UK government inks fresh deal with Oracle

It's expected to deliver savings, but how that will happen remains unclear

Exactly two weeks after reports surfaced that the U.K. government is working to end its reliance on Oracle, the Crown Commercial Service revealed that it has just signed a new, three-year deal with the software vendor.

Announced Wednesday, the new memorandum of understanding builds on a previous agreement signed back in 2012 and extends the scope to include additional public sector bodies, including the National Health Service, and more products and services.

It's also expected to bring new savings, though what form they might take was not explained.

Government officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Oracle declined to comment for this story.

It was primarily the disproportionately large number of Oracle licenses held in the U.K. government that reportedly prompted the recent mandate by the U.K. Cabinet Office to cut back on the use of the vendor's software.

One department alone has paid £1.3 million (US$2 million) per year for some 2 million Oracle licenses, or about 200 licenses per staff member, The Register found in an investigation earlier this year.

In all, the U.K.’s public sector reportedly spent £290 million on Oracle in 2013.

While the new licensing deal may seem at odds with that mandate, the Crown Commercial Service is "very separate" from the Cabinet Office, said Duncan Jones, a vice president with Forrester Research.

The Cabinet Office was apparently advocating cheaper alternatives to Oracle, but "the CCS MoU appears to recognize that that isn't always the right thing to do," Jones said.

Instead, it seeks to streamline the Oracle procurement process while also securing a better deal, he said.

At the same time, the reality is such that even while a framework agreement such as what the MoU appears to be "could easily halve the price that a single government department or local government body might pay for its Oracle software," that price could still be three to four times what a private sector enterprise might pay for a similar amount of software, Jones pointed out.

"That's not because of the negotiators' competence or diligence," he added. Rather, it's because enterprises can forge strategic relationships that public sector organizations are "unable, unwilling or legally not allowed to create."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?