SAP mobility platform

Anglian Water is the largest UK water company by geography supplying water services to more than six million domestic and business customers in the east of England. They supply 1.2 billion litres per day across a network of over 112,000km of pipes and have over 1,200 treatment works.

What Anglian Needed

In 2006 Anglian centralised its previously disparate asset operations division. Instead of local teams making decentralised decisions regarding maintenance and repair, all decision-making, scheduling and workmanagement was centralised. Business processes were automated with the aim of removing paper based field reporting and updating. Anglian began using SAP's Mobile Asset Management for Utilities (MAU), which was deployed on 1,000 Windows Toughbooks in the field.

The Challenge

Anglian decided that MAU did not provide sufficient functionality, struggled to scale up to the original 1,000 mobile devices and there was a need to keep paper documentation. In addition MAU did not support the utility's strategy to deploy even more mobile devices and to improve the functionality and range of mobile applications used in the field. The system suffered from a very poor and inefficient user interface along with synchronization problems: the engineers had to initiate synchronization themselves, leading to delays in work scheduling. It was designed as a onesize- fits-all application: all functionality was visible to all members of staff and it could not be configured for different parts of the business.

Our Answer

Anglian Water adopted SAP’s Mobile Application Platform as its mobile architecture and selected CGI as systems integrator. An Agile approach was introduced by CGI ensuring the end users were intimately involved in the design of the mobile applications. The project delivered six mobile applications running on Windows7 based Toughbooks to cover 1,400 field engineers.

CGI and Anglian Water both highlighted the importance of the design of the user interface. The goal was to provide staff with an interface with which they were immediately comfortable, something intuitive for users of webbased apps. The results were dramatic: a process that took 11 transaction steps on the legacy system now only takes two.

Anglian Water wanted the application to look like a consumer app, not a corporate one. CGI provided Anglian with an interface design specialist from the CGI user-centric design centre in Sweden to help design graphics and advise on usability and the different ways data could be presented.

Benefits

  • Immediate 8% increase in productivity
  • Intuitive user-friendly interface
  • Support effort reduced through parameterisation of application
  • Software updates applied remotely
  • True paperless solution
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Schedulers are able to push and pull tasks from the field users
  • Automatic background synchronisation
  • Prioritisation of operational data
  • Minimised effort for organisational change management - end users involvement created a demand for the product