Oracle deal signals “new relationship” with government

Crown Commercial Service says extension of licensing deal with Oracle lays the foundation of a “more collaborative” relationship

By Colin Marrs

20 Aug 2015

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has extended an agreement with major IT supplier Oracle for the licensing of its products. 

The Cabinet Office-sponsored executive agency announced that it has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering the next three years, which it says will deliver efficiency savings.

The new agreement builds on an existing agreement signed with Oracle in 2012 and extends its scope to additional public sector bodies, including the NHS.

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Sally Collier (pictured), chief executive of CCS, said: “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.”

When contacted by Civil Service World, a spokesperson for the Cabinet Office declined to outline what the agreement covers, the expected savings or what additional public sector bodies it will cover.

Michael Larner, principle analyst at IT research firm TechMarketView, told CSW: “This looks like an announcement where the Crown Commercial Service is trying to reset its relationship with suppliers and using Oracle as an example.

“Instead of saying all suppliers are out to rip off government, it seems to be saying that we need to have a partnership relationship with suppliers rather than haul them off before the Public Accounts Committee.

Larner added: “We have seen a lot of good things achieved by government in achieving efficiency savings on existing contracts. Now proper transformation is required, you need a proper partnership – you can’t keep having an ongoing negotiation about existing contracts.”

The deal comes just weeks after reports that the Cabinet Office was working to end government’s reliance on Oracle.

An investigation by The Register website found that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs was paying £1.3m a year for 2 million Oracle licenses.

In all, the UK’s public sector reportedly spent £290m on Oracle in 2013.

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