Essex County Council

Partnering to accelerate digitisation


As a local authority and government body, Essex City Council is the keeper of year's worth of data, being required to store records while making them easily available and secure. The council decided to find an archiving solution that would finalize its move to the cloud.

Challenge

The council needed to move four terabytes of data (or 10 billion data entries) and design a reporting solution that would simplify retrieving information, while keeping the records secure.

Solution

Fujitsu built the council an archive solution on Oracle autonomous database to export legacy data and store it safely in the cloud. It also designed a custom reporting solution for the archive.

Outcomes

  • Transferred legacy data quickly and within budget
  • Saved costs with the new archiving solution
  • Simplified information retrieval with a custom support solution
The delivery time was exceptional, that was the fastest I've seen something completed. This Fujitsu solution is far better than what we had.

Nick Pimm, Project Manager, Essex City Council

4 TB data migrated

8 months to build the archive and transfer the data

About the customer

Essex County Council is a local government body within the county of Essex. It collaborates with other local, regional and national bodies to deliver services and represent the best interests of the people within the county. It has 75 councillors elected from 70 divisions, and serves a population of almost 1.5 million, making it one of the largest local authorities in England.

Living up to high expectations

For local authorities, serving the population means, among others, protecting their privacy, offering resources quickly, and sharing information based on sensitive data securely. Not having the right tools to achieve this means letting down a lot of people precisely at the time when they need help. Taking this mission seriously, Essex County Council collaborated with Fujitsu to migrate to an Oracle SaaS application (HCM, Finance, Procurement and EPM) ensuring the best possible information management system for all projects.

The final piece of the puzzle was to safely store the legacy data. As a government body, the council is required to store records for a set period as mandated by business need or legislation, such as the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) 2000 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Protecting information with compliance and security

In June 2022, Fujitsu started working with Essex County Council to construct a static archive solution as part of its migration to the cloud. Fujitsu, using its Oracle CloudScale tools and accelerators, built the solution on Oracle autonomous database, using Oracle APEX as the user interface. This allowed the council to export legacy data and store it safely on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

The work had to be done quickly and reliably. According to Nick Pimm, Project Manager at Essex County Council, the council and Fujitsu had worked together for years and the relationship is an example of true collaboration. “The results of the entire Oracle project, including the archive, are clear. The delivery time was exceptional, that was the fastest I’ve seen something completed. This Fujitsu solution is far better than what we had,” he comments.

Fujitsu even helped the council with an unanticipated legacy solution problem. “This was an unplanned, emergency piece of work. Fujitsu helped us get out of a challenging situation on that,” says Pimm. “A lot of that depended on Fujitsu’s goodwill but there was never any doubt in my mind they would help,” adds Benjamin Sutherland, Programme Manager at Essex County Council.

Serving the citizens

Perched on top of the brand-new archive is a custom reporting solution designed by Fujitsu, which was contracted to host the application suite and provide an application management service. This solution is used mostly for answering FoI requests in a timely and reliable manner.

Fujitsu has also been helping the council with knowledge acquisition and preparing for running the archive without external support for security and patching. To better serve its citizens and be more responsive to their requests without relying on a third party, the council wants to be self-sufficient and have the ability to write new reports beyond what Fujitsu delivered.

Fujitsu will be leaving the solution in great hands. Commenting on the long-lasting relationship, Sutherland says: “We really had a one-team feel with Fujitsu. We did a big programme and you’re not going to get away without some issues, but there was a real sense of maturity across the teams and we were able to work through all that stuff together.”

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