About Wetherby Town Council
Dating back to the original establishment of parish councils in 1894, Wetherby Town Council is largely funded by a precept paid by local people through their Council tax bills, with some income coming from other Council activities. The Town Council has fifteen councillors setting policy and taking major decisions, with day to day matters dealt with by the Town Clerk. Alongside its many responsibilities the Town Council also supports local activities including Wetherby in Bloom, the Christmas Lights and grants to local groups.
Creating a user friendly, cohesive shared file system
The global pandemic and the emergence of COVID-19 has prompted many organisations to review their IT provision, in light of changing ways of working and the need to support remote access to central information.
Prior to lockdown, Wetherby Town Council had already assessed their long term IT requirements and identified the need for a server and shared file system. The Council was originally using MS Office and Livedrive, an online cloud backup and sync storage service. When Coronavirus hit, changing ways of working had effectively doubled the number of computers being used and the set up was no longer fit for purpose, with data no longer syncing properly across devices.
"We realised that we needed a comprehensive package and backup that worked just like having our own IT department, with an effective support solution available to us 9 to 5, Monday to Friday," explained Iona Taylor, Clerk for Wetherby Town Council. Three companies were identified and assessed by the Council, and PCM Systems was selected after an open appraisal.
Adopting a global platform for continuity and longevity
The project began as a data storage solution, but has extended significantly beyond the initial parameters. Working closely with Wetherby Town Council, PCM recommended staying with Microsoft; opting for the global platform reassured councillors that in the event of changing IT support providers in the future it would not be necessary to make any changes to the data storage solution.
PCM's work for the Council has created a unified platform, now all under the Microsoft umbrella. This is proving much easier to use and far more efficient; sharing files is quick and easy and the solution is streamlined and professional with the 9-5 helpline required by the Council.
Adding functionality with bespoke elements
The PCM solution has answered all the initial issues identified by the Council. Moreover, the holistic approach adopted by the company has also opened new doors to added functionality with associated solutions such as Microsoft Forms, replacing the requirement for existing subscriptions with other providers.
PCM have also worked creatively to provide Wetherby Town Council with a more bespoke solution. With only a small number of permanent users on the system, there are also elected councilors needing open access to their council emails; PCM successfully worked out the optimum solution to match these individual requirements.
PCM's work has enabled Wetherby Town Council to use Microsoft cleverly to achieve best value, providing many non-quantifiable savings in terms of extending and enhancing operational capabilities as well as real savings in terms of reduced spend on licences and other direct costs.
Working with PCM has been an excellent experience. One of our key considerations was to make the transition as seamless as possible; at the time, lockdown had added significant stress to our staff's working lives without increasing the challenges further. PCM certainly achieved this, with no cap on the support they have provided, as well as developing strategies to provide us with services that we didn't even realise were possible!Iona TaylorClerk for Wetherby Town Council