Mobile Computing Out In The Field At Water Corporation
- To apply the experience gained from an earlier mobile computing solution (MCS1), no longer available to support next generation PDA devices
- To upgrade to a new platform bringing far more business value, seamlessly without significant interruption to its business processes
- The new mobile computing solution, Fieldworks, is a result of the integration of a number of specialist technologies and capabilities to provide a full mobile computing environment that will allow it to consolidate mobile applications and expand its reach
- Water Corporation’s new mobility solution, Fieldworks, has far reaching effects for customer service and water conservation across Western Australia
- The whole mobile computing program has delivered a strategic view and put in place a future spend plan, providing a corporate platform for future mobile applications
While Water Corporation of Western Australia (Water Corporation) successfully rolled out the first application on its new mobile computing platform, CSC was there.
Fieldworks is based on SkyMobile, a leading SAP mobility platform from Sky Technologies. Water Corporation delivered the integrated solution through its Mobile Computing System 2 Project (MCS2) in conjunction with systems integrator and long-time outsourcing partner, CSC, working closely with Sky engineers.
With an emphasis on safety, ease of use and future-proofing, the new mobile solution has been well received by Water Corporation’s mobile field workforce, back office support and management.
As one of Australia’s largest and most successful water service providers, serving almost two million Western Australians. Water Corporation had been using a mobile computing solution (MCS1) for more than four years, to support work dispatch for service delivery field crews.
However, by 2009, this system was no longer available to support next generation PDA devices that could offer far more business value. So applying the experience gained and lessons learned from the earlier system, Water Corporation sought to upgrade to a new platform seamlessly without significant interruption to its business processes.
User needs were a prime focus:
- The solution had to be perceived by field and office workers as an aid rather than a hindrance
- Feedback on legacy solutions was to be used to drive design of the end user experience and underlying functionality
- All possible, creative opportunities to improve information flow were to be leveraged for: the exchange of information between the field and back office to ensure safety is placed at the forefront; the flow of information to teams supporting customer calls to ensure a high level of service at all times
- The new platform needed to cope with unreliable and restricted communications in many remote locations
- Hardware issues and software upgrades needed to be easily maintained in those areas
- The solution had to achieve long term viability, integrating with the company’s security framework and using mainstream hardware devices
Fieldworks, is a result of the integration of a number of specialist technologies and capabilities to provide a full mobile computing environment that will allow it to consolidate mobile applications and expand its reach into other business initiatives.
As overall systems integrator, CSC took program management responsibility for the solution, relieving Water Corporation from the onerous job of managing multiple vendor contracts. CSC redeveloped and enhanced corporate infrastructure for higher availability to support the mobile solution, upgraded the network and updated reporting. CSC also participated in build activities with Sky Technologies to ensure that Water Corporation and CSC had the in-house capability to continue to develop and grow future applications.
The first application to be delivered on the new platform - Fieldworks - is a Field Service and Employee Pay Claims solution. Deployed to over 700 field users, this provides a highly user-friendly system that will enrich end user experience and knowledge.
The new system is essentially the way Water Corporation will be conducting field work now and into the future. The whole mobile computing program has delivered a strategic view and put in place a future spend plan, providing a corporate platform for future mobile applications.
Everyone is being given the tools they need to use SkyMobile Fieldworks in their day-to-day work. It has been very well received by Water Corporation staff and alliance partners and is in active use across relevant users supported by Local User Experts (LUEs). Indeed, so effective has been the communications and training around the new solution that uptake rates have exceeded expectations and there has been steady demand for more devices.