Sopra Steria to help digitise HM Passport Office service

Sopra Steria and Iron Mountain have partnered to deliver a new digital HM Passport Office service. The digital transformation project will help to deliver more efficient public services for the millions of UK passport applications made every year.

Sopra Steria is a European information technology consultancy which was established in September 2014 with the merger of Sopra Group SA and Groupe Steria SCA. The primary business areas of the company include consulting services, systems integration and solutions, integration of ERP solutions, and implementation of application solutions. In recent months, the firm’s digital expertise has been in keen demand from UK clients, as it looks to contend with a number of rapid changes.

Now, as the UK Home Office looks to modernise its passport application system, ahead of the UK’s final exit from the EU, Sopra Steria has been appointed by the Home Office to deliver a digital service to securely validate and digitise passport application forms and supporting evidence. HM Passport Office routinely processes almost seven million UK passport applications every year – including those of its citizens residing overseas – and the changes should help make that process faster and more accurate.

Adrian Fieldhouse, Managing Director of Sopra Steria’s Government Sector said, “This builds on a long-standing partnership between Sopra Steria and HM Passport Office and will help streamline the service for millions of people, in the UK and overseas, who apply for a passport every year. This is Sopra Steria doing what it does best – applying the latest technology to design better ways of working, transforming services for our customers and delivering real benefits to the public.”

The company has been awarded a five-year contract to operate the Scanning, Validation and Storage (SVS) services as part of the ongoing digital transformation of HM Passport Office. According to a release from the firm, SVS is “the next step” in the digital transformation process for HM Passport Office, and will help to deliver more efficient public services underpinned by a fully-digitalised system. It will mean key documents for British passport applications are scanned, and validated before being uploaded onto a digital platform for processing. Customers’ documents are stored and then returned.

Building on an 11-year partnership between Sopra Steria and HM Passport Office, the SVS service will be delivered with Sopra Steria’s partner Iron Mountain, the storage and information management services company. Together they will operate the two service centres in Corby and Hemel Hempstead, starting in October.

Phil Shepley, General Manager UK, Ireland & Nordics at Iron Mountain commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with Sopra Steria to support HM Passport Office’s digital transformation journey. UK citizens rely on passport application processing and this SVS service will ensure that it is more reliable, secure and efficient than ever before. This deal is one of a number of examples where Iron Mountain is providing solutions that solve complex customer challenges.”

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