Waitemata Health gives up on Oracle payroll

District health board Waitemata Health has given up trying to implement Oracle's payroll, the fourth and last stage of a major Oracle implementation.

District health board Waitemata Health has given up trying to implement Oracle’s payroll, the fourth and last stage of a major Oracle implementation.

The board is “discussing with Oracle” the matter of the money unsuccessfully spent on the development, says chief financial officer Robin Skeggs, though he would not say explicitly that it was seeking compensation from the vendor.

The first three stages of the Oracle ERP software implementation, covering financials and procurement, worked well, and will be carried over into the Health Alliance, Waitemata’s shared services arrangement with the Counties-Manukau district health board. For patient management, the Health Alliance will be adopting the Counties-Manukau system.

The two boards will now be looking jointly for a new payroll system. “We have formed a project steering group”, Skeggs says, but the timetable for evaluation of solutions is still unsettled, he said last week.

Skeggs declines to go into detail about the problems experienced with Oracle payroll implementation. “The project had been struggling for some time; I don’t want to say any more than that.”

Oracle marketing manager Nigel Murphy says the company is confident that had Waitemata persevered to “the conclusion of the implementation period”, the payroll would have adequately handled its complex needs. “We are disappointed that they chose not to proceed.”

Murphy says he cannot give an estimate of how much longer it might have taken to implement the application.

The question of whether Oracle was at fault and whether it owes Waitemata any recompense was still under discussion, he said last week.

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