Oracle lands London council deal for £12m ERP project

Evosys bags £2m in bid to replace SAP at Borough of Waltham Forest

Oracle and systems integrator Evosys have won contracts to implement a new Oracle Fusion ERP system for the London Borough of Waltham Forest as part of a project which expects £12 million capex over three years.

The consultancy firm has been awarded a contract worth £2 million ($2.45 million) as the implementation partner on the project, in a deal set to last nearly two years. It is unclear how much of the £12 million ($14.72 million) earmarked for the project in financial years 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 would contribute to Oracle licenses.

In its Outline Business Case [PDF] for the project, the council said Big Red's cloud-based system will replace an ageing SAP product first implemented in 2003.

"The Council's current version of SAP has performance issues and poor usability increases manual work for employees," the document said.

"In addition to the above, it is difficult and expensive to make changes to the SAP system to make it more user-friendly. The system's poor usability and lack of flexibility has led to the proliferation of off-system processing and multiple spreadsheets in the various back-office functional areas."

The council also found that is current version of SAP, implemented in 2013, is "drawing towards end of life."

"It has become clear to the Council that significant improvements to the current SAP platform are not achievable or worthwhile and a new ERP system is, therefore, required," the documents said.

The council selected Oracle Fusion following "an extensive market scanning exercise" looking into both all-in-one and best-of-breed approaches. Eight providers showcased their systems and Oracle was selected based on feedback from service leads. It will be expected to support finance, procurement, and HR processes in cloud to improve insights, increase efficiency, and enhance employee experience.

The council used a framework agreement for collective procurement – the HealthTrust Europe Information Communication Technology Solutions framework – to buy the Oracle Fusion solution itself.

The local authority, one of 33 London borough councils, serves around 250,000 constituents.

In a press release, Councillor Paul Douglas, cabinet member for public service, said: "Our main challenge was supporting a heavily customised and fragmented solution that had led to manual tasks, unresponsive online forms, and repetition for our employees.

"By connecting our critical departments through a single unified platform, we can streamline and set up easy-to-follow processes across the business and enable access to more accurate and up-to-date data. We want to invest in a solution that will evolve and adapt with our business and after recommendations from our peers, we know Oracle Fusion Applications is the best fit for us."

Waltham Forest follows in the footsteps of a number of UK authorities looking forward to moving from SAP to Oracle.

In December last year, The Register revealed that West Sussex County Council was facing a two-year delay to a £7.5 million ($9.2 million) Oracle ERP project to replace its 20-year-old SAP system with Fusion. Oracle also won a deal to supply ERP software to East Sussex County Council, on England's south coast, in a delayed £25 million ($30.6 million) project to replace a SAP R/3 system.

Waltham Forest Council said it expected to complete the project's design phase in autumn 2022, go live with the core solution in spring 2023, and complete the project by summer 2024. ®

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