Essex Police Service

Emergency Services: Essex Police optimises Microsoft Enterprise Agreement & secures huge cost avoidance

 

Essex Police is one of the largest non-metropolitan police forces in the United Kingdom, and is responsible for protecting the county of Essex, in the southeast of England. With almost 6,000 employees, it operates across an area of 1,405 square miles, policing a population in excess of 1.7 million.

In 2020, Livingstone was engaged by Essex Police to help optimize its up-coming Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA). Prior to the engagement, Essex Police was on track to commit to a multi-million pound spend on its Microsoft EA, but its key stakeholders wanted to validate the value of the deal. Led by its CIO, Essex Police chose to appoint external experts with experience in the Public Sector to provide a credible, independent validation of the offer. In addition to its EA renewal, Essex Police was also seeking advice on its integrated telephony systems.

Livingstone’s independent, impartial advice was crucial to Essex Police’s decision to bring its experts on board, who were subsequently contracted through the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 12 framework.

 

Challenging time constraints & complex requirements 

The project needed to be completed within a very short time frame to meet a key deadline, and within a significantly shorter period than Livingstone would usually operate.  In addition, the Procurement Department running the contract renewal was servicing a collaborated renewal process across 7 police forces, which presented its own complexities.

A further task for Livingstone’s team was to determine the different user personas – information that would be crucial to delivering a truly optimized EA agreement. Due to the complex structure of the organization, from frontline officers and detectives to back-office teams and on-site nurses, each user had unique requirements and therefore different user personas to take into account.  

 

Analyzing the entire estate & large amounts of data 

Livingstone began its optimization process by conducting a thorough analysis of Essex Police’s Microsoft IT estate to investigate if it was lean in its licensing approach. Livingstone determined that it had a relatively straightforward process and that more could be done in terms of optimization.

 

 “Livingstone added a great deal of value throughout this engagement, particularly by helping us define the different user personas across the organization. The intelligence and intellectual property that Livingstone has provided us with is invaluable and is something we’ll be able to use moving forward”

Jules Donald, CIO, Essex Police

 

The team then examined how the technology was being used across the entire organization by undertaking a technology requirement assessment, analyzing the requirements of the different types of users across all lines of work. Following this evaluation, Livingstone calculated what essential products the force required to function effectively.

The next step was assessing Essex Police’s specific list of requirements, distinguishing between what the Procurement team had laid out in its aspirational Bill of Materials against what the organization needed in actuality. Livingstone discovered a significant disparity between the two and determined that Essex Police could operate effectively on fewer services and products than were initially predicted.

To enable easy internal articulation and streamlined decision-making, Livingstone presented all its findings and content in the client’s slideware.

 

Optimizing the agreement  

Livingstone’s optimization process consisted of refining three elements of Essex Police’s Microsoft estate: the server estate, users and licensing, and negotiations.

Firstly, Livingstone set about condensing the server estate to make it lean by identifying and understanding what was on the estate and determining what needed to be removed. For the back-office systems, Livingstone advised against incorporating integrated telephony at this stage of Essex Police’s Microsoft Office 365 journey, while still ensuring the systems would operate efficiently.

Then, using the information collected on user requirements, the team identified how users and licenses could be optimized through the technology being consumed more efficiently. This involved reducing or removing excess licenses and products, including those put forward in the vendor’s initial proposal. This element provided the main opportunity for optimization and Livingstone helped Essex Police to concretely define its separate user personas, information it can utilize going forward.  

Livingstone also consulted Essex Police on best practice negotiations, advising how best to leverage its position through thought leadership conversations about its future requirements.

 

“We’re just as thrilled with the outcome as Jules and the rest of her team. It’s a testament to the hard work of our team as well as the support and cooperation of the customer when the engagement is such a success. We look forward to a continued relationship with Essex Police and to replicating these achievements in the future.”

Gareth Redshaw, Microsoft Cloud & Consulting Director, Livingstone Group

 

During the engagement, it was also crucial for Livingstone to understand Essex Police’s security and compliance capabilities, ensuring that it was aligned to the National Enabling Programme’s requirements and police security compliance standards. However, although protecting compliance was a focus, it wasn’t a particular vulnerability as Essex Police was already secure in this regard.

 

Significant cost avoidance & a continued relationship

Through its optimization processes, Livingstone secured Essex Police a multi-million-pound cost avoidance, the equivalent of 20.5% over the three-year contract period. Essex Police was able to successfully reduce the number of services, products and licenses it required through more efficient technology consumption, securing a better deal and a leaner estate for the future.

 

“Livingstone’s team left nothing to chance, assessing all areas in granular detail, challenging us at every stage to ensure a thorough job. Their experts also provided our teams with comprehensive workshops, to educate us on their processes, giving us vital knowledge and understanding that we can continue to use in the future”

Jules Donald, CIO, Essex Police

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