IBM has struck a deal with Yarra Valley Water to manage and provide analytics for $3 billion worth of water and sewerage infrastructure.
The partnership will see Yarra Valley Water, which provides water to over 1.7 million people and 50,000 businesses throughout Melbourne, consolidate several systems into a single platform, providing a comprehensive view of all its assets.
This includes approximately 19,000 kilometres of water and sewer pipes, 79 water pump stations, 9 sewage treatment plants and 2 recycled water facilities.
This enables Yarra Valley Water to collect, combine and analyse data from across its asset portfolio, which is particularly important for renewal projects of ageing infrastructure.
The new system will improve the existing asset lifecycle, ensuring downtime and maintenance costs are minimised.
Yarra Valley Water is Melbourne’s largest water and sanitation utility.
It is hoped the new platform will provide insights to improve customer service by enabling the issue to be more accurately diagnosed and prioritised on the first call.
The 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.
Yarra Valley Water general manager, David Snadden, said IBM’s Maximo Asset Management System would allow Yarra Valley Water to grow and develop its asset management capability, achieving ambitious customer service and efficiency targets.
“The new solution has provided greater asset information enabling us to make more informed business decisions," he said.
"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.
IBM also worked with Yarra Valley Water to 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.
According to a company statement, the change has increased the efficiency of interactions with customers —saving time and improving satisfaction levels.
IBM client executive, Dianne Kassimatis, said utility companies were looking for better ways to manage their significant portfolio of assets in a way that improves customer service, maximizes operational efficiencies, and reduces risk.
"Yarra Valley Water chose IBM because of our proven capabilities and experience guiding organisations to achieve these business outcomes."