UK OUG – Scottish Public Sector Begin Exploring Alternative Support for Their Oracle Software

On the 21st June, Scotland’s Oracle community came together at The Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow to discuss the future of the Oracle market, listen to insightful talks from an impressive agenda of speakers and meet with leading vendors. Following the event, delegates left with a greater knowledge and insight around the challenges their organisation may be facing as well as emerging trends.

In particular, this year’s event highlighted the growing number of Scottish public sector bodies who are becoming increasingly more aware of third-party support as a viable means to save money on their Oracle support bills. Although these organisations are able to move away from vendor support for their ERP software, they fall under the Scottish Government Agreement for support of their Oracle Databases. However, in April 2018 this Oracle database agreement will come to an end and leave many organisations with wider options around how they receive support for their whole Oracle estate and potential alternatives to vendor support.

The need to look for alternative software support is exacerbated by the pressure the public sector is under to save significant budgets by 2020, with many looking to the IT departments within these organisations to make major cuts.

ERP software such as Oracle is deeply embedded within the public sector and is essential to the running of these bodies. However, it is also a significant cost to these organisations with approximately £290m spent on Oracle products by the UK Government in 2013 alone.

Whilst there may be more cost-friendly alternatives to Oracle products, simply replacing them would pose a huge challenge and disruption for the public sector. Therefore, we are seeing more public sector bodies turn to third-party support for their Oracle products as a way to immediately save a minimum of 50% on their support bills with no disruption to the running of the organisation itself.

As the Scottish Government Agreement expires in 2018, the Scottish public sector will face a number of choices moving forward and could find themselves in a position where they are able to make significant savings. With the public sector under more pressure than ever before, it would be unsurprising to see many of these organisations moving support contracts to third-party providers as a simple step to dramatically reduce costs, maintain a high-level service and keep things running smoothly as the public sector braces itself for a tumultuous time ahead.

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