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Leading BPO supplier becomes first vendor to be accredited to National Computing Centre Standard.

Michael Dean profiles Liberata, the first IT supplier to achieve accreditation to the National Computing Centre Standard for IT Departments. He speaks to IT Director Allan Jackson and Georgina Walton, Head of Local Government IT.

Liberata LogoLiberata is one of the UK’s leading providers of business process services and has a 36 year track record in helping clients improve their operational cost management and service performance to deliver real business and social benefits. Headquartered in London and with state of the art data centres, contact centres and offices across the UK, the company serves Local and Central Government and private sectors nationwide.

Liberata ITDA
Allan Jackson, IT Director and Georgina Walton, Head of Local Government IT

The public sector is an important focus and one where Liberata have not only built up a wealth of experience and IP but also where they have set themselves a target to be acknowledged as a leader in providing specialist BPO services to the UK Public Sector and to be recognised as the most innovative provider in their market. Clients use Liberata for a variety of outsourced services including revenue and benefits, finance and accounting, HR and payroll and customer services. One of the company’s new clients, Derby City Council, uses Liberata to provide them with additional processing capacity for benefits processing. The arrangement is designed to provide the council with access to benefits services on a pay as you go basis, as part of the company’s Virtual Resource Solution offering. These services are underpinned by Liberata’s secure shared Data Centre hosting capability and its accredited IT service provision.

IT at Liberata is headed up by Allan Jackson. Allan, a recent recruit and formerly a senior IT Director at Capita has a wealth of experience leading and transforming IT functions and running major infrastructure and system integration programmes in both the public and private sectors.

Jackson said: “Liberata have invested heavily in technology, its people and in building up its own IT capability to enable Local and Central Government to make savings, be more responsive and improve the customer experience. I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Local authorities face an unprecedented challenge over the next four years - to realise savings of over 25%, whilst maintaining and improving critical frontline services. This target will become increasingly challenging due to the fragmented nature of the sector, which keeps service delivery close to citizens but does not always allow councils to take advantage of economies of scale.

“Against this backdrop we are working even more closely with Local and Central Government to define and deliver innovation, find new ways of working in partnership to achieve objectives and to grow new services based upon shared values and trust. The CapacityGRID TM and Listpoint (the code list management technology which enabled the successful delivery of the newly launched Police National Database) are just two of our innovations we have recently announced” said Allan.

Underpinning innovation is quality of service and trust. According to Georgina Walton Head of Local Government IT at Liberata, trust in particular is very important. Georgina said, “Some organisations are apprehensive about outsourcing and some are also concerned over security implications. We need to reassure our clients that they are in a safe pair of hands. That’s why we have sought all the relevant accreditations from ISO27001 for information security, ISO20000 for service management and ISO 25999 for business continuity amongst others. Recently Liberata successfully passed the CESG (the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance) Code of Compliance audit and we continue to hold IL3 accreditation.”

Last year Liberata were also accredited to the National Computing Standard for IT Departments, the first IT supplier to be certified. The NCCs IT Department Accreditation Scheme (ITDA) is a unique business improvement programme with a certification scheme that recognises excellence and effectiveness. The assessment scheme which underpins the NCC ITDA examines an IT department’s performance against 110 common controls enabling the department to compare and understand its own strengths and weaknesses and make improvements if necessary. The ITDA is also an accreditation scheme, so those IT departments who demonstrate excellence are awarded with a recognised accreditation to the NCC Standard.

“The great thing about the ITDA is that it doesn’t look at the IT department in isolation. The process also examines how well the department is aligned to the business, how stakeholders perceive the function, sustainability and risk management in addition to IT centric controls,” said Allan.

Georgina added, “Gaining accreditation is never easy and we had to put the effort in to demonstrate the evidence needed for the assessment, but because we operate at a self imposed high standard, this work wasn’t a diversion from our customer focus.”

“We were delighted to get a clean sheet from our assessor. It’s another differentiator for Liberata – and something that reassures our customers that we take quality of service and continuous improvement seriously. Becoming accredited to the NCC Standard puts weight behind our company values: Performance, Innovation, Growth and Trust.”

“The ITDA accreditation has been well received by our clients who know that we are under the watchful eye of the National Computing Centre to stay ahead of the game. Our sales team never fail to mention our accreditations including the ITDA and it makes a big, reassuring difference.” commented Jackson.

Liberata have set themselves a target to be the most innovative provider in their market, the most admired business process outsourcing (BPO) partner in the public sector and a leader in providing specialist BPO services to the UK Public Sector. It looks like they are well on their way to achieving this.

The National Computing Centre

The National Computing Centre is an independent organisation whose mission is to help our clients make the right decisions about IT strategy, investments, deployment and governance. We have 45+ years of track record helping thousands of organisations do just that. We are expert, independent of any vendor, impartial and willing to go the extra mile to ensure our customers get the best advice and value for money.

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