Improving Services by using the Cloud

How can the Cloud improve your services?
The Cloud provides the opportunity for Local Councils to provide more innovative services, because Cloud based applications can power website pages and mobile phone apps.

Examples include the following that are accessible 24×7 and support officers during busy working hours as well
as during evenings and weekends:

    • Bookings and enquiries
    • Complaints
    • Workforce job management
    • Workforce timesheets
    • Payment approval by Councillors

Why move to the Cloud?
In 2019 anybody with a smart phone is using the Cloud whether they know it or not. The Cloud simplifies GDPR compliance and provides powerful servers that drive the apps that we use for banking, shopping and keeping in touch with everybody.

Traditionally Local Councils have purchased software, installed it on their computers, saved their files locally and been responsible for their own backups.

This traditional “onsite” type of IT installation requires more IT investment, officer management, IT support and more frequent IT upgrades than a Cloud based solution.

With the Cloud, you simply need an internet connection and a basic, virus free device to connect to the Cloud. Everything else is provided by the servers in the Cloud.

Cloud software can look and feel like normal Windows applications, or it can be web based and operated from
a web browser. At EDGE we still prefer to provide powerful, no compromise Windows applications for Local Councils just like we have been for 27 years, albeit we have been delivering them via the Cloud for the last 13 years.

The monthly or annual subscription for Cloud software ensures that you are always on the latest version.
Also, each licensed user is allowed to operate the Cloud software on any devices that they normally use, e.g. laptop, desktop, tablet and smart phone, be these at work or at home. Cloud software is also known as “software as a service” or SaaS.

Crucially all of your data and files are backed up for you because they are stored in the Cloud, and as a result they are always available to you, wherever and whenever you are working.

The Cloud provides a disaster recovery solution in the event of fire, theft, flood or local IT problem. Whatever the problem, you can simply logon from a device with an internet connection.

Microsoft Office 365, Sage One Payroll, AdvantEDGE and Epitaph are good examples of Cloud software that are suitable for Local Councils and introduced below.

Office 365
Many of us rely on Microsoft Office and Office 365 is a good example of Cloud software. At EDGE we currently recommend and supply the Office 365 Business Premium edition for £9.40* per month, per user. EDGE will setup Office 365 and migrate your data to the Cloud. Staff are provided with access to both shared and private emails, calendars and documents. As Office 365 documents that are deleted cannot be recovered after 30 days, EDGE also offer a backup service to store documents for 3 months, 6 months or indefinitely.

Sage One Payroll
Sage One Payroll is ideal for most Local Councils with four bands supporting up to 5, 10, 15 or 25 employees. Prices start from £6* per month for 5 employees.

AdvantEDGE & Epitaph
EDGE provide the AdvantEDGE and Epitaph range of nine Cloud software applications designed for Local Councils including:

  • Admin (free with any other module)
  • Admin+ (agendas & minutes)
  • Allotments
  • Asset Manager
  • Epitaph (for cemeteries)
  • Facilities (for bookings & markets)
  • Finance
  • InspectEDGE app (for inspections)
  • Planning
  • Playgrounds
  • Service Manager

EDGE charge in bands according to usage so that the software is affordable to all sizes of council. Prices start from £123* per annum for Finance for councils with income of up to £10,000 per annum.

In 2019 EDGE offer a range of portals and apps for its AdvantEDGE range which builds on its 13 years of experience providing web and mobile bookings for their Epitaph cemetery and crematoria module.

Improving your services
If you are interested in harnessing the Cloud, or you have any IT requirements, or require IT support, please do not hesitate to contact us at EDGE.