Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils will share an enterprise resource planning platform hosted by Fujitsu, marking the first ERP system shared between county councils.
The system will underpin the councils’ delivery of back office systems including HR, finance and procurement. The agreement was signed last month.
The councils said the system would offer scalable capacity so that other authorities including counties and districts could join the service in the future.
Fujitsu has developed its own ERP managed service for the councils, which said it would offer cost savings over traditional stand-alone ERP solutions.
Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet member for corporate services, John Reynolds, said: “This new shared service makes good business sense and fits in with the national requirement for the modernisation of local government”.
He said it would help the council develop ways to improve the performance and reduce the cost of back office processes “by sharing appropriate services with like-minded councils”.
Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for finance and business support, Bill Parker, added that increased operational efficiencies and cost savings were already apparent. “Through this partnership, we will be transforming the way we operate our systems for back office services such as finance, HR, or procurement, offering better value for money and ensuring these support services run as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Public sector IT managers’ organisation Socitm estimated that local councils would spend £3 billlion on IT in 2007-08, up 9 percent on the previous year.
A number of deals in other parts of the public sector have been signed with Fujitsu Services. Earlier this week, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) also awarded Fujitsu with a £25 million deal. Cafcass will join the Flex transformational government framework, in which the IT company provides ICT as a shared service.
Fujitsu is also a key contractor on the £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT, alongside CSC and BT.