City West Water

How City West Water partnered with Fujitsu to create an Advanced Data Analytics solution

City West Water began a business transformation journey to enhance their data analytics capabilities with an end goal of providing the organisation with a single source of truth to enable evidence-based decision making. They engaged Fujitsu Data & AI to help them execute this transformation.

Challenge

City West Water had begun a business transformation journey to enhance their data analytics capabilities and chose Fujitsu Data & AI to help them deliver on their vision after a referral from Microsoft.

Solution

Fujitsu Data & AI helped City West Water move from their legacy architecture to an Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. The migration approach ensured minimal business impact and  enabled existing business processes to be maintained.

Outcomes

  • Legacy technology dependencies were removed
  • Data is now available in a single highly scalable and flexible platform.
  • Secure and auditable access to underlying data for data exploration and data science provided.
Among the many benefits of the solution, the self-serve analytics function means that reporting and planning activities have significantly improved. The ability for our staff to collaborate at this level, to pull accurate data as needed – without assistance from IT – is a big deal. The infrastructure we now have really puts us at the front of the pack in terms of utilities.

Jennifer Rebeiro, Chief Information Of ficer, City West Water

  • Customer: City West Water

About the customer

City West Water is one of three Victorian Government owned retail water businesses in metro Melbourne. The organisation provides drinking water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to more than a million residents and more than 40,000 businesses in Melbourne. It employs more than 550 staff and contractors in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

Business Transformation Journey

In 2018, City West Water began a business transformation journey to enhance their data analytics capabilities with an end goal of providing the organisation with a single source of truth to enable evidence-based decision making.

In search of a new partnership to help deliver on its vision, City West Water began a procurement process, and Fujitsu Data & AI were invited to tender following a number of referrals, including from Microsoft.

As part of the procurement process for a potential supplier, City West Water assessed and analysed all proposed plans, and in the end chose to partner with Fujitsu, optimistic of the company’s ability to deliver advanced data capabilities.

As part of the new partnership, Fujitsu worked with City West Water to provide clarity and a clear understanding of the company’s current situation and long-term vision.

“We never have a situation where there are zero concerns and so we monitored the planning and project closely, checking regularly to ensure we were on track. Fujitsu helped by maintaining an open dialogue and working collaboratively with our team,” Ms Rebeiro said.

Implementing single source of truth

The project was broken down into several phases including transitioning from the legacy technology to a modern solution and security hardening. Due to the complexities of the project there were some delays to the initial timeframe provided.

This was a result of the diligent assessment conducted by Fujitsu, which established that there were multiple versions of activity sitting in different environments. However, the project was delivered on time and the migration was delivered in a way that had minimal impact on business as usual.

The outcome of working with Fujitsu is that City West Water now have the data analytic capabilities they have been seeking. Working with the internal analytics team, we replaced City West Water’s legacy architecture, replacing it with a platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution.

The move to a PaaS environment provides future-proofing for City West Water thanks to the modern technology, language and tools now available to them. This met the original strategic intent of City West Water from a data analytics capability.

Putting Data Analytics in the hands of the general user

According to Ms Rebeiro, the new PaaS solution has been embraced with great enthusiasm by the staff. In part, this is due to how it enables the team to work collaboratively as the platform is reliable and configured correctly to meet their needs.

“The feeling amongst staff is overwhelmingly positive. The architecture is much cleaner and provides a single platform, with a single source of truth. It has brought the analytics bells and whistles to the business. Staff can report to the leadership team what this means in real terms,” she said.

“Among the many benefits of the solution, the self serve analytics function means that reporting and planning activities have significantly improved. The ability for our staff to collaborate at this level, to pull accurate data as needed – without assistance from IT – is a big deal. The infrastructure we now have really puts us at the front of the pack in terms of utilities. One of our staff members who works in operations told me she now has insight into stock usage in a way she has never had before,” adds Ms Rebeiro.

Fujitsu helped City West Water to establish a single view of all their assets, across all of their customer segments. The data capabilities they now possess have flow on effects across staff as well as customers with the organisation embracing a digital workplace.

By enabling the uplift of data capability, Fujitsu ensured that City West Water were well equipped and positioned to deliver real value within their customer-first strategy.

“Fujitsu’s Data & AI teams reputation as experts and thought leaders in tech preceded them and this was proven in our experience. They are collaborative,  hardworking, and diligent as a partner. We have formed a strong and effective partnership with them. Their technical leadership was amazing,” Ms Rebeiro noted.

Word of advice

For those starting on a similar quest, City West Water have some clear advice, make sure you and your partner are looking at the bigger picture.

“Take time to find a specialist who gives you confidence that not only are they capable, but they also understand your plans and how they may evolve in the future. And of course, make sure you have a strategic data-first approach,” Ms Rebeiro said.

Plans for the future

For City West Water, the future is bright. Having quickly seen the impact of the data provided by the new platform and the data capabilities, the team now have a very dynamic set of plans.

“We have a desire for the platform to continue to evolve and be the backbone of the organisation, enabling evidence-based decisions at every level. At the moment, our internal team are working on what this looks like and then we will be working with Fujitsu to help deliver the technical solutions,” concludes Ms Rebeiro.

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