The Department of Human Services has revealed plans to bolt-on additional functionality to its SAP enterprise resource planning system (ERP), in part to prepare the platform for reuse across government.
On Wednesday it put out the call to suppliers interested in augmenting the system with “non-core functionality” not currently covered by the SAP-based system.
It foreshadows a substantial program of integration work, seven years after the department consolidated its four separate ERP systems into a single SAP installation for its 37,000 staff.
The major reason for the addition of functionality is to ensure the department's existing system is “scalable and extendable” to other agencies, in line with the government’s shared services regime.
DHS is one of six shared services hubs to be established under the program to provide core transactional corporate services such as finance and HR and back-offices systems.
It already provides managed services to the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and has done so for some time.
More recently it has been working with the pair, as well as the Department of Health, on how it might offer more corporate shared services under the shared services program.
However, with 60 agencies to shift into just six hubs by 2021-22, the department is planning to “extend services to additional agencies in the future”.
“The system capability will need to be scalable and extendable to enable effective and efficient service delivery to all clients under the shared services program,” request for information documents state.
But the department is also keen to use the opportunity as a means to improve the delivery of corporate services to its internal staff and existing shared service clients.
It said the functionality would “address deficient capability within the department as a result of the utilisation of a range of individual corporate services solutions that do not meet the current and future functionality requirements of the department”.
DHS is looking to fulfill these requirements with a “non-core ERP solution” that covers contract management, contractor management and a range of HR services not currently covered under the ERP’s core HR, finance and procurement functions.
“The solution will entail a progressive replacement of the existing corporate services tools and applications [for non-core requirements] that will integrate with the department’s core SAP commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ERP product,” tender documents state.
The shared services program has already stipulated that “the department may adopt an ‘on-premise’ and ‘greenfields’ solution using SAP S/4HANA/ECC6.0 or a cloud solution”.
Depending on this, the department would integrate the non-core requirements using either cloud integration such as SAP Cloud Platform Integration, APIs (IBM API Connect), native SAP integration, enterprise service bus or SAP Gateway.
The department plans to use the RFI to “refine and clarify its requirements” ahead of a future procurement process sometime in the second half of 2019, which it will use to select one or more solution providers.
It said this was being done to ensure awareness of the makeup of the department’s “complex” IT environment”, as well as “gain general information about potential budget requirements” for the solutions implementation.
DHS expects the non-core ERP requirements to be implemented over a maximum period of three years, bu that its new corporate modernisation programme is scheduled to commence in January 2020.