Oracle has signed a deal with the UK government to deliver products and services to the public sector for the next three years with the aim of saving taxpayers' money.
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) revealed that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oracle that builds on a deal in 2012 which promised to save the government in excess of £75m by 2015.
CCS claimed that the new deal will extend the scope of Oracle's service and product delivery to additional public sector bodies, including the NHS.
However, rather than inject new technology into the public sector or facilitate the pursuit of the Government Digital Service's government-as-a-platform agenda, the new deal appears to be focused on software licensing rather than a technology overhaul.
Sally Collier, chief executive of CCS, explained that the new deal will also save the government money, but did not go into detail as to how much those savings will be.
"The enhanced MoU will deliver savings across government and allow easier and more effective procurement of Oracle products and services. It lays the foundation for a more collaborative relationship between government and Oracle," she said.
Understandably, Oracle's senior vice president and UK country leader, Dermot O'Kelly, said that the database company is pleased with the new deal.
"We are delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the agenda of the new government in saving money and delivering leading-edge IT to help transform public services," he said.
"We look forward to continued productive and mutually beneficial relationships with our public sector customers."
V3 contacted the government and Oracle for more details on the MoU, but had not received any information at the time of writing.
The extension of the deal would appear to be the direct opposite to the government's ambitions for small contracts with small, agile suppliers. The deal is only three years long, and the government's spending was not revealed, but Oracle is hardly a small technology supplier.
Delivering technology across the public sector is a big job and perhaps only big suppliers like Oracle have the scope to do it.
But with questions being raised about the future of the Government Digital Service, it could be argued that the government is shifting away from its more agile digital ambitions and going back to traditional contracts with large technology vendors.
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