back to article Accenture in doghouse after NHSmail mass outage cuts off 1m+ UK health staff

Accenture is reportedly facing major financial penalties after a failed upgrade took down the email system used by about 1.2 million staffers at the UK's National Health Service this weekend. NHSmail – delivered by integrator Accenture since 2015 – suffered widespread outages on Saturday, described by NHS chief clinical …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge
    WTF?

    £1.50 per month

    That's all it would cost to just use Office 365 Kiosk licences. I'm sure they'd get a bulk discount.

    1. WibbleMe

      Re: £1.50 per month

      And thats been down how many times this month.

      1. Michael B.

        Re: £1.50 per month

        Zero for us this month

    2. Vince

      Re: £1.50 per month

      Ignoring the infamous reliability issue of Office 365, there's more to NHSMail than the Kiosk license you refer to provides.

      Also, just because *YOU* didn't experience an outage, doesn't mean it hasn't had a lot of them affecting a lot of people.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: £1.50 per month

        >>> Also, just because *YOU* didn't experience an outage, doesn't mean it hasn't had a lot of them affecting a lot of people.

        So anecdotes criticising MS are ok, but those saying that they're doing OK aren't?

        In 3 years of Office 365 & Azure use, the only problem I've experienced was a shortage of capacity in Azure UK South when first opened. MS are far from perfect, but not as bleak as painted by Linux Mint users who dropped Windows 5 years ago.

        1. MrMerrymaker

          Re: £1.50 per month

          No, he's saying one person's lack of issues does not a whole picture paint.

  2. Vulture@C64

    Accenture. Not known for their quality despite the high prices. Sainsbury's booted them out sharpish a few years ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2006 for accuracy from the major contract.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...and we are still picking up the pieces (anon, as I was there during that little escapade and still around now)

  3. Infi 1

    Damn shame it was at the weekend. I don't work then!

    Shit system, though that's not much different to the rest of the IT used where I work ...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll be good practice in dealing with outages for when they all move to O365.

  5. Mr Benny

    Accenture wont care

    In government outsourcing circles there are a number of companies who no matter how many fails they make will still keep being awarded contracts. Accenture are one, G4S is another. I couldnt possibly say why but it is odd how former MPs and ministers get themselves nice cushy non exec director jobs on leaving office.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Re: Accenture wont care

      It is very difficult to pitch to a government department or agency. They take ages to decide on anything and procurements run months past the original dates. A company has to be big enough to throw money at their bids and accept when 2/3 fail. They also need to satisfy a lot of due diligence, usually involving delivery on similar sorts of contracts to similar sized public sector bodies. It's a self perpetuating cycle and the usual suspects keep winning the bids but it's incompetence not corruption.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Accenture wont care

        "They also need to satisfy a lot of due diligence, usually involving delivery on similar sorts of contracts to similar sized public sector bodies."

        And they still win the contracts?

  6. eldakka Silver badge

    but NHS Digital pitches NHSmail as a more secure option

    It was certainly very secure for about 6 hours on December 1 2018.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    You mean Accenture might actually have hit a *penalty* clause?

    F**k me sideways they actually have some performance limits in the contract and it looks like they can't weasel out of them for a change.

    Astonishing.

    Contract negotiators on the government and/or NHS sides always seem remarkably lax about such things.

    I do hope El Reg will continue to follow developments, especially the aftermath.

  8. Jay 2

    Escargot

    I keep reading it as NHSnail.

  9. viscount

    "Accenture is reportedly facing major financial penalties"

    I seriously doubt that.

  10. squelch41

    Our fax machines were fine though ;)

  11. Gentry753

    It'll be good practice in dealing with outages for when they all move to O365.

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