RIM offers public sector support


BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) has made clear its efforts to streamline public sector services in the aftermath of the Budget.

Alongside private sector plans announced in the Budget, the chancellor also made clear his intention to cut departmental spending by £17 billion by 2014-15. While the NHS, education and defence budgets are unlikely to suffer as heavily as others, if at all, this will equate to an average real cut of around 25 per cent over four years for some departments.

RIM delivered a submission to the government ahead of the Budget that detailed how the BlackBerry platform can be used to improve efficiency and deliver better front line services such as policing, social care and medical services, with less time spent travelling back to the office and transcribing notes from the field into back-end systems, resulting in more time spent with citizens and businesses, according to RIM’s senior manager of UK public sector sales Graham Baker.

Baker said: “BlackBerry is not just part of ICT, but is all about citizen-centric delivery. It delivers direct benefits that stretch far beyond the back-office and impact the level of service that taxpayers experience, while also providing a platform for public sector transformation.”

BlackBerry’s platform has been approved by CESG, the information assurance arm of GCHQ, and is the only mobile platform to receive this approval, Baker said, allowing developers to build secure access and data interrogation systems for public sector bodies in an approved development environment.

Baker said RIM already has quantifiable results as evidence of its success, including an £8.8 million non-cashable saving by West Yorkshire Police after it deployed 3,700 devices across the region, and a saving of £220,000 a year for midwives at NHS Portsmouth with a digital pen application. This, Baker said, has the potential to offer “relative enormous savings” as there are 43 police forces and 175 primary care trusts with midwifery departments in the UK, as well as numerous other application environments.

Baker added the use of technology isn’t just about cost-cutting, but helps streamline services for the public interest. “It is a low-cost, high-impact solution that allows for a highly visible workforce,” he said.