Infosys awarded contract to replace East Sussex County Council's ageing ERP system

Indian service provider tasked with getting authority from SAP R/3 to Oracle Fusion


Infosys has won a long-awaited contract worth around £22m to swap out SAP R/3 systems with Oracle Fusion for East Sussex County Council (ESCC), a local authority on the south coast of England.

Last month The Register broke news that Big Red had won the deal to replace the ageing ERP systems, for which the council had first said would kick off last December.

Official tender documents did not, however, reveal the service partner set to take on the project of getting the council's finances running on Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, in a 10-year project valued at £25m.

An official release announced Infosys would do the implementation in partnership with the council. The procurement notice signalled that £3.8m would be spent on software licensing, potentially leaving the remainder of gthe cash for the service partner, Infosys. The Register has contacted the council for clarification.

ESCC expects the Fusion solution – which covers finance, procurement, and human resources – would make its HR processes more efficient; improve sourcing and supplier management processes; and enhance and automate financial processes.

"By connecting and rationalising our business processes across functions, we are able to more quickly resolve internal process gaps and delays, realise significant efficiencies across departments, and refocus our resources on providing the best possible service to our residents," said Phil Hall, chief operating officer at East Sussex County Council. "In Oracle and Infosys, we have partners that understand how local government works and the unique challenges we face."

Unsurprisingly, Hall didn't mention the delay to the project, which an official statement had earlier said was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic "and changes to working arrangements over the past year."

While ESCC was trying to find an ERP supplier, project leadership switched from COO Kevin Foster, who departed in January to be replaced by Hall as an interim. An audit committee report [PDF] published by the council last year underlines the importance of the incumbent R/3 system, supported by Orbis Information Technology and Digital teams based in Kingston and Lewes, and relied upon by more than 900 users.

In the June 2020 Cabinet Office report [PDF], Foster said ESCC, which controls a budget of around £417m, must move off R/3 as it will "no longer be supported by the supplier beyond 2025 and the existing server hardware is now beginning to show its age with more performance issues arising."

Infosys is set to provide consulting services and an Oracle managed service as part of its Infosys Cobalt product.

With a 2025 deadline, it has time to upgrade the council systems, providing there are no further delays. ®

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