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UK government reaffirms commitment to using Oracle tech with cloud MoU

Government procurement chiefs in the Crown Commercial Service sign new agreement with database giant aimed at making it easier and cheaper for public sector organisations to use its cloud

The UK government has renewed its ties with tech giant Oracle by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) geared towards making it easier for public sector organisations to access the database giant’s cloud services.

The deal is being overseen by government procurement arm the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), and appears to mark an extension of a similar agreement that the two entities have had in place since 2015.

As reported by Computer Weekly at the time, the purpose of the 2015 MoU was to help public sector organisations save money on their software licensing costs by streamlining the procurement of Oracle products and services.

This latest agreement has similar aims, while also attempting to make it easier for public sector organisations to access Oracle’s portfolio of cloud services, which the company claims will generate follow-on productivity improvements and efficiency gains.

Oracle says its technologies are already in use with more than 800 public sector organisations, including central government, local authorities, NHS trusts and police forces.

“The signing of this MoU will build on this foundation, and provide hundreds more government institutions with easy access to Oracle Cloud,” it said.

According to CCS Digital Marketplace sales figures, the firm banked £3.36m in sales via the government’s G-Cloud procurement framework during the 2018/19 financial year, which is markedly up on the previous 12 months, when it recorded sales of £1.31m.

“This agreement will ensure that public services across the length and breadth of the UK are not only able to make full use of Oracle Cloud, but also provide it with access to Oracle experts to offer additional consultancy and counsel to the government,” said Oracle in a supporting statement.

Gareth Rhys Williams, the UK government’s chief commercial officer, said the deal is a sign of the Cabinet Office’s commitment to working with “leading vendors” and investing in initiatives that will “unlock the value of innovative technology”.

Read more about cloud use within the public sector

He added: “The agreement will make it easier for organisations within the public sector to access Oracle’s cloud-based technologies as we seek to deliver a Britain that is fit for the future, and allow us to continue to be a leader in adopting cutting-edge technologies.”

As the uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the European Union continues, Richard Petley, country leader of Oracle UK, said agreements like this will be of vital importance.

“As Britain enters one of the greatest periods of change in recent years, it’s vital that private sector organisations work with our government to give them the best support possible,” he said.

“It will help to ensure that the UK government has the technology to build a successful future for the entirety of the country, as well as to continue to make use of Oracle’s market-leading on-premise capabilities. We look forward to helping the public sector take full advantage of this agreement.”    

Computer Weekly contacted CCS for clarification about how this agreement will make it easier and more cost-effective for public sector organisations to acquire Oracle cloud services, but no response had been received at the time of publication.

Read more on Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

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