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New apps, new cloud data warehouse, new everything: consumer finance watchdog wants a little IT support...

The UK's Financial Ombudsman Service -- which handles complaints from consumers about financial services ranging from wedding insurance to business loans  -- is in the market for a new managed IT services provider, as it continues a major modernisation project including the replacement of its on-premises data warehouse with an Azure-based setup.

The four-year contract is being procured under a competitive procedure with negotiation; requests to participate need to be in by August 2.

The contract spans support, maintenance and development of the Financial Ombudsman Service's case management system; design and build of "new digital engagement capabilities" for easier consumer engagement; and development and maintenance of its new cloud-based data warehouse.

The watchdog runs its case management system on Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM "with an ecosystem of other applications to facilitate document ingestion and document production" for its 2,100 caseworkers, who tackled 454,259 new enquiries and 278,033 complaint in 2020-2021, the tender revealed this week. It wants this to be maintained externally, with the possibility of baking more automation into its processes in future.

The watchdog's data warehouse meanwhile aggregates data from 12 data sources and facilitates ~100 reports and dashboards. An on-premises system is "currently being built on Microsoft Azure data platform technologies and will go-live in the first quarter of 2022" -- with the Financial Ombudsman Service looking for maintenance, development and support.

The tender is an almost pitch-perfect snapshot of the modernisation process of many mid-level government/public sector organisations, as they shift from heavily Excel and paper-based processes to more modern applications, data management capabilities, and eye future deployment of more analytics dashboards and process automations -- ideas that are largely in the nascent stage of development, but which have transformational potential. IT services providers can expect invitations to tender by August 23.

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