Oxygen Finance

Comparing Technology One, Oracle, and SAP: Transforming Local Authorities in the Remote Work Era

In an age where a large chunk of the UK’s workforce is now based at home rather than in offices, a local authority’s ability to keep track of its finances, HR issues; its clients and its sales/procurement capabilities forms a key foundation of its business. This is particularly relevant as the UK’s public sector emerge from two years’ of Covid-19 lockdowns, and the accompanying home-working restrictions, meaning a sizeable portion of a councils’ work needed to be conducted remotely. And combined with a need for councils to work more efficiently and effectively in these challenging economic times, a trio of IT companies that can offer smarter ways of working and transformative digital solutions/services have come to the fore.

Strong Partnerships: SAP’s Collaborations with UK Government Bodies and Councils

One of these companies is SAP (UK) Limited, whose IT solutions help companies to centralise data management, improve business management processes and combine their core business areas (finance, HR, sales, procurement, etc) via a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. According to data found on Oxygen Finance’s Insights portals, this company has established regular partnerships with UK government bodies and both tier one/two councils.

SAP's top public sector customers according to Oxygen's Insights Spend
SAP’s top public sector customers according to Oxygen’s Insights Spend

According to the Insights Spend platform, SAP’s top three contractual partners (2022-23) are all UK government departments – HMRC, Transport for London and the Department for Transport – while major local authority players such as Hampshire, Birmingham and Derbyshire also have contract arrangements with the company. And recent contract wins for SAP (UK) Limited include a payroll/HR system with Leeds, SAP support/maintenance with Bradford and Warrington, and SAP maintenance services with West Sussex.

A Leader in Business Solutions: Oracle’s Recent Accomplishments and Collaborations

In comparison, another major player in the business solutions market is the Oracle Corporation, which, much like SAP (UK) offers a range of IT infrastructure, application and hardware/software products and services. According to Insights data, this organisation’s main contractual clients (2022-23) are again UK government departments such as the DWP, Network Rail and the Home Office. Drilling down further, regional public sector partners for Oracle include its largest tier one clients, Norfolk County Council and Cornwall Council.

Oracles' highest-spending public sector clients according to Oxygen's Insights Spend
Oracles’ highest-spending public sector clients according to Oxygen’s Insights Spend

In terms of its recent awards, Oracle has had successes in London (contract awards with Hillingdon, Lewisham and Waltham Forest) as well as winning contracts with large tier one authorities such as Northumberland, Warrington, Hampshire and Leicester.

Financial Software Solutions for Local Authorities: Technology One’s Role and Impact

A final comparison can be made with a third business transformation organisation – Technology One, which provides financial software for both business and government clients. This company has contractual ties (2022-23) with Derby City Council, Blackpool Council, Horsham District Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Technology One's biggest public sector clients according to Oxygen's Insights Spend
Technology One’s biggest public sector clients according to Oxygen’s Insights Spend

And a recent contract win for the company includes an EPR SaaS contract with Highland Council, valued at circa £1.12M.

Moving forward, it appears that local authorities will continue to pursue innovative finance solutions to drive their business forward, with recent procurement activity, highlighted through the new ‘Notices’ section of the Oxygen portal, stating that both Manchester City Council and North Hertfordshire District Council require a related integrated financial management system and a finance/HR solution and have both published tender documentation for these requirements.

With the cost-of-living crisis predicted to continue to affect the UK economy, councils’ need for smarter working solutions may help these three companies to win additional business in the future. Oxygen Insights Pre-Procurement portal can help with this too, as this site uses insight gained from council documents to highlight potential future software purchases. The Pre-Procurement portal features a wide range of yet to launch procurement opportunities, one of which includes an ERP contract renewal decision, due to be made by Bromsgrove District Council late in June 2023, a Finance Management System tender issued by Peterborough City Council, and Wakefield Council’s requirement for an IT Service Management Solution.

For information, the Insights Spend tool, part of Oxygen Finance’s Insights 2 portal, draws from over 200 million invoices from almost two million suppliers, across more than 1,000 public sector organisations. The Insights Spend team “cleanse, categorise and enrich data” from circa 1.7 million invoices, which can then be used to help contractors/bidders to spot potential contract opportunities, set their specific strategies and make better decisions.

  • Highlights from an ONS survey released in February 2023 show how 40% of adults worked from home ‘at some point’ over the period from 25 January to 5 February 2023, versus 12% in pre-pandemic days (January to December 2019).

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