University helps Council get mobile
Published Friday 20th May 2011
The University of Northampton is helping organisations get mobile – developing iPhone apps to cut company costs and boost communication.
A team from the University's Computing Department, within the School of Science and Technology, have most recently been working with Northamptonshire County Council on its new iPhone, and soon to be released Android, app - helping the council develop new ways to get in touch so that members of the public can access council information more easily.
In its first day on the market, over 1,000 people downloaded the free app - and it was ranked in the top 10 on the app store's free 'Reference' applications.
The University and County Council have been working together as part of a strategic partnership and we are delighted to have been able to help the council with this innovative and already hugely popular app.
We have been running a BSc Computing (Mobile Computing) course for two years and it has been a very interesting and constructive experience for a team of our staff to put their expertise into practice. We look forward to helping other organisations do the same.Gary Hill, Head of the Computing department at the University
Thanks to the newly launched Northamptonshire County Council iPhone app, people can now access council information at the click of an icon - viewing latest council news, council job vacancies and consultation information.
Other features on the app include a facility to find the nearest library, recycling centre, country park or registration office and route mapping to get there. Bus times and nearest bus stops are included on the app, along with a school directory, school term dates and school closures.
The University is now working with the council to design an Android app - also designed to encourage more people to go online as a first port of call, instead of telephoning the council.
At a time when we are all looking at ways to reduce costs and save money, it is vital that we make it as easy as possible for customers to use our website, as it is our most cost-effective communications tool.
We have worked in partnership with the University of Northampton to develop these very useful and cost saving applications which mean people have access to services and information 24/7 and when people are out and about, we want them to be able to check their mobile phones for information instead of telephoning the council.
The apps are free for people to download, so make sure you get them on your phones and help us to save money every time you use it instead of calling our customer service centre.
And even if you don't have an iPhone or an Android phone, we are also developing a mobile web browser, so anyone with internet capability on their mobile phone can benefit from these initiatives.
With around a third of people who have a mobile phone using it to access the internet, it's clear that these will be useful tools for many of our residents, whilst also saving the council, and therefore taxpayers, money at the same time.Councilor Andre Gonzalez de Savage
If you would like to find out how the University could help you develop innovative apps or other communication technology contact Gemma Wickert, Business Development Officer, on 01604 893230 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture caption (left to right): Mobile application developers at The University of Northampton, Gary Hill, Espen Svennevik, and Scott Turner.