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News : Melbourne Gets ‘Smart Water' with New IBM Deal
Jan 13, 2015 -- IBM has announced a business consulting and technology partnership with Yarra Valley Water, delivering analytics and various systems and solutions to help service people and businesses throughout Melbourne.
Melbourne's water and sanitation utility Yarra Valley Water said it faced disparate and aging business systems, and needed a new partner to help it achieve ambitious customer service targets and maximise asset performance.
The partnership will see Yarra Valley Water consolidate several systems into a single platform, providing a comprehensive view of all assets across 3 billion dollars of water and sewerage infrastructure.
The firm said this includes about 19,000 kilometres of water and sewer pipes, 79 water pump stations, nine sewage treatment plants and two recycled water facilities, with the dealing meaning IBM's systems can be used to collect, combine and analyse data from across the asset portfolio - particularly important for renewal projects of aging infrastructure.
The new system will improve the existing asset lifecycle, ensuring downtime and maintenance costs are minimised, and the companies added these insights will improve customer service by enabling the issue to be more accurately diagnosed and prioritised on the first call.
The IBM solution enables the customer service desk to have access to all customer information on a custom-made, single screen that makes it easier to define the customer problem, andwill enable the company to analyse historical data from the entire water and sewerage network.
"IBM’s Maximo Asset Management System will allow Yarra Valley Water to grow and develop its asset management capability, achieving ambitious customer service and efficiency targets" said David Snadden, Yarra Valley Water general manager, Strategy and Communications.
"The new solution has provided greater asset information enabling us to make more informed business decisions. This will extend the life of assets, ensure safer work environments, and deliver productivity improvements that help us make every cent count for our customers," he said.
IBM also helped introduce a Permit Monitoring application in the control room, enabling teams to visually monitor active permits in the system and attain graphic alerts when an incident or event requires attention.
The new asset management solution has streamlined customer service in the Call Centre where representatives are now able to access information on a single screen as they respond to customer calls. The change has increased the efficiency of interactions with customers —saving time and improving satisfaction levels.
Yarra Valley Water and IBM said a cultural alignment would see seamless transition between the two companies facilitating a ‘one team’ approach.
Last week IBM Australia and New Zealand appointed a new managing director, with Kerry Purcell coming in as the full-time replacement for Andrew Stevens.
Mr Stevens retired from the post in August 2014, with the position temporarily filled by Jeffrey Rhoda.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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With more than 30 years voice research and more than 150 voice patents, IBM is key industry player providing access to data through end-to-end voice integrated solutions. IBM also makes chips for a wide range of devices from the world’’s most powerful computers to the smallest cell phones.
About Yarra Valley Water:
Yarra Valley Water is the largest of Melbourne’s three water corporations providing water supply and sewerage services to over 1.7 million people and over 50,000 businesses in the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2015