back to article Surrey County Council faces £700k additional SAP support fees as £30m Unit4 ERP set to miss go-live target

Facing a £47.1m budget shortfall, Surrey County Council has been forced to delay the implementation of a £30m Unit4 ERP system, incurring additional annual support fees of £700,000 on its ageing SAP system. Unit4 was awarded the contract in autumn of 2020 following a competitive tender process to replace a SAP R/3 system first …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    No problem.

    Just raise the council tax.






  2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    "give more time to get everyone trained and go-live with the full-set of improvements."

    I suppose this is slightly better than the usual 'rush in blind and change everything over a weekend' approach leading to wide-eyed surprise and growing shock on Monday morning when they realise that (a) nobody can log in because the spangly new auth server isn't populated (and nobody has access to populate it), (b) when they do get access nobody knows how to use the damn thing, and (c) the installation cunsultants have all gone on holiday with their "Transition Successful" quiddage and are decidedly unavailable for the foreseeable future.

  3. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Was everyone asleep?

    But there are standard basic controls to manage this sort of thing. A £30m budget would give a "general" project/programme tolerance of £3m around cost and timeline, and surely the £700k impact and schedule of that risk turning into an issue should have been assigned or captured early on in the contingency against risk budget?

    Or does nobody control risk correctly these days? Hope is not a valid strategy.

    1. I Am Spartacus

      Hope is not a valid strategy.

      Great quote - I am going to "borrow" that one.

    2. Robert Grant

      Re: Was everyone asleep?

      What you mentioned doesn't control risk in a practical sense. Only in a "we're tracking it as it goes wrong in a daily meeting, so that's good" sense.

  4. Efer Brick

    Don't pay the ransom - that's the current advice, right?

  5. lglethal Silver badge

    So £30 million for the new system. Plus I assume it also has a yearly support cost (not sure if thats the £394k mentioned toward the bottom). But lets assume for arguments sake that it doesnt have a fee.

    Versus £700k per year for the current system.

    So you could run the current system with full support (which likely includes upgrading to new versions), for the next 42 and a bit years and still be cheaper than the installation cost for the new system. The numbers become even crazier when you consider that there will certainly be a yearly support cost on top for the new system as well.

    Does not look like such a good investment went you plug those numbers in, does it?

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Yeah, but shiny!

    2. Steve K

      Not really

      Not really - I don't think SAP will support that version for much longer so they have to move...

    3. JimC

      So you could

      > So you could run the current system with full support (which likely includes upgrading to

      > new versions), for the next 42 and a bit years and still be cheaper than the installation cost

      > for the new system.

      If one could do that half the businesses in the country would still be running Windows 2000 and Office 2000... But sadly we are all forced down this red queens race of upgrading every few years for wonderful new features nearly no-one uses...

  6. Nunyabiznes


    If the vendor misses a date that they agreed to for implementation, why isn't the vendor paying a fee that covers incurred costs?

    1. czechitout

      Re: Vendor

      This requires the client to clearly and unambiguously define the scope of the project and not change anything during the implementation

  7. Tunny

    Risk Management very light

    No reference in the Surrey paper to the risk of late delivery! Must have been covered by iron clad T&C or been totally impossible. T&C of course are only good if its clear who is actually responsible for the delay / breach of which there is never ever any dispute.

    As we know public IT procurement is so well know for on time delivery.

    Time to save some money and make Surrey a unitary authority. But that's another project to mismanage.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oooh Hans look!

    The new S Class is out early this year!

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