Staffordshire postpones SAP Duet implementation

Insufficient datacentre power has brought one of the first implementations of SAP Duet to a standstill.

Insufficient datacentre power has brought one of the first implementations of SAP Duet to a standstill.

Staffordshire County Council has postponed its project to install the graphical interface that gives users access to data held in their SAP systems by accessing Microsoft Office applications.

The council's plan to implement Duet early this year had to be pushed back to the end of 2007, after the IT department realised that the council's datacentre infrastructure would need replacing for the core SAP R/3 system to be upgraded.

The council's head of programme and improvement for ICT, Janice Smith, said, "We have issues with air conditioning and space, and we recognise that it was not the right strategy to keep adding boxes. We need to replace our 200-plus servers."

The project to overhaul the data- centre will go out to tender next month. The council will replace its hardware estate with blade servers and a storage area network.

Once the new equipment is in use, work will begin on two SAP implementations: SAP CRM and SAP Social Care. But the council will only upgrade from R/3 to MySAP 2005 or 2006 once the two priority systems are in place.

Lack of capacity in the datacentre will make Staffordshire miss a central government deadline to implement children's social care systems that comply with new regulations.

Under government rules, councils had until 31 March to implement Integrated Children's Systems (ICS) that hold more detailed records on vulnerable children. Smith said, "We are not going to achieve compliance with ICS in time. We took the decision that what mattered was successfully implementing our new way of working in social care."

Staffordshire needs to have both SAP CRM and SAP Social Care installed before it can comply with ICS, but the new system is unlikely to go live before September.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES), which set the regulations, has warned councils that some of their funding will be cut if they fail to meet the deadline.

However, Smith said the DfES was aware Staffordshire will miss the deadline. "It is their intention to change the grant conditions so that authorities who can demonstrate that they are committed will be okay," she said.

Council plans early Duet move


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