Shared Services Connected Limited, a UK joint venture between Government Shared Services, which is part of the UK Cabinet Office and the IT services company Sopra Steria, was at a crossroads. For many years, SSCL successfully used Oracle E-Business Suite to support some of the government’s largest departments. The Government Shared Services group was ready to transition those applications to cloud infrastructure to lower costs, improve security, and reduce required manual intervention.
The size and scale of the infrastructure managed by SSCL was vast and technically complex. More than 220,000 UK civil servants relied on E-Business Suite for its single operating platform, which provided human resources, payroll, procurement, accounts payable, and accounts receivable functions. Additionally, SSCL ran related systems, including Oracle Discoverer for reporting, Oracle Hyperion Planning for financial planning, and Oracle WebCenter for scanning documents, such as HR forms.
SSCL and GSS wanted to move all these systems to cloud infrastructure, and to use this shift to build a foundation for agility and innovation.
Oracle Cloud offered increased security compared to our existing infrastructure. Oracle builds security into the architecture from the bottom up, which reduces concerns of persistent threats and helps protect our workloads.
Deputy Director, Architecture and Information Assurance, Government Shared Services, UK Cabinet Office
To unlock cost savings for the government, improve performance and security, and gain greater flexibility to innovate, SSCL decided to migrate its on-premises Oracle E-Business Suite and related applications to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). SSCL was impressed with Oracle’s complete and integrated cloud solution for running applications on high-performance computing and for enabling new ways of working.
With the support of its cloud transformation partner Cintra, SSCL migrated its on-premises servers to Oracle Exadata Cloud Services and OCI because of the cost savings, improved agility, and enhanced security that OCI delivers.
The high-performance Oracle Exadata platform improves database operations, reduces administrative costs, and enables SSCL to focus more on enhancing services that the agency provides to government customers. OCI provides not only security-first architecture built into the platform, but also encryption at rest, which was unavailable in SSCL’s on-premises environment. Oracle’s cloud services help ensure that infrastructure security is up to date.
After the transition, infrastructure spending became more flexible, and is now an operating expenditure rather than a major capital expenditure. Also, running Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure allows users to access data in one place, at any time and from anywhere, improves efficiency, and supports new ways of working. This delivers better value to the UK taxpayer.
SSCL ensured that older on-premises Oracle SPARC systems were fully compatible with Exadata Cloud Service to ease the transition. The agency worked closely with some of the government’s largest departments on their specific requirements. Preparation allowed SSCL to finish the project without increased cost or running overtime.
In partnership with its government customer, SSCL is now looking to other innovation opportunities and projects, such as using Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, Oracle Analytics Cloud, and exposing APIs to integrate with external applications.
I was really impressed with the Oracle partnership. Being able to interact directly with the Oracle team means we have tech professionals to support us around the clock with any issues. It’s a very positive engagement.
Program Director, Shared Services Connected Limited