Account NI is the shared service financial processing center for all 12 of the Northern Ireland government’s civil service departments, some of their agencies, and nondepartmental public bodies. Some of Account NI’s financial responsibilities are to manage accounts payable and accounts receivable functions for a diverse range of government departments, such as the Department of Finance and Personnel, Department for Social Development, and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry. These functions generate large volumes of paperwork related to invoicing, purchasing, and procurement.
The organization chose to deploy Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite and Oracle SOA Suite, alongside its existing E-Business Suite financial system to reduce the inefficiencies associated with large volumes of paperwork, as well as to improve service to its internal and external customers.
Thanks to Oracle, Account NI is now able to provide one consolidated, shared-services environment for managing processes, from purchasing through to payment of invoices.
Using Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite, Civil Service departmental staff can issue sales invoices, process receipts and maintain its customer database in a fraction of the original time and at a reduced cost per transaction.
“We looked at independent analyst reports, each vendor’s track record with implementations in other governmental departments, and at their ability to meet the unique needs of a public sector organization―with an emphasis on expenditure rather than profit. We then looked at the best fit with our existing technology and the expertise of our teams and partners, particularly BT. We logically chose Oracle after taking into account all of these factors,” said John Crosby, director, finance shared services, Account NI.
Account NI and its partner BT ran a proof of concept with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite in early 2010. The results were positive, and after four months of design and development by BT, Account NI went live with its first business process management procedure for maintaining its customer database. New BPM processes were subsequently added and now Account NI’s accounts receivable function is serviced by three, business-critical BPM processes for sales invoice generation and accounts receivable receipting.
Looking to the future, Account NI, with the help of BT, plans to extend the BPM solution to other areas of the business, such as the accounts payable function.
Account NI has a strong, long-term partnership with BT, which secured a 12-year contract with Account NI in 2006.
“BT is constantly exploring better ways to help Account NI, our customer, to do business. We place a particular emphasis on reducing operational inefficiencies, improving service to all internal and external customers, while offering the best value for public money. This is particularly important in the current economic climate,” said Phil Mulhall, Oracle architect at BT. “Adopting Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite was about realizing these benefits. Working with Account NI, we designed and built a very efficient and effective BPM/SOA solution that really delivers today and for the future. BT’s knowledge of Account NI’s business, coupled with its knowledge of industry-leading software, such as Oracle’s Unified Business Process Management Suite 11g meant that a BPM-based solution could be delivered on time and on budget without compromising the quality of the overall solution.”