Swansea Council appointed Socitm Advisory to provide a range of programme and change management services for the migration of its HR, payroll, finance and procurement systems to Oracle Fusion Cloud. 

Swansea Council’s existing Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system had been in place for many years and was coming to end of life, and end of support. In September 2019, the Council procured Oracle Fusion Cloud, and appointed Socitm Advisory together with partners Infosys and OCS Consulting, to support the migration to the new system. Work on the project began in November 2019. 

Our brief and the project goal

Initially our role was to support change management and testing, and later our remit widened to help ensure the successful migration to the new system. Specific responsibilities included: 

Work stream support

Specialist test management support, covering: integration testing; user acceptance testing (UAT); and parallel payroll running (PPR)


Business change and readiness, covering: impact assessments and planning; communications; and learning and development

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Programme and project management

Biggest challenges

 The biggest challenge for this project came just four months in with the Covid-forced pause, remote working and restrictions on face-to-face meetings presented a further challenge too. 

Further into the project, another challenge to overcome was Swansea Council staff balancing their priorities between input required from them for the project and their day-to-day jobs. 

“Their knowledge, confidence, and all-round understanding set Socitm Advisory apart, as well of their skillful integration with our team, which was remarkable!”

Ness Young
Interim Director of Corporate Services, Swansea Council

Our approach

Working together with Infosys and OCS Consulting, we deployed our Socitm Advisory specialists across the programme’s key areas.

This enabled us to integrate with the in-house teams and identify and understand the impacts the new system would have for the system’s 4,000+ user community, With this information, we were able to put in place initiatives to support the impacts. These included clear communications, a learning and development plan, stakeholder management, and business readiness support.

When the restrictions on face-to-face meetings came in, we devised a new project communications strategy to ensure even greater rapport, understanding and togetherness for seamlessness between the Socitm Advisory and Swansea Council teams.

This approach helped re-establish the programme’s momentum after the forced pause and enabled project leaders from both organisations to find a successful balance between Council staff’s priorities to the project and their day-to-day jobs.

Our specialist test management support involved creating and implementing a test strategy, which included briefing packs, reporting, defect management, and test closure activities.

“There was no ‘us and them’ – we were one, strong team. It either came naturally, or they made a conscious effort to understand our culture and how the organisation works. In fact, it was only at a post go-live event that I remembered they weren’t Swansea Council – some achievement, particularly in a mostly remote environment!”

Ness Young
Interim Director of Corporate Services, Swansea Council

Notable learnings

Experience and expertise is what sets us apart

Socitm Advisory’s experience, expertise, and ability to understand and integrate with public sector culture and business models gives us a strong advantage over other providers.

Outcomes and benefits

The new system went live in April 2023 when it ran its first payroll for 27,000 employees, teachers and pensioners. The launch was successful; the team received no more queries than business as usual (BaU) level. This was one of the project’s assessment benchmarks for achieving critical business success. Even more pleasing, given the recent pay fluctuations for both teachers and pensioners.

The successful implementation and delivery of the new system has set Swansea Council up with the platform they needed to enable and plan future innovations and efficiencies of processes and costs. The Council will now look at the potential of the new system and create an agenda to fulfil their vision to use digital to improve how customers access and use their services and enhance the customer experience.

Our specialist test management support has ensured quality management is embedded into the organisation through quality assurance and quality control.

The new ERP solution incorporates and promotes automation and self-service, realising benefits across the organisation, one example being remote learning/training, and performance reporting for schools and social care.

The new and improved central source for business intelligence, data and analytics will also enable better-informed decision making.