Essex County Council

Making cloud-first strategy a reality

Essex County Council’s Oracle stack required ongoing customisation, which was costly and time
consuming. With the solution soon to be out of support, the council asked technology partner,
Fujitsu, to recommend a new approach. Fujitsu and local authority specialist Evosys jointly developed a comprehensive plan to migrate to an Oracle SaaS platform, which will reduce costs
significantly by eliminating customisation and the need for on-premise hardware.

Challenge

Essex County Council’s Oracle stack required constant customisation. It wanted to migrate to the cloud to reduce costs and increase flexibility.

Solution

  • Fujitsu developed a detailed migration roadmap, enabling migration to an Oracle SaaS platform

Outcomes

  • Eliminates the need for on-premise hardware and maintenance
  • Costly and time-consuming customisation no longer needed
  • Real-time analytics enables smarter decision making
  • Intuitive, mobile interface encourages remote working and boosts productivity
Combining Fujitsu’s comprehensive experience of our existing solution with Evosys local authority expertise ensured we were on the right track.

Suzanne Cannon, Supplier & Service Assurance Manager, Essex County Council

7,500

users across Essex County Council will enjoy a more intuitive and mobile interface

About the customer

Formed in 1889, Essex County Council forms one level of local government within the county of Essex, and works with other local authorities, as well as regional, national and international authorities, to deliver services and represent the best interests of the people within the county of Essex. At the time of the 2011 census, it served a population of 1,393,600, making it one of the largest local authorities in England.

Introducing an evergreen cloud approach

Over the years, Essex County Council had continuously customised its business-critical Oracle solution to ensure it would be compatible with internal processes. The problem with this approach is that it is expensive and time consuming, requiring ongoing effort to test each customisation. Furthermore, the version of Oracle was out of support the following year, which would have necessitated a costly upgrade.

The council wanted to introduce a completely different approach – an evergreen, cloud-based platform that would eliminate the need for customisation. It turned to long-term technology partner, Fujitsu, for support.

“Our hand was being forced both by the end of Oracle support and a wider cloud-first strategy within the council,” explains Suzanne Cannon, Supplier & Service Assurance Manager, Essex County Council. “However, before making a definitive decision, we asked Fujitsu to explore the available options: upgrade the existing platform, migrate to the cloud or introduce a hybrid solution. After considerable market research, including consulting other councils, it became clear that moving to the cloud would deliver the most benefits at the lowest cost.”

Co-creating for success

Fujitsu partnered with Evosys, an Oracle Cloud UK local government implementation specialist. Together, they planned to replace the existing legacy stack, spanning financials, HR/payroll, projects, procurement, budget planning and reporting, with an Oracle SaaS platform.

“Evosys has a deep knowledge of Oracle SaaS platform and hosted a number of advisory workshops to help us all plan the migration in detail,” adds Cannon. “It helped us articulate the business processes we needed in the new environment. Combining Fujitsu’s comprehensive historical experience of our existing solution with Evosys’ local authority expertise ensured we were on the right track.”

A simpler, more cost-effective solution

Essex County Council now has a detailed roadmap for transformation, culminating in services going live in October 2021. This will give 7,500 users access to all the services they need in a flexible, secure and reliable fashion. Furthermore, it will be a more intuitive, modern interface, and will be fully available across any device, encouraging remote working, and helping boost productivity.

Most importantly, the new Oracle SaaS platform will remove the need for customisation, reducing costs and resources requirements significantly. Eliminating on-premise hardware further reduces procurement and maintenance spend.

“This evergreen cloud approach gets rid of all the hassle and expense we dealt with previously and means we no longer have to wait for new releases to enjoy new features,” concludes Cannon. “The new Oracle SaaS platform will also give us real-time analytics for smarter decision making – we are greatly looking forward to its forthcoming go-live.”

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