| Digital Office | Scottish Local Government

Benefits of the Shared ARC Platform

Blog. Digital Telecare. 15.03.2024

The transition to digital telephony is approaching fast! By December 2025, the analogue network will be switched off entirely. 

Action is needed to safeguard telecare services in Scotland. But amidst the challenge lies an opportunity to transform services to improve outcomes for citizens. Enter the Shared Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) Platform. 

The Shared ARC Platform is a revolutionary step forward in the telecare sector that champions a collective approach to implementation. Co-designed with Scottish Telecare Service Providers to meet the pressing needs of the sector, this ground-breaking solution offers a simplified pathway to adopting digital telecare, ensuring a seamless transition without compromising service quality.  

 This is more than just an efficient transition tool; it provides a dynamic platform for innovation. By empowering service providers and stakeholders to collaborate and drive transformative solutions, we now have the potential to reshape the way we deliver telecare and support. 

 This cutting-edge, multi-tenant, and cloud-based platform is tailored to empower Telecare Service Providers, granting them the benefits of a shared infrastructure whilst maintaining full autonomy and accessing a wealth of service delivery possibilities. Security and scalability are paramount, ensuring smooth collaboration and information exchanging among Telecare Service Providers across Scotland. 

In November 2023, Chubb Fire and Security, along with their partner Skyresponse, secured a 6-year contract. The Shared ARC Platform, a genuine cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, has seamlessly integrated with an established platform serving more than 800 end customers. Currently, it efficiently manages over 13 million alarms and events per month. 

Benefits of the Shared ARC Platform

  • Greater support for implementation: The Shared ARC Platform will enable a collective approach to implementation. A collaborative approach means that support and learning can be shared across adopters, and technical expertise can be more easily accessed if required.
  • National approach to innovation: The Shared ARC technology solution provides a platform from which various innovations can be delivered.
  • Cyber-secured: With the Shared ARC Platform, guaranteeing a system that complies with regulations, is safe, and secure can be addressed once for all users, reducing the need for support from internal departments.
  • Provision of expert technical and support assurance: The Shared ARC Platform provides Telecare Service Providers with an option for their ARC platform where the necessary technical and cyber security due diligence has already been completed, reducing the burden on services.
  • National Approach to Training: A common and standardised Shared ARC platform allows training to be organised nationally, introducing economies of scale, and making it easier for service providers to release their staff in smaller numbers.
  • Scalable solution: The Shared ARC Platform's cloud-based approach provides a solution unconstrained by infrastructure. It will allow service providers to scale in line with citizen demand, helping to meet the challenges of an ageing population.
  • Automation: The Shared ARC platform is an innovative digital solution designed to streamline routine tasks by automating various analogue processes. Doing so can free up staff capacity, enabling them to redirect their resources towards customer-facing work.
  • Shared ARC Tariff Costs: The Shared ARC Platform presents a significant advantage in cost reduction. As the ARC accommodates more service users, the per-user price decreases. This is facilitated by the collective bargaining power of the consortium of telecare providers, which allows for more influence over the ARC provider compared to individual procurement. Additionally, this approach capitalises on economies of scale, further driving down costs.
  • Cost Savings in Disaster Recovery: The Shared ARC Platform enables significant reductions in disaster recovery (DR) expenses by allowing DR to be shared among multiple providers. This eliminates the necessity for providers to maintain duplicate call handling infrastructure or engage a commercial DR call handling provider.
  • Cost Savings in Shared Call Handling: The Shared ARC Platform facilitates reduced call handling expenses by seamlessly supporting shared call handling, such as overnight operations, across multiple providers.
  • Enhanced Staff Retention and Attraction: The Shared ARC Platform brings the positive impact of enabling greater flexibility in working conditions, facilitated by cloud technology. This includes options like remote work and flexible shift schedules. Additionally, providers stand to save on hiring and training expenses due to reduced staff turnover. 

Implementing the Shared ARC Platform  

Fife and Falkirk Councils are existing clients of Chubb and Skyresponse. Recently, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar joined the platform in December 2023, while Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership is currently undergoing onboarding. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements as we anticipate welcoming more participants in the following weeks. 

We are delighted with the strides that the Shared ARC Platform has taken in the short months since the contract was successfully awarded. In our next blog we will be diving into the integration capabilities of the platform, stay tuned!