Six London local authorities have signed a four-year contract with Capgemini UK plc. The move is expected to facilitate improved council services and generate major cost savings by phasing out older, outdated IT systems, securing economies of scale, eliminating unnecessary paperwork and streamlining processes in areas such as finance, procurement, HR and payroll.
The six councils aim to use the cost savings generated to protect services to the public. The councils involved in the plan are Lambeth, Lewisham, Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Croydon and Havering, which have a combined population of 1.6 million.
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, was selected as transformation and IT partner following a rigorous competitive bidding process. Its success stemmed from its proposal to deploy its t-Gov (Transform Government) service offering, which relies on proven techniques and templates to accelerate local government transformation programmes and to systematically minimise the risks inherent in major change.
Mike Suarez, Executive Director for Finance and Resources for Lambeth Council, who led on the procurement of Capgemini, said: ‘All councils share common support functions – like HR, finance and procurement – but we have our own ways of doing them. If we can use the same system, we will streamline our processes and save money without cutting services. But this is also about improving how we do business with our suppliers and enable our staff to do things more quickly and efficiently. Managers will have access to budgets in real time and not need to complete endless paperwork for the simplest of tasks – making real savings for the tax payer.’
The project is believed to be the most ambitious IT programme ever undertaken in the UK local government sector and is predicted to set the pattern for other initiatives across the UK and in other parts of the public sector. The Capgemini t-Gov transformation methodology involves standardisation on the latest Oracle R12 Enterprise Resource Planning suite of software and was developed in collaboration with Oracle.
The new systems are scheduled to go live in July 2013, and will be managed by Capgemini for an initial period of a further three years.
In addition to deploying its skilled and experienced design and implementation specialists, Capgemini UK also plans to induct a number of its new apprentices onto the project, in line with the company’s strong support for the Procurement Pledge on Employment and Skills announced last December by London Councils. Capgemini UK is hiring more than 150 new apprentices this year, with schemes which combine work experience with study leading to formal qualifications such as a BSc degree in Computing, gained while being paid and without incurring student debts. Capgemini has been at the forefront of efforts over the last two years to expand apprenticeship opportunities for young people across the UK technology sector.
Suzy Foster, Head of Local Government of Capgemini UK, said: ‘We have helped many public sector bodies improve services to the public and save money by streamlining their IT and business processes. We are now delighted to have the opportunity to deliver these same benefits in the greatest city in the world.’
The project for the six councils is one of the first specific programmes to be announced under Project Athena, which aims to lay the foundations for a single ICT platform for all London public sector organisations including all 32 London borough councils.
Learn more about the Project Athena at http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/capital ambition/projects/programmeathena.htm
With around 120,000 people in 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2011 global revenues of EUR 9.7 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.
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