One of the things we try to do with this blog is to keep you up-to-date on how other public sector customers are achieving value for money, delivering more effective public services and enabling more efficient use of existing ICT investments.  Today, the spotlight is on how Leicester City Council is using Microsoft BizTalk Server and SQL Server to streamline financial management.

Leicester City Council employs more than 15,000 people at 200 sites across Leicester, the largest city in the East Midlands. The busy council has a number of priorities—among them, encouraging environmentally sustainable practices, ensuring all homes offer a high standard of living for constituents, and providing schools with excellent teaching resources.

 As part of its efficiency drive, Leicester City Council decided to upgrade its financial management system and implemented the Agresso Business World  enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Previously, systems for processing payments, such as council tax, were managed on local applications and data was sent to the council’s headquarters for processing.

With 65 line-of-business interfaces to connect to the new finance application, Leicester City Council needed to find the perfect way to link up data and provide an integration gateway between disparate local applications―for example, systems for managing council tax refunds, and housing repairs and maintenance―and the head office.

Leicester City Council’s ICT team, working with Microsoft System Integration partner ap16, deployed Microsoft BizTalk Server to connect the 65 interfaces with the finance system.  As all BizTalk Server data is held in SQL Server, rather than batch files, it is transferred in real time from any of the interfaces to the Agresso Business World ERP solution.

The scalable, integrated environment increases the speed with which valuable business projects are deployed as development time is reduced.  The solution also provides the required audit information that makes it a simple task for the Council to comply with government regulations concerning the accuracy and security of financial and personal data.

Another interesting point covered in this customer story, is the fact that Leicester City Council actively sought the advice and recommendations from other councils regarding the reliability and applicability of BizTalk Server to local government requirements for interoperability and integration across disparate line-of-business applications.

Posted by Ian