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Shared service venture to develop new ERP platform



Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire shared service works with Unit4 on enterprise resource planning system for the public sector

A local authority shared service has announced plans to develop a ‘best in class’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform the public sector.

LGSS, which is jointly owned by Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils, is working on the initiative with ERP provider Unit4, which has claimed the platform could provide millions of pounds in savings for the partners and other bodies that use the service.

It will be based on the company’s Self-Driving ERP, which automates many of the tasks around its use and includes a predictive analytics function.

Christine Reed, director of people, transformation and transactions at LGSS, told UKAuthority that the new platform will have a design architecture that is specified for local government but will also include the flexibility for the organisation to make changes without calling in external consultants. This should help to reduce the total cost of ownership.

“The latest iteration of the Self-Driving ERP has several intuitive software features around organisational change, budgetary management payroll process, driving self-service from users and increasingly intelligent support to decision-making from the software,” she said.

Implementation schedule

LGSS and Unit4 are currently working on the design to meet the requirements of services including HR, finance and transactions. Reed said that the build stage will begin early next year, to be followed by development and testing, with the first deployments scheduled for late 2016 or early 2017.

Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire are both committed to using the new ERP, which will replace the Oracle system currently used by LGSS.

Details of the branding are yet to be decided, with Reed saying it is “under development”.

LGSS has a record of low level software development with the launch of a Free School Meals App in 2013, but the ERP initiative takes to this to a much higher level with a more substantial offering to public sector customers.

The shared service was established in 2010 by the merger of the two county councils’ corporate services operations. It has 1,400 staff and provides professional, transactional and operational services to both counties as well as its customers.

Analyst Tech Market View has reported that LGSS attracted 300 public sector organisations and services 10,000 users from local authorities, the NHS, adult care services, housing associations and schools. It suggests there is considerable scope for the use of the new system among the shared service’s customers that are not tied into long term deals for the ERPs.

Image from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, public domain via Wikimedia Commons





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