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UK's Manchester University seeks integrator to lead fiddly Oracle Financials upgrade

There could be up to £4m in it for the winner

England's University of Manchester is casting the net for a tech integrator to help with its Oracle Financials upgrade in a project that could be worth £4m to the winning bidder.

The 196-year-old establishment is looking for an implementation partner to help it move from version Oracle E-business Suite v12.1.3 to v12.2.8 or later, a switch it expects to take place on 1 August 2022.

The project is set to involve the re-implementation of the Oracle Financials software, the creation of a new chart of accounts, re-engineering of core finance processes, the redevelopment of interfaces into and out of Oracle Financials, and the implementation of any required changes to data, data structures, and functionality of applications integrated with Oracle Financials.

According to a tender document: "The University has a clear vision and has identified a range of benefits that it expects to delivery [sic] from this project. The partner is expected to understand both of these and ensure that their proposal to support the re-implementation focuses on delivering these as part of the technical solution."

The tendor states the university is looking to increase automation, standardise processes, and reduce manual interventions to save staff time. In addition, it wants improve reporting and controls made possible by a new ledger structure and chart of accounts as well as the automation of VAT and tax reporting.

The university also intends to consolidate its IT estate and reduce the number of systems supported. The tender does not mention any cloud transition.

The deadline for bidders is 14 December. The contract is for two years, plus an optional one year extension.

The university appears to have first gone live with R12 around 2013, according to a staff notice.

In July, the university awarded contracts worth £50m to integrators to provision cloud services from the big three providers and build a tool for "consolidated and managed billing" to ease the procurement of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, and save money.

Winners were Tech Mahindra, ANS Group, and Cloudreach Europe. Winners of "future projects" work were HCL Technologies and UKCloud.

In August, the uni announced the departure of CIO Malcolm Whitehouse as of 31 October. He had made the decision to return to interim work before retiring in the next two to three years, according to a statement.

Angus Hearmon, research IT programme director, was set to assume the role of interim director of IT in October. ®

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