SAP hits a €3.5m healthcare jackpot

14 Jan 2003

SAP, the German software giant, has earned €3.5m in licensing fees already from the continuing rollout of its HR and Financials business applications suites within seven Irish health agencies, according to the project co-ordinator within the health agencies.

Speaking to, Tony Reilly, director of national projects with responsibility for all Irish health boards and voluntary hospitals, said that the software is now on 15,000 desktops – 10,000 belonging to professional users such as accountants and administrative staff and 5,000 belonging to employees to allow them to access their own HR and financial records as part of the Government’s Employee Self Service (ESS) initiative.

When the project is complete, Reilly said, as many as 15,000 professional users and 20,000 self-service users could be using the system. Such an event would represent a further bonanza for SAP and other technology providers.

The agencies involved are the North Eastern Health Board, North Western Health Board, Eastern Regional Health Authority (including three area boards), Mid Western Health Board, Midland Health Board, Western Health Board and St James’ Hospital. The Southern and South Eastern Health Board and Tallaght General Hospital are also planning to implement the system. The agencies are using SAP for tailored financial management and HR solutions to provide clearer management information and improve communication with staff.

According to Reilly, the health agencies have invested approximately €20m in the HR project and a further €5m in the Financials side. He explained that the figures relate to the total cost of the projects, from licensing payments to technology implementation and support.

The health boards went out to tender on the development of complementary HR and Finance technology solutions back in 1998, with SAP winning both contracts.

In addition, the project implementation contracts were won by Deloitte Consulting on the HR side and by PricewaterhouseCoopers (now part of IBM) on the Financials side. IBM itself won a managed service contract for the new system in a deal understood to be worth approximately €2.4m over the last four years.

The SAP HR solution, the bigger of the two projects, is being deployed as part of the Payroll Personnel and Related Systems (PPARS), the single largest IT project underway in the health services and the first fully national one.

In recognition of the quality of the implementation, SAP recently awarded a Customer Competency Certificate to PPARS – the first public healthcare project anywhere in the world to receive this honour.

By Brian Skelly