Severn Trent Water to cut costs and boost efficiency with flexible working initiative

Posted: Monday 8th March 2010

Severn Trent Water has embarked on a ground-breaking IT project that will enable it to adopt flexible working practices - increasing staff productivity and reducing costs. The project is part of the company’s business transformation programme, which is designed to turn it into the best water company in the UK with the lowest charges, highest standards and great people.

The IT transformation, which will be completed in partnership with Computacenter, will also support the company’s move to a sophisticated BREAAM rated energy efficient building, Severn Trent Centre, in Coventry, in the autumn of 2010.

Myron Hrycyk, Chief Information Officer at Severn Trent Water, said: “The IT transformation will underpin the implementation of new working practices at Severn Trent Water and support a step change in our ways of working. The project is part of a wider initiative to create a more dynamic organisation and enhance our ability to attract talented staff.”

Severn Trent Water provides more than eight million people with nearly two billion litres of drinking water a day. The company covers an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres, stretching from the Bristol Channel to the Humber estuary and from mid Wales to the East Midlands. The company was named 2009 Utility of the Year at the recent Utility Industry Achievements Awards.

The IT transformation extends from the datacentre to the desktop, and includes new solutions for back-up, security, storage, networking and IT management as well as Microsoft Windows 7. The new operating system will support a Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure that will enable Severn Trent Water to support home working and desk-sharing – this is crucial as the company’s new office and wider accommodation programme is designed around a mobile workforce.

Pierre Hall, Director of Workplace and Collaboration Solutions at Computacenter, commented: “Computacenter helped Severn Trent Water make the right technology investment decisions based on its business drivers, future vision and current IT infrastructure. The new infrastructure will reduce complexity, service desk support costs and the company’s environmental impact. Providing remote working options to staff will also strengthen Severn Trent Water’s contingency plans for coping with emergencies and adverse weather conditions.”

As part of the £3.5 million project, Computacenter will provide a range of services from software licensing and testing to application packaging and asset disposal. By standardising, consolidating and virtualising its infrastructure, Severn Trent will be able to reduce the total cost of ownership of IT and create a more predictable expenditure profile. It will also be able to provide a better user experience by equipping staff with the latest productivity tools and ensuring reliable access to critical applications, such as the company’s recently implemented SAP Enterprise Resource Planning system.

“By embracing new technologies we can improve the quality of customer services and enhance the delivery of services to our customers, while supporting the company’s goal of ‘being the best’,” said Myron. “The IT transformation is closely linked to our key strategic intentions, in particular minimising our carbon footprint, responding to customers’ needs and keeping customer charges low.”

One of the key project milestones will be the opening of Severn Trent Centre in the autumn of 2010.

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