Birmingham City Council, the UK’s largest local authority, is hoping to realise some cost savings following a strategic partnership deal with Capita. This £475 million deal produced Service Birmingham – a joint venture between the council and the vendor. Service Birmingham’s objective is to create a fit-for-purpose infrastructure, deliver excellent and consistent service levels and support the transformation policy of the council.

Service Birmingham has nearly completed replacing the council’s legacy systems with a full suite of SAP software. The implementation covers the entire SAP product set, including the business suite for finance, human resources, procurement, customer relationship management and its integration platform Netweaver, as well as independent software applications from SAP partners. The main objective of the SAP project is to cut procurement costs at the council.

Now under pressure to deliver the promised performance improvements and cost savings, director of business solutions and IT Glyn Evans says that he expects to save around £10m a year from outsourcing IT over the life of the 10-year contract. Another initiative designed to help the people and businesses of Birmingham to exploit the power of technology is Digital Birmingham. Digital Birmingham is an initiative set up by Birmingham City Council and Service Birmingham which the council hopes will help it become a leading European Digital City by 2010.