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UK Home Office awards Oracle a deal extension worth tens of millions

Fellow travelers in the Whitehall shared services journey await their SaaS move

The UK Home Office has awarded Oracle a £31.47 million ($39.5 million) contract to continue to run its HR and finance systems in the cloud.

The four-year software-as-a-service deal for Oracle's Fusion ERP system has been renewed to run from May 2022 to May 2026.

According to a tender notice, the award will provide "SaaS, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products for Metis," the internal name for the HR and finance system of the government department responsible for policing and border security.

The Home Office moved its legacy on-premises ERP system to a full as-a-service cloud suite based on Oracle Fusion between 2018 and 2020 to cover HR, payroll, finance, customer experience, and other functions.

The system, which is set to support around 35,000 Home Office staff, went live in March 2021. At the time, chief people officer Jill Hatcher said the Home Office was one of the "largest and most complex government departments in the UK to have successfully migrated all of its finance, commercial, HR and payroll footprint to the cloud."

Tola Sargeant, analyst at TechMarketViews, said: "The next phase of the programme will see the department automate, standardise, and integrate business processes across different functions, with the aim of improving user experience, increasing productivity, and reducing costs."

The Home Office transition to Oracle Fusion took place as the government tried to reorganize how it managed enterprise applications across Whitehall departments and move to a software-as-a-service model. It is grouped with the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice as "delivery" departments.

While the Home Office planned its move to Fusion, the remaining departments were reliant on an Oracle-based hosted system called the Single Operating Platform. The government had planned to shift that to SaaS, but this was abandoned in favor of the March 2021 Shared Service strategy [PDF].

The strategy said the "delivery" group would be led by a consortium to procure new systems and service providers, which were to be decided at the time of its launch.

The Home Office's move to Fusion was first signaled in 2017, when it contracted Accenture and Oracle implementation outfit Certus Solutions under a £20m contract to deploy the cloud system.

Fujitsu is also part of the team that helped get the Home Office onto software-as-a-service. The Home Office, Oracle, SSCL, Accenture, and Fujitsu have been working collaboratively on Metis as "one team," the Japanese service provider said.

In a separate deal, the Home Office has awarded Support Revolution an £8.6 million ($10.8 million) contract for Oracle third-party support, although it is unclear whether this relates to the Metis system.

The Register asked the Home Office and Support Revolution to clarify whether this deal will support Metis.

The Home Office is yet to answer questions about whether a 2021 competition for an "enhancement partner" for the Metis system has been awarded. ®

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