back to article East London council breaks off 20-year Oracle relationship to shack up with cloud ERP nobodies by year's end

The clock is ticking for Barking and Dagenham Council as the East London authority plans to ditch Oracle e-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 and go live with cloud-based software from MHR and Advanced by the end of the year. Support for its current version of Oracle ends 31 December 2021, leaving the council 11 months to complete …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Appeal to Size

    Your article seems to suggest that Oracle is somehow good because it's big, and the alternative is less good because it's small. That doesn't really follow, does it? Also, I've encountered Oracle products many times over the years and each has been an unmitigated nightmare, both from the perspective of the users and the devs (presumably the finance department too). In my view, East London authority has made a considerably wise choice.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "Oracle is somehow good because it's big"


      I would say El Reg's sentiment is: moving away from Oracle isn't a bad thing, but you better have a robust plan in place for something as important as a local authority.


  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    11 months to complete an ERP upgrade for an organisation that employs around 3,500 people

    Sounds Barking all right, but good luck to them. Glad I'm not trying to do it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A wise man once told me......

    Quotes: " software from MHR and Advanced..." "a fully managed on Cloud solution"


    ..."cloud"....."fully managed"....until it isn't!!!!!


    A wise man once told me......there's an infrequently used saying in the business.....when doing a selection exercise, it's often the LEAST BAD choice which makes the cut. Now about ORACLE....


    ....and about "saving money".....we will find out about that at the end of 2020......right now it's only a PREDICTION by the finance people!

    1. sketharaman

      Re: A wise man once told me......

      Like all projects, this one will also go thru' The Emotional Cycle of Change ( Right now, it's at the "Uninformed Optimism" stage. By the end of 2020, it will have moved into the "Informed Pessimism" or "Valley of Despair" stages, when we'll really know about those savings!

      On another note, the wise man who told you about LEAST BAD is totally right. And not just when it comes to selection exercises. Back in the day, I used to work for a leading IT company in India. We used to tell our customers proudly that our company was rated as the BEST IT company in India by a leading tech publication. Then one long-term customer corrected us by saying it was the LEAST BAD IT company in India! This also seems to be true outside the IT industry. Social media conversation shows that Bank of America is consumer's most favorite bank aka least disliked bank (

  4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    My commiserations go to the council staff who are about to be inflicted with iTrent. We have it at our place and the UI is awful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iTrent

      yep used it where I worked last, a city council in the SW of England that isn't Bristol or Exeter and begins with a P. And can confirm its dog sh1t to use and dog sh1t to support. Also used by a lot of Uni's in the UK

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trouble with oracle is the support and licensing cost are bleedy horrendous! And remember Sun were quite good until Oracle got their grubby hands on them!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for them

    Hard to say how it will work out in practice, but they're to be commended for trying.

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Assuming they are on EBS 12.1.3 then they'd have to move to 12.2.x which is quite a big step even if hasn't been overly CEMLI'd - which would be unsurprising considering it's Oracle apps we're talking about.

    I've looked at a number smaller ERPs over the years and some of them are surprisingly robust.

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    Not seeing the downside

    Oracle vs anyone else. I'd say they made the right decision.

  9. murrby

    They're supported now?

    So maybe they do run unsupported for a while. Big deal. It should be robust by now and anyway no support is only marginally worse than Oracle support.

    1. yosemite

      Re: They're supported now?

      Oracle "Support" is an oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron

  10. yosemite

    world of pain

    I commend them for trying to break free. I'm currently writing various ETLs to support data flows between Oracle Fusion and legacy platforms. It's an absolute nightmare. Really poor documentation especially around REST and SOAP APIs

    And the poor users have to put up with one of the slowest, least slick UI I have ever seen. It's appalling.

  11. NeilPost Silver badge

    Again asking the question why Government Central IT does not have *working* (aka not shit) standard sized set of ‘Integrated ERP’ template solutions from Parish Council through Borough/District to Region/County/Metropolitan Borough sized largely ready to deploy??

    Most Councils across the country - inc in devolved nations - largely do exactly the same things and interface to the same stakeholders and unwashed public..

    It’s Fucking madness/baffling so many are doing the same thing in isolation and making such an arse if it.

    An ideal opportunity for a Government Framework instead of stuff like buying toners, Hosting, laptops, licences and other stuff they seem obsessed on doing procurement on.l (and can get a central rebate on).

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Yeah because that works really well when they try it: cf NPfIT

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        That was al Ill-conceived mega project that spiralled out of control.

        I was suggesting standard repeatable implementations of micro, small, medium, large and XL council ERP solutions with common interfaces. They all effectively do the same things across the nation - council tax, payroll, procurement, social care, refuse, highways, parking, permits, education, planning, licensing etc....

        Exactly what they are trying to achieve in silo’s, but built on a common platform.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I worked at a company that provided that to various local authorities. The problem is they all buy individually (or as very small groups), so there's so much red tape in each sale. Same as selling software to the NHS; you basically have to sell to 150 NHS trusts individually.

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