Birmingham council chief admits £100m funds gap in ERP improve


Birmingham Metropolis Council’s new council chief has knowledgeable native newspapers of spiralling prices in a serious enterprise useful resource planning (ERP) improve venture.

In an interview given to the Birmingham Mail, metropolis council chief John Cotton described the “disastrous” Oracle system, which has left taxpayers with a £100m invoice.

Though particulars of the issues the council faces haven’t been revealed, the IT issues stem from an bold improve of an SAP system, which the council has been operating since 1999. The council admitted that vital sources can be required to reach at a place the place the system could be totally carried out. “We estimate that the ultimate prices of this can be within the area of £80m to £100m,” the council instructed Laptop Weekly. “This can be over three years.”

In 2006, Birmingham Metropolis Council signed a strategic take care of SAP, Capita and Axon in what, on the time, was the biggest native authorities IT transformation venture in Europe.

Final yr, Peter Bishop, director of digital and buyer providers at Birmingham Metropolis Council, mentioned the implementation, which concerned migrating from the council’s SAP ERP to Oracle.

In a webinar posted on YouTube, he described the SAP-based platform Oracle was changing as being unable to satisfy the challenges of shoppers. “It’s not intuitive, it’s a really poor consumer expertise,” stated Bishop. “We’re too closely reliant on knowledgeable customers to extract and handle info.”

This platform, based mostly on SAP, has been utilized by the council since 1999. “We’ve invested closely in it as a part of our strategic partnership fashioned in 2006, which led to 2019,” he stated, including that the previous system supported a raft of enterprise processes in human sources, finance and procurement, and been closely customised. It additionally operated a payroll invoice of £700m yearly, processing 26,000 payslips, dealt with provider invoices and receipting, and built-in with 140 different council methods. Within the video, Bishop stated the varied modules didn’t speak to one another, which was among the many causes emigrate to a brand new platform.

In 2017, Bishop stated Birmingham Metropolis Council put collectively a enterprise case for migrating to a brand new system. Discussing the complexity of the migration, he stated: “Information migration is a specific problem. You’ve obtained a lot information that’s been so closely customised and all of the feeder methods each out and in.” This, he stated, presents a major problem.

On the time the webinar was run, Bishop stated he was assured the council would meet the April 2022 deadline regardless that the ERP improve required a big information migration venture. “Issues should still go improper,” he stated. “We’re all fingers crossed, and we’ve obtained an excellent course of and a set of companions who know what they’re doing.”

The council stated it’s at the moment working at tempo, and has developed a plan which focuses initially on stabilising the scenario and optimising the implementation of Oracle.

“While this additional funding is substantial, the correct functioning of Oracle, and its position in monetary and other people administration is essential to an organisation of Birmingham Metropolis Council’s dimension, with a gross income funds of £3.4bn every year,” the council stated.

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