Council partnership Warwickshire Direct rips out Northgate CRM for cloud solution

Local authority customer services partnership Warwickshire Direct has selected the cloud-based Firmstep CRM system to replace its current Northgate system, to benefit from scalable flexibility and save money.

Warwickshire Direct includes Warwickshire county and district councils along with Rugby Borough Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.

The Firmstep CRM system runs on Amazon Web Services infrastructure, and is said to be used by 30 percent of local authorities. Warwickshire is looking to have a "single view of the caller", and as well as procuring a new CRM system, is implementing a new cloud-based telephony system from Mitel.

Northgate had been the provider of a CRM system to Warwickshire for over nine years. Firmstep’s pay-as-you-go pricing was deemed more "cost effective" by the partnership. Over three years, the new CRM system is expected to deliver £500,000 in "cashable savings", plus another £500,000 in "efficiency savings".

TechMarketView analyst Michael Larner said: "The switch from Northgate to Firmstep demonstrates that nimbler suppliers will be able to win business in local government at the expense of longstanding incumbents.

"Warwickshire Direct did not want to wait 12 to 18 months for a new product release and welcomed Firmstep’s agility and flexible pricing instead. Councils can no longer counteract budgets cuts by slightly shaving costs, with many considering entirely new approaches to delivering services. Incumbents cannot take their local government customers for granted."

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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