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Scottish universities launch £42m ERP tender

Framework deal to cut across software, services and systems integration

Universities across Scotland are clubbing together to soften up the market in preparation for an enterprise software procurement estimated to be worth £42m.

The historic Cloisters of Glasgow University

The historic cloisters of Glasgow University

Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC), the buying company for all further education institutions in the country, has launched a prior information notice to engage suppliers in exploratory talks that are expected to lead to a formal competition.

The notice says APUC is seeking out suppliers of system implementation, migration, support and maintenance, and hosting services. The procurement round is divided into three lots addressing systems for HR and payroll, finance and ERP.

The tender notice says the buyer is looking for solutions that could operate across a number of campuses.

A contract notice, which kicks off formal competition, is scheduled to appear in July 2022.

As well as APUC members, other buying groups will have access to the framework. These include Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium; London Universities Purchasing Consortium; North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium; North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium; and the Higher Education Purchasing Consortium.

Whatever newcomers win places on the framework might need to oust some entrenched incumbents. For example, in 2019, the University of Edinburgh confirmed the migration of its core finance and human resource (HR) functions to Oracle Cloud Applications.

Getting university ERP projects right is not always easy. Last year, Nottingham University awarded a cloud finance and HR deal worth £29.75m 2.5 years after a Unit4 upgrade. It decided to switch to Oracle. ®

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