dangles £100m for service slingers for back office ‘transformation’ that’ll kill off bespoke systems

The UK government is calling for service-pushers to help it overhaul central and local government back-office functions, with a view to deals which could be worth up to £100m.

Crown Commercial Service, the government central procurement agency, has issued a prior information notice which calls for “expertise required to transform back-office functions from bespoke systems to efficient, industry-standard processes, enabled by commercial off the shelf software”.

The resulting procurement is intended to create a cross-government collaborative agreement for the provision of back-office transformation that could be used by central government departments and all other UK public sector bodies, including local authorities, health, police, fire and rescue, education and devolved administrations.

“It is intended that this commercial agreement will be the recommended vehicle for all Back Office Transformation required by UK Central Government Departments. The lotting structure of this framework will be determined as a result of the market engagement,” the notice said.

“The Back Office Transformation commercial agreement will provide a route to market for organisations wishing to purchase the expertise required to transform back office functions from bespoke systems to efficient, industry-standard processes, enabled by commercial off the shelf software,” it added.

The government expects to publish the contract notice in September this year.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet Office issued a similar notice offering possible £15m contracts for consultancy services to help adopt a software-as-a-service delivery model for its back-end enterprise applications.

The tender asked for a service partner to “facilitate an operations and technology transformation across finance, HR, payroll and procurement and the replacement of the Single Operating Platform (‘SOP’) and associated systems… with a Software as a Service (‘SaaS’) cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (‘ERP’) solution.”

In strategy documents [PDF] relating to the procurement, the government detailed a plan to shift all government departments to one of three application providers. It named Oracle, SAP and Workday as the vendors that meet the government’s requirements for moving to the SaaS model. Any department may be able to choose services from more than one of the three – but they will be the only vendors on offer. ®

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