Utility creates Montage with field service management system

Purpose-built system to be used by overseas utilities

To cope with severe water restrictions in place across Victoria, South East Water, has implemented a new field service management system.

Stage one of the system, purpose built by Infosys Australia on behalf of 'us' Utility Services, which is a strategic alliance between South East Water and a Thiess / Siemens Consortium, has already gone live.

Utility Services plans to also use the system, known as Montage, to support its operations elsewhere in Australia and internationally.

"us" general manager, Kevin Hutchings, described Montage as a complex and ambitious project, but one that was delivered on budget as Infosys used its Global Delivery Model (GDM) and completed part of the project offshore.

"South East Water receives more than 300 fault reports and completes over 150 maintenance activities per day, so reliable real time information is essential for high performance," Hutchings said.

Infosys developed Montage after South East Water identified a growing gap between expectations and its existing system's capabilities.

Hutchings said the decision to find a new solution was a proactive response aimed at mitigating supportability risks with the incumbent system and achieving improved service levels across the business.

"Infosys were chosen as they offered the best outcome in terms of risk, value and time-to-market with their bespoke solution; their Global Delivery Model was also a selling point, as we recognised it would give us the flexibility to resource up and down as required throughout the project," he said.

Stage one involved full production of the business critical components of Montage and comprised a scalable team of staff (some based in India) as well as five South East Water / Utility Services personnel.

"We haven't had a minute of down time since Montage went live," Hutchings said adding that there are currently 250 office users and 120 field workers mobilised with Montage, which integrates with a number of other back-end systems including CIS, AIS/GIS and SCADA.

"This ensures call centre operators have all the available information at their fingertips when despatching a job or responding to customer enquiries.

"Field workers receive notification of new jobs within 30 seconds of the job being despatched."

The second and final stage will be delivered in May 2008 and will include value-add features such as auto-dispatch, a configurable Alerts system, and a field-based audit module.

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