Liverpool and Salford councils have signed a joint contract with SAP to deliver a technology platform, aiming to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
The collaboration is part of a government-wide framework. Should it be successful, it could work as a model for other councils on how to join forces to upgrade legacy IT systems.
Under the deal, the two councils will use a range of SAP tools to simplify and upgrade their infrastructure, as well as to create more user-friendly services for citizens.
Salford’s mayor Paul Dennett said that, together with Liverpool, “we’ll be able to implement an affordable solution” focused on the needs of the local residents.
“Salford City Council has always recognised the importance of innovation and collaboration to develop new business solutions that will allow public bodies to work together, share costs and drive real transformation in our cities,” he said.
“This collaboration provides an exciting opportunity for us to maintain the quality of front-line services and at the same time develop a technology platform that could support the wider economic growth in our regions.”
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The councils have already begun to implement the SAP solutions and hope to roll out the new platform by 2017.
Darren Hunt, SAP’s director for public sector UK and Ireland, said that the S/4 Hana solutions will support “the delivery of new digital services, providing more accurate, real-time information to facilitate better informed and more timely decision-making”.
SAP touted S/4 Hana, the next generation of its Business Suite ERP platform, as the “most important release in 23 years” when it was launched in 2015.
Built on the SAP Hana in-memory platform, S/4 Hana is designed to be easier to use and administer, allowing enterprises to solve more complex problems.
Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, said that with the council facing budget cuts and financial pressures, it’s important to be able to do “more with less” by moving services online.
“We have a long history of delivering innovation and seeking new ways of working. The collaboration with Salford City Council is one such innovation that we have implemented to deliver this new way of working,” he said.