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Wednesday 13 September 2017

Home Office turns to Oracle Government Cloud

Accenture logoIt was only in July that Oracle announced its new dedicated Government Cloud (see Oracle launches UK Government Cloud). Now, it has it has its first client. The Home Office, via the G-Cloud framework, has selected Accenture and Oracle-partner Certus Solutions to deliver a new ERP system, configured on Oracle Cloud platform, to serve its 30K employees. The series of contracts see Accenture delivering programme management, business change, technical integration and client reporting, and Certus solutions configuring the platform and transferring existing Home Office applications to the SaaS solution, named Metis. In total, the two-year contracts are worth £20m. The processes being targeted are HR, payroll, finance, procurement and customer service.

Oracle logoThis new arrangement has significant implications. In 2014 (see Steria SSCL attracts more major departments), the Home Office agreed to join the Independent Shared Services Centre ISSC2, run by the Sopra Steria/Cabinet Office joint venture Shared Services Connect Limited (SSCL). Yet, when the National Audit Office reported on the progress of the Whitehall Shared Service Centres in May 2016, there was still no agreed migration date for the Home Office. It was also noted that the Home Office had submitted 66 change requests to SSCL to enable the shared service to align with their departmental back office processes.

Now, it looks like the Home Office is side-stepping the ISSC. And, rather than adopting an on-premise system that it can adapt to its existing business processes, it will work with Accenture to align its back office with best practice built into the Oracle’s cloud-based ERP solution. That is quite a turnaround and will require a big cultural shift within one of the largest organisations within Government.

We had already seen a desire from some other departments to utilise cloud-based ERP solutions. Liberata (see Liberata retains HMCTS via G-Cloud) recently benefited from HMCTS turning to its cloud-based solution for some of its more specialist processes, for example (while the rest of MOJ continues to transition to ISSC2. But this is the first such example on this scale. In February 2017, the Government Transformation Strategy stated that the shared services programme would be reinvigorated. But, if the Home Office can pull off its ERP transition to the cloud, we must question whether the shared services programme – which has had a notoriously difficult time - will survive.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '10:06' - Tagged: public+sector   centralgovernment   contract   saas   g-cloud   Oracle  

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