Oracle and Crown Commercial Service renew MoU to continue cloud use

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Oracle and the UK government’s Crown Commercial Service have renewed a memorandum of understanding for the continued use of the supplier’s cloud infrastructure and applications

Brian McKenna

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Published: 08 Jun 2021 10:00

Oracle and the UK government’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) have renewed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) such that the supplier will facilitate access to its cloud infrastructure as well as its suite of cloud-delivered applications.

The agreement also covers the beefing up of what the supplier describes as its “government centre of excellence” to provide support and technical expertise to help public sector organisations make better use of Oracle Cloud. 

Oracle and the government first signed a MoU in 2012, and last updated the arrangement in September 2019. Today’s renewal will last for three years, the supplier has confirmed.

The updated MoU will ensure that central, local and devolved governments, as well as all public service departments and agencies, such as NHS Trusts, are able to make continued use of Oracle Cloud. Public services will have access to the full suite of Oracle Cloud applications.

Richard Petley, managing director and senior vice-president of technology and cloud for Western Europe at Oracle, said: “This is about how we support the government’s migration to cloud-based technologies, should they wish to migrate, and giving all of the UK’s public services access to Oracle Cloud. But it is also about supporting the public sector with cloud adoption services, training and the like.”

Oracle works with hundreds of public sector customers, such as the Home Office, Office for National Statistics, the NHS NEP, Birmingham City Council, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and West Midlands Police.

The Oracle Centre of Excellence will, said the supplier, provide the UK government with support in moving workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or expanding their use of the Oracle Cloud Applications Suite.

Philip Orumwense, commercial director and chief technology procurement officer at Crown Commercial Service, said in an Oracle-issued statement: “This enhanced memorandum of understanding will continue to deliver savings and benefits for new and existing public sector customers using Oracle’s cloud-based technologies.”

Gareth Rhys Williams, the government chief commercial officer, added: “The UK government is focused on its Build Back Better growth plan, part of which is ensuring we make the best use of modern cloud-based technologies.

“By extending our relationship with Oracle through this memorandum of understanding, we will continue to drive excellent commercial value, improve services delivery to citizens, and support the UK government’s wider transformation agenda.”

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Oracle’s Petley said: “This is a good agreement for us and for the government. It is clear [from] the extent that we are partnering with government from a string of announcements made in recent years that we’re not doing this as a discount model, it’s a transformational agreement. The centre of excellence is what I’d draw out – this joint cloud journey has started, and this [MoU] is an accelerator for that.”

Oracle was recently one of the technology giants to secure a spot on a four-year CCS Cloud Compute framework, which is set up to allow public and third-sector organisations to buy cloud infrastructure and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings in high volume.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, and IBM were among the other suppliers announced as framework participants, along with Fordway Solutions, Frontier Technology, UKCloud and UKFast.net.

“We work closely with Crown Commercial Service to join and participate in those frameworks,” said Petley. “Infrastructure is part of the centre of excellence story, but it is also about back-office automation, shared service reform, process agility and better use of data.

“The work we’re doing with the NHS, the Home Office, the MoD and West Midlands Police are not edge cases. They are migrating the heart and lungs of government to the cloud, and the MoU gives the government access to those technologies and a way of getting there.”

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