Case study
Digital transformation at Newport City Council

About Newport City Council

Newport is both a city and a principal area, standing at the gateway between England and Wales. With a 160,000+ population, Newport is vibrant and steeped in a rich industrial heritage. Newport is officially a digital city, with residents and visitors being able to access free Wi-Fi from any wireless-enabled device throughout Newport.

Newport City Council logo

Background to the digital transformation project

Before onboarding the Abavus My Council Services platform, Newport’s digital architecture was comprised of several bespoke solutions that were integrated together. Newport wanted to consolidate their digital infrastructure into a single enterprise system. This would make their digital services easier to use, manage and administer for customers, customer agents, and back-office IT staff. Key objectives of the transformation included:

• Providing easy 24/7 access to council services through streamlined digital channels.

• Providing a digital experience comparable or better than other digital platforms

• Replacing existing paper-based workflow with a fully digital cloud-based platform.

• Improving workforce autonomy, giving them more responsibility for their data and tasks.

• Implementing an intuitive platform enabling service automation to lighten the council’s workload.

• Implementing a flexible platform that is configurable by the council’s back-office staff.

• Implementing a versatile platform allowing for seamless two-way integrations between data sources.

Why did Newport choose Abavus to deliver digital transformation?

Abavus had already built a strong presence among Welsh councils and were already known to Newport’s in-house technology provider (SRS Wales). We held several sessions with the council and SRS representatives to fully agree the scope and requirements.

“As a council, we felt we were having a conversation with Abavus rather than a sales pitch. We felt we were being listened to as an organisation. Abavus were honest and open about their ability to meet our requirements. Importantly, Abavus also challenged the approach we wanted to take. Having agreed a plan, we were confident that Abavus would support us in achieving our goals.”

Leanne Rowlands, Newport City Council’s Democratic Services Manager


What was Newport’s experience working with Abavus?

The delivery of this project has been an extremely positive experience for Abavus and Newport. With real commitment and sensible resource allocation on both sides, and despite the challenges of COVID, Newport to date has successfully achieved their digital transformation goals.

“The relationship between Newport and Abavus has been really good. There were several instances where we asked for additions to the original specification. Despite this, Abavus have always been amenable and worked with us to deliver our requirements. That’s really different compared to other big supplier projects we have worked on. Thanks to this flexibility, our environmental service areas have seen a significant turnaround. They are now coming back with suggestions and requests for further developments. It has completely shifted their mindset, and they are now owning their digital services. We are really happy with that.”

Leanne Rowlands, Newport City Council’s Democratic Services Manager

What benefits have been realised at Newport?

• Before working with Abavus, 42% of Newport’s transactions were through self-service channels. Since onboarding My Council Services, this percentage has jumped to over 90%.

• Not only customer-facing services benefited from our solution. Many of Newport’s internal processes (previously paper-based) have seen significant improvement.

• The system has seen impressive organic growth, despite limited publicity. Newport now has over 88,000 registered accounts on their My Council Services platform.

• As super users of the system, Newport are committed to pushing their services online. Our platform’s analytical capabilities have enabled greater levels of corporate accountability.

• A significant number of councils (many in Wales) use My Council Services. At times, Newport have utilised processes built by other Abavus clients to support their own internal delivery, saving time and resource. A good example of this collaboration involved utilising Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Parking Permits scheme.

• Newport staff satisfaction levels have increased, as they have the ability to create and adapt services to meet their needs.