Westminster Digital Image by Pete Linforth from PixabayThe Financial Ombudsman Service has successfully implemented and gone live on Workday HR and Workday Financial Management. The implementation was carried out with the assistance of IBM and forms part of its IT strategy to improve the employee experience and migrate to cloud solutions. IBM helped it roll out the HR solution to its 2,957 employees (as of the end of March 2021). It appears as if the solution went live when planned in November 2021.

Nicola Wadham, Chief Information Officer, Financial Ombudsman Service, commented, “Workday and our implementation partner IBM are helping us to rethink parts of our business and how it operates. We’re putting power in the hands of our employees while also liberating data across our organisation. With Workday, we will become a data-driven organisation, with the confidence to make important business decisions quickly based on the information and insights in front of us.”

The two Workday products replace a mix of legacy systems and provide the Financial Ombudsman Service with a better solution. One that will adapt and help Financial Ombudsman Service to adapt to what is a changing world. Bringing together its HR and Finance systems on Workday will enable it to view its business in real-time. With people costs representing around 80% of its total expenditure, the organisation will maintain better visibility of historical, current and make informed decisions on future spending.

The power of one

Michael Douroux, GVP, Northern Europe & South Africa / Country Manager, UK Ireland
Michael Douroux, GVP, Northern Europe & South Africa / Country Manager, UK Ireland

The Financial Ombudsman Service will now take advantage of the power of one that Workday provides. Combining financial and people data in a single repository will give its HR and Finance teams better visibility across the organisation.

Michael Douroux, GVP, Northern Europe & South Africa, Workday commented, “Having the best core business systems in place helps the Financial Ombudsman Service to focus on moving the organisation and its people forward.

“Workday will help the Financial Ombudsman Service to build a culture of agility and data-driven decision making that will allow it to respond to whatever comes next. The last couple of years have shown us that digital transformation is more important now than ever.”

How much did Workday cost?

According to the recent Financial Ombudsman Service financial report, the cost of implementing Workday was £2.881 million up to the end of March 2021. That figure is related to just the contractor and temporary staff costs for the project. It isn’t clear whether this was in addition to the £6 million five-year contract awarded to Workday.

Despite that cost, the digitisation strategy is achieving savings for the organisations. The Procurement team saved more than £5 million in 2020/21. Most of which were across IT licence contract renewals and tenders. These are likely to have risen further over the last few months.

Hitesh Amin, VP & Senior Partner, IBM, commented, “We worked as ‘one team’ and set ourselves high standards to execute with incredible resilience, especially given the tough timelines working remotely. The success of this programme will help the Financial Ombudsman Service to focus on the next chapter of their digital transformation journey.”

Looking forward, Workday will also help manage what is now a very distributed workforce. The Workday solution provides a secure solution in the cloud. One that will improve operational processes at the organisation that has dealt with more than 4.1 million complaints since it was founded in 2001.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

The Financial Services Ombudsman is a significant win for Workday within the UK Public Sector. Having chosen Workday for both finance and HR solutions, the indication is that it trusts the compliance and security that Workday offers, others may follow.

The deployment seems to have been completed on time. It was also achieved with less than a year between the contract signing and going live. Considering the wealth of failed public sector contracts, this is positive for both IBM and Workday. That the Financial Ombudsman Service were happy to publicise the go live so quickly confirms this. For Workday, the question is whether it can build on this success within the UK public sector.

In 2020 alone, the Financial Ombudsman Service spent £851,110, the highest. To date, for 2021, that figure is £691,003. Surprisingly it is now second behind the Department for Education. The Workday share of the UK public sector is growing. That was boosted earlier this year by the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with the Crown Commercial Services.

It will be interesting to see how it accelerates that growth over the coming months. Will even more government organisations select Workday solutions? In 2021 it has already more than doubled revenues from 2020. Furthermore, 2021 will be a full year of revenue from the Financial Ombudsman Service and presumably the Department of Education.


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