The FCO promotes and protects the United Kingdom’s interests overseas, supporting citizens and businesses around the globe.

The FCO has a worldwide network of embassies and consulates, employing over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices. It works with international organisations to promote UK interests and global security, including the EU, NATO, the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the Commonwealth.

The FCO needed a new system to help manage the consular side of the business, supporting British Nationals who live, work and travel overseas. They implemented Case Manager in February 2016.

The issues

The FCO manages tens of thousands of incidents across the world every year, from lost passports and travel documents, to more involved difficulties and issues faced by UK citizens travelling, living or working abroad, including hospitalisation, arrest, being a victim of crime and even death overseas. These incidents are managed by a combination of staff in embassies and consulates around the world working with their counterparts in the FCO in London.

They needed a casework system which would work reliably and securely, across the globe via the internet, including in countries with limited infrastructure. The system also needed to integrate and communicate with other Consular systems, such as that which produces Emergency Travel Documents, as well as with new online Consular services and systems managed by other Government Departments.

Government procures its cloud-based software services through G-Cloud, a system which ensures that potential contractors meet stringent criteria. IIZUKA is an accredited G-cloud supplier and holds ISO27001 and ISO9001, demonstrating that it meets strict information security and quality standards.  Even so, the company had to undergo a stringent risk assessment to satisfy Government requirements.

The Solution – Case Manager

IIZUKA successfully tendered for the FCO contract, in line with the Government’s corporate procurement process. Following contractual agreement, IIZUKA worked with a Business Team at the FCO to analyse their requirements and configure the Case Manager system to their needs. This would be the first cloud-hosted Central Government Case Management system.

The project was challenging. The team needed to operate at an international level, with workshops arranged to cope with different time zones. IIZUKA also needed to migrate large amounts of complex data within tight timescales.

The system needed to be extremely reliable, with an availability rate of 99.95%, so IIZUKA teamed up with their strategic partner Rackspace, who host the Case Manager system on their servers.

Client feedback:

“We received interest in the project from some of the biggest providers in the market, but we were impressed with how IIZUKA took the time to understand our business and engage with us from the earliest stages of the tender process.  It was clear that they had a product which could meet our needs and would take a collaborative, flexible and personalised approach.

IIZUKA worked with our team to ensure the system we have implemented does what we need it to do, while retaining security and reliability and enabling more structured case handling.  Global rollout to over 200 locations without service interruption from 9 months start is impressive, particularly given the challenges of working with a small company. We have seen efficiency benefits from being able to integrate the system with other Consular IT and our new online services.”

Other benefits of the system include access to real time data capture, role-based access control system to protect sensitive data; unique dashboards which provide key performance data in real-time and the ability to manage, co-ordinate and track incidents across the globe from their London office.

The FCO Project Manager added:

“The implementation process was smooth and professional and the team at IIZUKA were agile and responsive when requirements changed, although we did learn that we still need to stick to requirements or we risked building over complexity. Through the bespoke e-learning system which IIZUKA designed for us we trained nearly 800 users quickly and thoroughly in preparation for deployment. We are very pleased with the support we continue to receive from the IIZUKA team.”

“From the outset we were impressed by CASE Manager. The FCO required a globally secure, agile and reliable data handling system, compatible with other secure Government systems. IIZUKA took the time to understand our needs, worked collaboratively with us and delivered within a challenging timescale.” Project Manager, FCO.