Surrey County Council appoints SAP and IBM in ten year business transformation contract to release savings of £50 million for investment in front line services


  • Council enters into 10 year partnership with SAP and IBM to transform business support services, establish a Shared Service Centre for key transaction based activities and implement mySAP Business Suite.
  • Partnership to streamline working practices and procedures in finance and procurement, HR and payroll, property management and ICT
  • Paper based processes and multiple-fragmented IT systems across the council to be replaced through adoption of standardised processes and integrated SAP solution that improves internal efficiencies and eliminates duplication of effort
  • Investment in technology, new processes and new structures not only to pay for itself but start to deliver a real return within five years
  • Quicker access to data and use of smarter processes to increase capacity of staff and managers in front line services such as children services

Surrey Council Council today announced a ten year business transformation partnership with IBM Business Consulting Services. IBM will contribute to delivering the council’s ‘People First’ strategy to release savings from within the organisation by streamlining processes to invest savings in front line services.

Over 200 members of staff from across the council will identify with IBM all current business processes and design new ones for the future, based on best practice. The council will implement the full integrated mySAP Business Suite to support these business processes and drive internal efficiencies throughout the organisation.

A new Shared Services Centre will bring together under one roof many business support activities including HR, Payroll, Finance and Procurement. The centre will also provide access to specialist support and advice for staff and the residents of Surrey. This will enable the council to achieve economies of scale, with the savings to be invested in the provision of more front line services.

‘People First’ is the transformation of Surrey County Council from a traditional service-centric authority, where services are organised and delivered around professional groupings, to one with customers at its heart. The 21st Century Council programme, C21 Business, is the programme of investment underpinning the delivery of ‘People First’. C21 business is part of this programme and recognises that in order achieve the transformational change set out in the ‘People First’ strategy, the council needs to invest in its staff, systems, processes and infrastructure.

The agreement is focused on the delivery of business benefits which are provisionally estimated to exceed £50 million over the lifetime of the contract. Surrey County Council is investing substantially in its systems infrastructure and re-designing processes to ensure its support services are provided in an effective and efficient way. The aim is to help release capital and resources to be directed to front line staff and services.

“C21 Business is all about fundamentally changing the way we do things at Surrey County Council in order to achieve long term and sustainable savings,” said Paul Coen, Chief Executive of Surrey County Council. “By doing this, we will be able to permanently release resources that until now have been tied up in support services – and redirect them to much improved front line services such as Adult and Community Care Services,” Paul continued.

“Just one way IBM is helping the council improve the services it provides to Surrey residents is by increasing the number of services available to Surrey residents online,” said Mike Turley, lead partner at IBM Business Consulting Services. “For example, easier and quicker access to payment enquiries, employment opportunities and tracking of application forms all adds up to a simpler and quicker way to deal with the council for residents. In addition, as the services can be delivered at a lower costs on-line, the savings can be re-invested to also benefit residents over a longer period,” Turley continued.

“Surrey is distinguishing itself as a forward-thinking council by using industry best practices and SAP to improve internal efficiencies and roll-out new services to citizens,” said Rachel McClure, Head of Public Sector, SAP UK. “By selecting SAP, Surrey will have the integrated platform necessary to realise its ‘People First’ transformation.”

Over the 10 year contract IBM will provide Surrey with implementation, application hosting and support services. The implementation services include project management, change management and specialists in shared services, business transformation the mySAP Business Suite solution. The IBM software and hardware to be utilised includes, Storage-on-Demand, Tivoli, DB2, X & P-series and business recovery services.