Middlesbrough Council replaces SAP ERP with UNIT4

Middlesbrough Council has purchased a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from UNIT4, replacing its legacy SAP implementation.


Middlesbrough Council has purchased a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from UNIT4, replacing its legacy SAP implementation. 

The deal for UNIT4’s ‘Agresso’ local government ERP platform was awarded through G-Cloud. The cloud-based system has a flexible subscription-based license model whereby customers pay roughly £9.50 per user per month, according to its CloudStore listing

The contract will run for at least two years, a council spokesperson said.

It will replace an existing legacy SAP system at the council as part of a wider transformation programme which aims to cut costs and modernise operations.

The system also includes a self-service element, which allows managers to access information and analytics across any device connected to the internet.

The software will support services at the local authority such as finance, procurement, payroll and human resources. It will also provide a finance and procurement platform for more than 50 schools.

“With continued reductions in government grants, pressures associated with demand increases, austerity measures and staff cuts being imposed on local authorities, we need an agile back office platform that will enable us to provide best-in-class services with fewer staff,” said Tony Parkinson, executive director of commercial and corporate services at Middlesbrough Council.

“Our new operating model requires new systems that enable self-service to become the norm. The cloud-based UNIT4 Agresso solution is fit for purpose, it will provide good practice processes out-of-the box which will facilitate the transformation, and, as we encounter change, it also has the flexibility to support adjustments in business strategy.”

The council particularly needed a flexible solution to support “unprecedented and ongoing business change”, Karen Whitmore, organisation and governance director, explained.

Whitmore said: “Change is relentless, just to adapt internally we go through re-organisations as often as once every three or four months. UNIT4 Agresso Modeller will provide us with a simple tool to view, model and re-organise our business structure so that we can understand what is best for us and be much more proactive.”

UNIT4 has won a number of deals in the UK local government sector in recent months, including Lincolnshire County Council, Wokingham Borough Council and Wolverhampton City Council. It has also signed contracts with a number of universities including the University of Aberdeen and the University of Bristol.

The company’s ERP system is also used by one of Whitehall’s shared service centres (ISSC1), replacing a SAP platform. The shared service centre provides services to the Department for Transport and its agencies, with other departments expected to join in the coming months.