Manchester and Edinburgh City Councils achieve 4 star excellence in Better Connected 2012 report

Leicester, UK, March 1st 2012 - Jadu, a UK based Web Experience Management supplier, today announced that a number of its customers have achieved excellent ratings in the SOCITM (The Society of Information Technology Managers) annual report ‘Better Connected 2012’ which seeks to provide a snapshot o

Local Government in the UK has had a tough time recently dealing with cuts to budgets and reductions in resources across the board, making it difficult for some authorities to innovate new and improved solutions to service their customers online and transform front-line services.

SOCITM's Better Connected 2012 report this year has focused on the customer journey through use of promoting top tasks and how everyday service requests such as 'Renew a library book' and 'Object to planning applications' have been promoted on council websites.

The report highlights usability as being the biggest weakness across the majority of Local Authority websites, centering on navigation. Only 12% of councils reviewed passed the SOCITM standard, however the report also shows that overall, council websites have made "modest improvement".

Among the councils that did exceptionally well were the City of Edinburgh Council and Manchester City Council. Both councils achieved a 4 Star rating (the highest rating possible), with Manchester City Council hitting the top 20 of all Local Authority websites in the UK.

We are delighted that Edinburgh has retained its 4 star status. Our partnership with Jadu has given the Council a platform that allows us to adapt and develop on the award winning website that we have built.

We continue to work hard at delivering the highest possible standards for our customers and in Jadu we have a partner we can rely on to deliver. We are focused on delivering the tasks our customers find important.

Sally Kerr, Council Web Manager for the City of Edinburgh Council

The Better Connected report recommends that Council "Go mobile" and states "The world does not stand still. Access to the internet from mobile devices is growing at a rapid rate in all sorts of ways."

We're really pleased that has been recognised as one of the best in its field, we've worked hard with Jadu's platforms to develop a website which is both innovative and user-friendly.

Tim Gough, Digital Communications Manager, Manchester City Council

We're 100% behind our local government customers, and we want to do everything we can to make better web experiences and customer journeys. Jadu congratulates Manchester and Edinburgh and all the other Jadu customers who work tirelessly in difficult circumstances to deliver websites of a very high standard to the public.

Suraj Kika, CEO of Jadu

Jadu recently announced that it had won a place on the Government's 'CloudStore' catalogue with its web engagement platform 'Jadu Universe'. The CloudStore aims to revolutionise how the public sector procures technology and stands to offer substantial savings for both central and local government.

One of the services launched on the CloudStore is Jadu's Weejot mobile app publishing software, a solution that any Local Authority can purchase on demand, with no procurement. South Lanarkshire Council, who scored a 3 Star rating in the report, recently implemented the cloud based Weejot system.

An interesting statistic is that by 2014 more people will access the Internet via mobile devices rather than desktop.

We were aware of the trend and with Jadu developed a device neutral [Weejot] mobile presence that can be adapted to meet seasonal requirements. It basically uses the existing content from our CMS and was developed in a relatively short time and at a low cost. We are pleased with this as a contribution to our channel shift and our ability to meet our customer requirements...

Kay Brown, Head of IT at South Lanarkshire Council

A further 17 Jadu customers cited in the Better Connected 2012 report as 'examples of good practice' were awarded 3 Star status.

This is a very exciting time for the web in the UK, with many more agile projects achieving excellence, such as the work the Government Digital Service (GDS) are delivering with the new - the opportunities to innovate are significant as long Local Authorities can free themselves of traditional thinking and embrace a new era in technology management in the public sector

Suraj Kika, CEO of Jadu


See also: Preparing for Better Connected 2013

Notes to editors:

About Jadu

Jadu specialise in the design and development of rich web experiences that support websites, intranets, extranets and mobile web applications. Jadu develops the 'Jadu Universe Platform'; a suite consisting of Web Content Mangement, Online forms, Search and cloud based Mobile web applications.

The company's UK clients include more than 50 local Councils, the universities of Leeds and Northampton and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Jadu's Weejot network provides organisations with powerful, task oriented management tools to easily create mobile applications using content from any back office or web-based data source through a hosted, fully managed cloud mobile service.

Utilizing the powerful MyJadu API that underpins the Jadu CMS, content and data from the CMS is presented through a series of mobile app templates. Administrators of the Jadu CMS are able to access the Weejot AppStudio through the Jadu Control Centre and publish content to their mobile website.

You can mobilize your back office systems, databases and websites by developing your own AppTemplates, enabling you to create mobile web apps for any purpose and delivering them through the Jadu Mobile Web framework.

Jadu has been implementing hybrid on-premise and cloud software for Government since it launched its Twitter management app in 2009.

Published: 1st March 2012