Coventry City Council rips out Oracle finance system for 'cheaper' Agresso one

Coventry City Council says it is saving money after ripping out an existing Oracle finance system and replacing it with an Agresso one.

The council said it wanted a "more flexible, lower-cost solution with up-to-date and improved functionality". It also wanted a finance solution "capable of adapting quickly and painlessly to reorganisations".

It was reasoned by the council that if the existing Oracle system remained it would "impact the business with slow reaction times, high costs and widespread business disruption".

Barry Hastie, assistant director for financial management, revenues and benefits at Coventry City Council, said: “The incumbent finance system was heavily customised, and as a result so inflexible we couldn’t even upgrade it, let alone align it to new ways of working."

Instead, the council went to UNIT4 for its Agresso local government ERP platform. Joe Sansom, transformation programme delivery manager at Coventry City Council, said: "Crucially its configurable architecture would provide the flexibility we needed to adapt to change now and in the future.

"Although the initial implementation would focus on finance and procurement, the broad functionality offered by the Agresso platform, across areas like human resources and payroll, were also of interest to us.”

The finance and procurement modules were deployed for 2,500 users at the council. So far, says the council, the new system has so far "facilitated and underpinned" over £3 million in savings.

And any configurations are managed in-house - a big departure from the Oracle system, which required around £120,000 a year on consultancy costs just to keep it up and running.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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