Morrisons commits to Oracle in £110 million IT move

Grocery chain Morrisons has today announced a strategic commitment to Oracle software as part of its publicly declared intention to transform its IT infrastructure in support of future growth and performance improvements.

The deal follows Morrison chief executive, Marc Bolland's comments last year on the occasion of the retailer's end-of-year results. Then, he stated it would embark on a 110 million three-year IT investment project.

As part of the deal, the UK's fourth largest supermarket group will be one of the first organisations to make a significant new, prototype investment in the entire Oracle suite of products. These include its Retail-specific merchandising, planning and stores applications and the Oracle E-Business Suite for financials, human resources (HR) and payroll and manufacturing.

The investment is also made up of Oracle's Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) software; Oracle Fusion middleware, including Oracle service oriented architecture (SOA) suite and Oracle identity management, and Oracle's database products.

Gary Barr, Morrisons IT director said: "We expect Oracle solutions to meet our needs, offering a breadth of functionality and a level of data that will promote a more accurate assessment of business performance. This will help us to turn information into profitable business decisions and deliver an enhanced experience to the 9 million customers that walk through our doors each week."

The agreement with Oracle marks Morrisons' decision not to develop its legacy systems in-house, after identifying that they could not effectively support the company's plans for growth.The supermarket will implement the Oracle products over the next five years as the enabling part of its business transformation programme and to improve the customer shopping experience in its UK 375 stores.

Morrisons' business model includes handling the sourcing and distribution of its products in-house, with an end-to-end supply chain. Oracle added that it would help the grocery retailer manage and simplify retail processes around fresh and staple produce throughout the planning process, through the supply chain and into the stores.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.