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Top 5 Benefits of SWAN Full Membership

13 January 2020

The Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) is one of the most significant single public sector ICT initiatives ever undertaken in Scotland. The programme was set up to establish a single shared network and common ICT infrastructure across Scotland’s entire public sector.

Since 2014, approximately 6,000 sites have been connected, including schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacists and local council offices. SWAN is bringing reduced costs, improved service and the ability to share data across organisations, fostering co-operative working.

Key member organisations of SWAN include central Government departments, including the Scottish Government, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Historic Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, all 22 boards across NHS Scotland as well as 50 per cent of Scottish local authorities.

Currently, organisations are able to join SWAN as individual ‘full members’ or alternatively, work with a current member to join via a ‘Hub’ arrangement. The deadline to join as a full member is fast approaching, with individual organisations requiring to sign-up by the end of March 2020 to take advantage of this membership option. Following this date, organisations will only be able to join via a ‘Hub’ arrangement.

This blog explores the top 5 benefits of full membership and encourages interested organisations to get in touch before the March 2020 deadline.

1. Dedicated support

Joining as a full member gives organisations the added benefit of dedicated support. Full members receive a dedicated Service Desk contact number for desk-to-desk fault handling, in addition to a named Business Development Manager, Billing Contact and Service Delivery Manager. Members also receive monthly/quarterly service review meetings and have access to Solution Architects for assistance on more complex services.

SWAN is a very good collaboration partnership with a strong governance model in place, there is always a route to and an escalation point; with joined-up communication, collaboration and security in place it really does provide a good end-to-end service for its members.”
Eileen Dargo, SWAN Service Manager, NHS NSS

2. Have your say

Full membership also entitles SWAN members to have their say on SWAN services and future developments. Organisations have the ability to influence and directly contribute to decisions made within SWAN via governance groups such as the SWAN Design Authority, SWAN User Delivery Forum and SWAN Innovation Fund.

Full members can also request a seat on the SWAN Management Board, which includes representatives from all membership sectors.

3. Grow a collaborative Hub

With full membership, organisations can also consider becoming a ‘Hub’ within SWAN, to improve collaboration and reduce mutual costs with other smaller public sector partner bodies.

Becoming a Hub allows members to work closely with other public sector organisations who may not have the scale or the overall requirement to be a SWAN member in their own right. Collectively, organisations can take advantage of collaborative solutions such as SWAN Roam, Secure File Transfer, Video Conferencing and more.

4. Reduced costs

SWAN offers better connectivity, better performance and faster speeds as well as delivering value for money for the Scottish taxpayer, as detailed in the £30m savings stated in the Scottish Government’s refreshed digital strategy. Many SWAN members highlight notable cost savings as a key benefit of membership.

SWAN shared services enable organisations to benefit from significant economies of scale as well as increasing productivity and collaboration.

We doubled or tripled the bandwidth into all of our offices and took a third out of our costs”
Pete Birrell, SEPA

5. Access to a wide range of solutions

SWAN offers a wide range of connectivity options and a portfolio of Shared and Value-Added Services including Voice, LAN, Wireless, Cloud and Collaboration solutions. With innovation at the forefront of SWAN services, this portfolio continues to grow with new solutions added regularly, such as the new Secure File Transfer service now available to SWAN members.

If your organisation is interested in becoming a full SWAN member, please get in touch by the end of February 2020. To find out more about our different membership options, please click here.

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