Telent enables East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to transform operations

Telent enables East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to transform operations

Ambulance organizations need to leverage new ICT services and technologies to provide smarter and safer services to the community. The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) provides protection, prevention and response services to more than 800,000 people. It needed a strategic partner that could modernize and manage its ICT infrastructure to enable its transformation, and it found one in Telent.

Having worked together since 2016 and recently signing a three-year contract extension for 2023-2026, Telent has enhanced ESFRS’ ICT infrastructure and provided the expertise to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the fire service. Drawing on its experience in the emergency services sector, Telent has helped reduce costs and ensure robust governance, quality of service and technical innovation for the organization.

Together, a target operating model was created that outlined how ESFRS could evolve through the use of new technologies, enabling organizational efficiencies and promoting interoperability with other systems and public sector partners. By initially using its shared service model, Telent enabled ESFRS to maintain control, collaborative alignment and access to insights for all of its ICT activities. This involved moving the existing infrastructure – including the TUPE of five people to Telent’s team – and creating a catalog of over 130 different ICT services.

Telent implemented a dedicated virtual infrastructure for ESFRS to provide a scalable, private cloud computing and storage service. This formed the basis for the organization to undergo its technological transformation and expansion. Telent has a unique approach to virtual infrastructure, leveraging industry-leading technologies from a range of strategic partners across compute, networking, storage and virtualization in a cost-effective and robust solution. As part of the evolving IT strategy at ESFRS, Telent will support the future planned migration of key business applications from the dedicated virtual infrastructure to the Azure cloud.

Transition to new technologies

Using Cisco AnyConnect and WebEx technologies, Telent offers a truly mobile user experience without being tied to a specific location or workspace. This flexible platform enables the organization to grow and provides improved resilience and availability, which have proven invaluable during the COVID pandemic. Telent standardized ESFRS devices, resulting in improved and cost-effective application performance and improved system integration.

Telent is working with ESFRS to create a roadmap to identify transformation opportunities within existing technologies, such as Microsoft 365, and mitigate risks to ESFRS. Key elements of the overarching roadmap are supporting ESFRS on the path to process digitization and preparing for the transition to ESN, as well as preparing for further opportunities for cooperation within the public sector and with other blue light partners.

Since implementing Telent’s managed service, ESFRS has increased the mobility, performance, availability and resilience of its IT systems and infrastructure. In addition, Telent was able to identify further opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs without jeopardizing the continuity of the organization. Telent continues to support ESFRS through a wide range of IT services to ensure it remains as effective as possible in its life-saving and critical work.

Delivering the digital transformation

Telent and its trusted strategic partners continue to support the transformation of key operating systems for East Sussex’s Fire and Rescue Service. This includes providing multiple industry solutions covering applications for human resources, fleet management, asset management, finance, procurement and more.

A notable focus is the automation of paper-based processes related to site-specific risk information, as well as corporate and community safety visits to improve digital workflows according to company-specific needs. All of these systems are connected via a modular application built on a common platform and using Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Although other software solutions are available, including off-the-shelf commercial options, it was felt that these options might only achieve part of the required functionality. The decision to develop an industry-leading, configurable solution designed to meet the business needs identified at the start of the project ensured that the benefits in terms of efficiency and effectiveness were fully realised.

The solution will be implemented in three modules, the first is for site-specific risk intelligence with information available to crews on their Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) when attending incidents. The other two modules manage conducting fire inspections in business premises and conducting home safety visits, with information being entered directly by firefighters via tablet devices.

Continuous development

Importantly, the Telent team conducts regular performance reviews with ESFRS, sharing and analyzing metrics with contractually agreed service level agreements. In addition, a full consultant-led review of the contract was conducted in 2021. This was critical to providing ESFRS with verified evidence of Telent’s performance.

Transition to the emergency control room

As control rooms continue to consolidate in the future, Telent assisted ESFRS in its move to a shared facility and performed the safe decommissioning of its original control room. When organizations relocate control rooms, work is done to handle professional services. The function of ESFRS has been moved from a dedicated control room on Haywards Heath to the joint control room with Surrey and West Sussex Fire Services in Surrey. The old control room had to be decommissioned in March 2022 due to the amount of sensitive information it contained. A full security audit was also performed as part of this and all issues in the legacy systems were fixed. A flawless IT security certificate was issued for the building before it was put back to its previous use.


Greater strategic engagement will allow for continued maturity of the partnership between ESFRS and Telent. To further support this, strategic engagement workshops are planned during the remainder of the contract period to ensure IT strategy is aligned with ESFRS operational needs. They will ensure Telent’s relationships with a number of leading future edge technologies and world leaders in the technology market are shared, and will use their industry experience to bring all of this together as specific innovation ideas for fire and rescue services and the broader blue light community .

Telent helped transform ESFRS’ technology infrastructure and delivered a seven-year fully managed ICT service. This includes supporting a roadmap for migrating business applications to Microsoft best practices, moving from physical to virtual servers, and building an enterprise-class virtual infrastructure. As a dedicated partner, Telent has enhanced the end-user experience, enabled mobility and supported the relocation of the headquarters. It now offers a range of IT services from a defined service catalog for 850 users in ESFRS, allowing the internal team to focus on supporting the entire organization in executing its long-term strategy.

“Once Telent was engaged to provide maintenance and support for our technology portfolio, and after a period of stabilization, we have seen a significant reduction in IT incidents logged and an encouraging increase in reliability, with Telent continuing to successfully meet its SLAs,” said Dawn Whittaker, ESFRS chief fire officer and chief executive. “ESFRS is investing in a major refresh of IT infrastructure and new capabilities to support the business needs of our service, and Telent continues to provide critical support to ensure we deliver efficiently and effectively and maximize digital and technology opportunities.”

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