Infrastructure > Cloud

Open University looks for SaaS based HR, finance and student system

David Bicknell Published 08 February 2018

Ten-year contract with potential five-year extension could be worth potentially £35m to winning supplier


The Open University is going out to tender for a new off-premise, hosted or ‘Software as a Service’ based integrated HR, finance and student record system.

The contract, worth around £35m, is likely to be for an initial period of ten years, which is potentially extensible to 15 years. The university will be able to exercise a break clause to take effect at the end of contract years 5, 8 and 10, the tender said.

As well as providing the system, the tender also comprises the services to configure, integrate and host the system, including ongoing support and maintenance.

The university said that to preserve its place as one of the UK’s leading academic institutions, it has embarked on a programme of “Students First Transformation”, which, it said, will lead the transition to a new operating model.

One of the key enabling work streams within Students First Transformation is a Digital Technologies stream, which has a goal of driving forward the necessary organisational and technical changes to ensure that university becomes a truly digital first organisation.

It anticipates the Digital Technologies stream enabling other work streams of the Students First Transformation to achieve their objectives by providing the underlying technical infrastructure and business ownership necessary to meet future demands. The new integrated HR, Finance and Student Record system is being procured through the Digital Technologies stream.

The tender said that the functional scope of the solution is to cover enterprise level finance (including procurement and optionally estates management) and HR.

It said work on Student Records will need to cover the student journey from recruitment through to award/graduation, as well as managing the research and curriculum portfolio.

It added that integration will be required to a number of core University information systems and third party software packages, with configuration and implementation requiring close working with the University and their external partners. It will also include support for the migration of data from current systems.

The tender insisted that a fully managed off-premise hosted or ‘SaaS’ solutions would be required, with a phased transition likely over several years, although the detailed approach will be explored during dialogue.

The deadline for responses to the tender is March 9.

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