Six London councils are to implement a new shared Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to help improve services whilst saving some £18m over the next four years.

The London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Havering and Croydon will implement Release 12 of Oracle’s Enterprise Resource Planning software by July 2013.

Havering and Croydon already use Release 12 the software, while the other four councils currently use Release 11, but all will be brought onto a single Release 12 system as part of a shared services deal with Capgemini which will standardise HR, finance, payroll, pensions and procurement functions across all six boroughs.

Mike Suarez, executive director of finance and resources at Lambeth council, said: “Because it’s a single instance it means the platform lends itself enabling us to share things like servers and applications team for supporting software, as well as taking a shared approach to training.”

He added that whilst the total investment would be of millions of pounds, the shared system would be cheaper than if each council individually upgraded their systems.

More councils are expected to “piggyback on the deal” once the system is in place, he said.