Kent County Council is deploying a new IP-based unified communications system as part of its attempts to increase efficiency and cut costs.

The investment in a new communications architecture is part of Kent's “Invest to Save” transformation programme.

The council has gone to Siemens Enterprise Communications to roll-out the OpenScape Unified Communications Server (OUCS) architecture at the authority.

OpenScape will support staff flexible working and will assist Kent's green agenda by helping to reduce staff travel through remote working.

Lisa Beck, head of ICT operations at Kent County Council, said, "The recent Government Spending Review directs the UK public sector to deliver efficiencies, and the use of new technology will be critical to achieving the balance of realising savings while continuing to deliver excellent services to the Kent citizen."

The value of the contract with Siemens is £3.3m. In 2008, Kent signed a £32 million contract with Unisys to supply and manage a new wide area network linking up over 1,000 sites across the county. That deal was due to expire at the end of 2012.