick call to the Bridge they can be back up and running within minutes. This new service is making a real difference in helping to keep council services running."