Are you using your Outlook calendar correctly?

How to use your Outlook calendar correctly...Strata's Service Level Agreement, so you know what to expect when making a service request...Plus GovWifi

Outlook and telephony – an important reminder

Our Customer Service Centre is experiencing some difficulties in putting calls through to various officers, even though it is known that they are in fact available.  Following our inductions to Skype, here is a quick reminder to ensure that this does not happen to you.  We will continue to monitor this situation until it improves.

System use:

Incorrect use of the Outlook calendar can inadvertently set yourself – or your colleagues – into a Busy status.

When creating a meeting, the default will be to set yourself as ‘Busy’. If you add other attendees into the meeting then they too will be made Busy. This also applies with all day calendar appointments.

If you put an entry into your calendar as a reminder, you should remember to set the Show As dropdown to Free.

Regarding the “Away\ Yellow” status – this automatically applies after five minutes of inactivity (by default, staff can extend this if they know how).

Strata service level agreements

So that you know what to expect in the event of an IT issue, Strata operates a Service Level Agreement for all three councils in relation to incidents and problems raised. These don’t apply to BCRs, but do apply to Service Requests made through the Strata Portal. As Strata are operating across all three councils, please ensure that your Service Request is submitted via the portal so that the Service Desk team can deploy the right person at the right time.

Priority 1:  Incident affecting multiple users across multiple geographical sites.         

                   Response Time = 15 minutes

                   Estimated fix time = 4 Working hours

Priority 2: Incident affecting multiple users across a single geographical site.             

                   Response Time = 30 minutes

                   Estimated fix time = ten Working hours (one working day)

Priority 3: Incident affecting single user across single geographical site.        

                   Response Time = 1 hour

                   Estimated fix time = 30 Working hours (3 Working Days)

Working hours for the Service Desk are 7am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Government Wifi

The Government is currently rolling out a nationwide Wifi service called GovWifi, which is open to all local government employees. Registering for this service will enable you to connect (in the same way you would connect to a normal Wifi) to GovWifi at any Government organisation location, which has deployed the solution. The main benefit being you use the same SSID, username and password, so there is no need to connect and reconnect to multiple different Wifi at different locations.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon County Council are currently deploying the solution and Strata has agreed with the GDS to deploy this to the three authorities alongside our existing Wifi solution.

To sign up for yourself, send a blank email from your government email address to You will receive an email with your username and password and advice on how to connect your device. Remember, once this step is complete and you have your username and password you do not need to complete this stage again.

This service is not managed or maintained by Strata, so if you have issues registering or accessing the service you will need to contact the Government Digital Service, as we cannot contact them on your behalf. 

You can find a useful guide to setting up your devices on the GovUK website: