Clouds bring clarity for WaterNSW

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

Clouds bring clarity for WaterNSW

WaterNSW has deployed Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 to unify its operations, according to Microsoft.

Until recently, the corporation was working with computer systems and processes carried over from its constituent agencies — the Sydney Catchment Authority, State Water Corporation and the water delivery functions from Department of Primary Industry (DPI) Water.

Under the new system, WaterNSW and its employees can access productivity applications, procurement, enterprise asset management, finance, payroll, HR systems and a flexible invoicing billing system — allowing them to stay informed, assess safety issues and collect data in real time.

This is particularly useful when field workers are taking daily dam measurements which, in many cases, are then linked to telemetry readings.

WaterNSW Chief Information Officer Ian Robinson said that Dynamics 365 drives work to the field worker, telemetry systems capture data and then Azure analytics tools calculate the likely health of a given dam, as well as potential scenarios and risk that we’ve got on that dam.

“And that, I think, is the first time that has been done in Australia,” Robinson said.

Consequently, work that took six weeks now takes a day, according to Microsoft.

WaterNSW cybersecurity has also increased with the help of mission-critical cloud, Azure AU Central.

The strategy was developed with the help of Data#3 company Business Aspect, Dynaway and other Microsoft partners.

“For the first time we have an integrated solution that allows a work order to be planned for work on our assets, to be issued to the correct worker (meaning the worker is defined as being suitable in our HR system with up-to-date competencies and job/safety tickets), for the worker to be able to buy material for the job, log his time against the job and then compare his performance against everyone else doing a similar job," Robinson added.

“We get visibility in our reporting of rolled up views of costs by asset, worker, region and can compare performance against key targets. All this in one system.”

With email now in the cloud, WaterNSW infrastructure teams can focus on value-adding work, while Skype for Business supports inter-office communications and SharePoint has been used to set up an internal procurement portal and manage content on the intranet in a more personalised and meaningful way, Microsoft said.

Meanwhile, documents can be accessed and worked on simultaneously through OneDrive and Teams — boosting productivity, and data collection and analytics are being managed by Azure and Power BI.

With the cloud foundations now in place, WaterNSW is moving to an Agile delivery model, making use of micro services — particularly in analytics — to speed innovation and grow business value.

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