West Midlands Fire Service Becomes UK’s First Fire Service to Move Critical Services to Oracle Cloud
About West Midlands Fire Service
West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) delivers community fire prevention, business and residential protection, and frontline emergency response services to ensure the safety of 2.9 million people in the West Midlands, England.
Its Digital, Data and Innovation Strategy is all about delivering intelligent services to their communities through a digitally-empowered workforce. The introduction of an integrated and cloud-based system, designed to free staff from desks and allow them to access the information they need when and where they need it, is integral to delivering this.
- Industry: Fire & Rescue
- Revenue: £101.7m (2021/22)
- No. of Fire Stations: 38
- No. of Fire Engines: 41 plus 19 Brigade Response Vehicles
- Employees: 1,400
- Location: West Midlands, UK
- Website: www.wmfs.net
Finding smarter ways to operate
Despite the fact that fire and rescue agencies now have more data than ever before, many lack the time or resources to effectively use it. This was exactly the challenge facing West Midlands Fire Service. The storing of various data types in a shared service set-up made it challenging for WMFS to have a clear picture of its data as each of its teams had different ways of managing information.
Unlocking the power of their data
As data volumes continued to grow, WMFS needed an independent, smarter, more efficient and productive way of working in order to realise the true potential of its data assets.
- Trust and Reliability – To improve trust and reliability of back-office systems and data by eliminating sources of error.
- Service Transformation – To improve service by simplifying and streamlining back-office processes by adopting industry best practice.
- Communication and Collaboration – To improve communication and collaboration between departments by the automation of workflows and notifications.
- Innovation – To improve modern ways of working and improve standards across the brigade by the introduction of modern evolving technological solutions.
- Technological – To improve the appliance of integrated technology across back-office systems and processes with the introduction of a data-driven, single strategic platform and the adoption of mobile applications.
- Legal Compliance – To improve its position regarding legal compliance with the storage of information in a central secure location, controlled by strict governance.
SOLUTIONS AT A GLANCE
- Oracle ERPM
- Oracle HCM & Payroll
The UK Government’s cloud-first policy urges public sector organisations to examine and fully evaluate prospective cloud solutions before considering any other option when acquiring new and current services.
As a result, WMFS set out to find a scalable and adaptable cloud-based solution that would enable them to improve the efficiency of their human resources and finance processes while also providing data for better decision-making.
After a thorough evaluation process, WMFS chose a joint solution from Oracle and Namos Solutions. Providing their award-wining project integration services, Namos built the new platform on an integrated suite of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions from Oracle.
With a pioneering digital finance and HR platform, WMFS plans to unify and analyse data from multiple sources to speed up back-office processes and give employees real-time insights.
“Investing in our systems enables our staff to provide the best possible service to the communities of the West Midlands, reducing risk and making them safer, stronger and healthier. Our move to Oracle is a key step on our digital transformation journey. It will replace a suite of disparate legacy systems.
A better connected and motivated workforce means better outcomes for the communities we serve. Our firefighters put their lives on the line in order to protect and serve the people of West Midlands and we owe it to them to deliver the tools and intelligence they need to keep our community and themselves safe.”
– Kash Singh, Strategic Enabler for Digital and Data, West Midlands Fire Service
In just eight months, WMFS has replaced a number of shared legacy digital systems that didn’t link together with a single system that can be accessed from any device, anywhere.
By giving their staff access to the data they need to make faster and better decisions, they will have more options on how to deliver their response, prevention and protection work.
Using an integrated system also allows them to be more efficient, effective and enabled to deliver more in future challenging financial circumstances.
Leading the way in digital transformation
For WMFS, the ultimate goal of this project was to make it easier for firefighters and other WMFS employees to deliver improved safety and quality of life for the West Midlands’ communities.
WMFS will be able to more effectively access the data it now holds thanks to its new cutting-edge digital platform. Teams will be freed from time-consuming duties, allowing them to focus on more valuable work such as analysis. And by digging deeper into all its data sources, WMFS hopes to reveal previously hidden patterns that will help determine future risk.
The work that WMFS is pioneering today around digital transformation will form the building blocks for future innovation. This includes the future implementation of Oracle’s Talent Management module allowing the service to take control of every stage of the talent lifecycle – source, recruit, onboard, manage performance, develop careers, and plan succession—all in one place. Another area under consideration is Oracle Workforce Health and Safety for the effective management of health and safety incidents at work.
Scope of Namos Involvement
Namos provided Project Management and Implementation Consultancy skills, using their proven methodology, to deliver an Oracle Cloud solution which aligns to the WMFS business processes.
Following an initiation phase to agree the project scope and to mobilise governance processes, a number of discovery workshops were held to agree the required Oracle configuration.
Following that, a number of prototype workshops were held to close out any open topics and to finalise the Solution Design. The agreed solution was configured into a testing environment where WMFS and Namos worked together to confirm that the functionality met the WMFS business needs.
Once the testing process was completed successfully, the configuration was built into the Production environment, data migrated into that environment and an exhaustive cutover plan executed to move WMFS from their legacy systems on to their new cloud platform.