Upping the Game - Sandwell Leisure Trust selects ROCC

Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) manages sport and leisure services on behalf of Sandwell Council. Midlands-based SLT are an award-winning registered charity and not for profit provider receiving over 1.9million web visits per year. The trust currently manages and operates ten sports and leisure facilities and a Sports Development and Physical Activity Team across the borough of Sandwell. SLT also manages the Ryland Centre located in Bromsgrove under a new contract with Worcestershire County Council.

Since being formed in 2004, SLT has been committed to both generating more income to re-invest into services and creating efficiencies to reduce the management fee provided from Sandwell Council to the trust. In early 2012, SLT continued its on-going review of external support charges. ICT support costs had been increasing year on year and there was a perception that ICT was not providing value for money and was insufficiently responsive to meet the changing business needs of the trust. A team of consultants from inside and outside the business undertook a review of the organisation’s ICT requirements and made recommendations to management to change its supplier which were also later approved by the Trust’s board.

SLT had also made an early decision to adopt the new ClarityLive Leisure Management System from Omnico, upgrading their legacy LeisureFlex software that had served the organisation well for more than a decade. They decided to support this change with an up-to-the-minute hardware and software infrastructure based on flexible 'virtualised' servers and cost-efficient 'Thin Client' hardware.

Following a restricted tender process, ROCC were selected as SLT’s new supplier on the basis of the cost-effectiveness of their proposal and their experience in providing this sort solution to other Leisure Trusts. ROCC also had close links with the public sector and had successfully steered many organisations (Halo, Sencio, NCL) through the difficult transition from Local Authority-supplied services to independent, wholly-owned commercial business systems.

Security of the new arrangements was a very high priority and SLT insisted on a full disaster-recovery solution with 'stand-by' services maintained by their new supplier. This will power the critical IT functions if the operational servers were put out of action for any time. ROCC are also to be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and supporting users for the next 5 years.

In February 2013, ROCC managed the full installation and transfer of data and services to the new infrastructure. The system went live in March to coincide with the opening of their exciting new wet/dry leisure centre at Tipton. SLT now look forward to exploiting the flexibility offered by the new systems architecture to allow increasing use of mobile devices, kiosks and an improved customer experience.

Posted: 25th of July 2013

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