Workday gets £9.8m deal for second chunk of UK's Student Loans Company project

Oracle replacement project continues as SLC opts for SaaS model

Workday has pocketed a £9.8m contract for the second phase in an ERP project intended to improve efficiency in finance and HR management at the UK's Student Loans Company (SLC).

According to a contract award notice, the US SaaS application vendor has won the deal for "provision of Workday ERP software licences and associated services."

In its annual report published earlier this month, SLC - an executive non-departmental public body - said it was working on the second stage of its Workday implementation.

"We will implement further functionality to Workday, SLC's new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system," it said.

The new system, Adaptive Insights, promises new financial budgeting and forecasting, to "reduce manual processes and provide more automated forecasting."

It is also expected to support the SLC's HR strategy "with new functionality on performance management, absence management and strategic workforce planning."

The Workday contract starts on 31 January and is set to end on 30 January 2027.

The SLC said it completed the first phase of the Workday project which, from November 2019, provided core financial and HR functionality, according to an earlier annual report [PDF] for 2019/20 .

The 2018-2019 annual report [PDF] noted that the project was necessary for the mitigation of corporate risk. "Internal Audit noted that some issues will take time to fully resolve, in particular, the implementation of the replacement ERP system."

Workday replaced Oracle E-business suite for finance and HR at the Student Loans Company, according to an FOI request from 2015.

SLC has been busy with IT procurement. Last year it awarded Capgemini a £150m contract in an effort to move on from a troubled history with information technology.

The outsourcing and consultancy firm got the deal to be a "Strategic Partner for Platform Delivery and Technology Services" and is set "to deliver a wide range of services across our Platform Delivery and Technology Services area with the SLC Technology Group."

In 2015, SLC saw £50m flushed down the drain on a cancelled IT transformation project, designed to provide a "digital by default" system to cope with a major increase in student numbers.

Launched in 2013 in conjunction with the Government Digital Service, it was supposed to be a "robust and agile customer-centred student finance system" to tackle the "very poor" student experience due to a lack of case information.

HCL had been appointed as a delivery partner to build replacement Core Ledger and Security modules, with three online applications going live in January 2014. Problems were said to result from integration between the internally developed software and the core engine provided by HCL. ®

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