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How digital transformation is helping Sydney Water stay ahead of the curve

Sydney Water is making moves to streamline operations and improve customer experience, with digital transformation taking a central role.

The utility is in the process of implementing new customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Sydney Water partnered with a consortium led by Wipro Ltd., comprising CapGemini and Ernst & Young, to design, build and run these solutions.

The system itself is based on a systems, applications and products (SAP) suite called SAP S/4 HANA, and it will enable efficiencies by standardising and integrating digital management systems, said Sydney Water Executive Lead Paul Freeman.

“Adopting a standard, integrated SAP suite will enable efficiencies through retirement of expensive legacy IT systems, avoid risk of failure of old systems, and establish a platform to enhance our customer service through a single view of our customers and provision of greater ‘self-help’ services,” he said.

“The new platform will also build towards improved insight into input and output costs, supporting better asset and business decision-making.”

After an unsuccessful attempt at implementing a CRM back in 2003, Freeman said the utility learned important lessons that guided this recent decision.

“Among the many lessons learned from that experience, the key ones were the importance of clearly understanding our business requirements, rigorous planning and not compromising on quality,” he said.

Freeman added that ensuring the program is business-led and has the backing of the executive team and the board will make the process smoother and ultimately more successful.

Going forward, he said that transforming the utility’s digital assets means it can more efficiently use data and predictive analytics to provide services.

“This will form a key part of Sydney Water’s analytics and information management approach that will progressively underpin everything we do and will enable us to be at the forefront of innovation,” he said.

Sydney Water CIO George Hunt echoed this, and said the move signalled that Sydney Water is moving forward with its plan to optimise the way it works – and ultimately improve services for customers.

“I believe we have a robust governance framework in place, and we are recruiting the best talent to ensure these implementations are a success,” he said.

“The new ERP and CRM solutions will change the way we work and ensure we continue to deliver value for our customers well into the future.”

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