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UK government signs new deal with Oracle

Thu 20 Aug 2015

The UK’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) yesterday revealed that it would be teaming up with software giant Oracle, in a three-year partnership which will see the two collaborate to deliver services to public sector bodies including the National Health Service (NHS).

Just weeks after the government announced that it would be cutting back on its use of Oracle software, the new deal instead extends the existing agreement signed in 2012 and aims to bring new cost-saving solutions. The CCS has promised the that the signing of the Oracle memorandum of understanding (MoU) will “deliver additional savings for the taxpayer.”

The original MoU had hoped to save £75mn across central government, emergency services and the NHS by 2015 by permitting different agencies to bulk buy Oracle licenses. Reports quoted that one department had alone paid a total of £1.3mn annually for around two million Oracle licenses, which equated to approximately 200 licenses per staff member. In 2013, the UK public sector reportedly paid around £290mn for Oracle products.

The new agreement seems to work against the recent mandate to rein in Oracle spending, however it has been stressed that yesterday’s CCS deal is very separate from that of the Cabinet Office, and will attempt to increase the efficiency of Oracle procurement processes.

CCS CEO Sally Collier explained: “The enhanced MoU will deliver savings across government and allow easier and more effective procurement of Oracle products and services. It lays the foundation of a more collaborative relationship between government and Oracle.”

Oracle said that it was looking forward to continuing a “productive and mutually beneficial relationship” with the UK government. Dermot O’Kelly, Senior VP and UK Country Leader at Oracle, added: “We are delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the agenda of the new government in saving money and delivering leading-edge information technology to help transform public services.”

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