Sydney Water uses Teams to surmount lockdown hurdles


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 19 April, 2022

Sydney Water uses Teams to surmount lockdown hurdles

Sydney Water was able to use Microsoft collaboration tools to deploy its Business Experience Platform even amid a lockdown in Sydney due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown restrictions hit three days into the 17-day changeover plan for the platform, frustrating Sydney Water’s plans to have teams of people walking the floors to support staff as they transitioned to the new system.

But the organisation was able to use a combination of Microsoft Teams, an AI-infused Teams chatbot and an internal call centre to complete the transformation without a hitch within the initial planned timeframe.

Sydney Water GM for Digital and CIO Dominic Hatfield said this timeframe was set two years prior, and was achieved despite multiple periods of lockdown.

“It was a phenomenal effort. Teams enabled us to ensure that we could collaborate effectively across the organisation, which was critical to the success of the program, and never more so than when the 17-day cutover began and Sydney’s lockdown was announced three days in,” he said.

“The entire planning for cutover for the project assumed that everyone would be onsite. There were walls of paper with thousands of lines of checklists with highlighter pens going through it. People would come in to work as a team, connect and collaborate, and talk through issues, and then we were suddenly met with a massive curveball as to how we could do that remotely.”

Sydney Water instead set up 10 chat rooms within Teams that its 3000 employees across 80 sites could use to ask for help and learn more about the new system.

From early July to the end of September 2021, there were 15,382 visits to the Teams chat rooms — an average of 240 per day — and 2553 questions posed and answered.

The new platform leverages SAP’s S/4 HANA enterprise resource planning platform. It was designed based on the goal of using digital platforms to create seamless and frictionless experiences for employees and customers.

“There aren’t many people in our organisation that this program hasn’t touched in one form or another. There are over 3000 people across Sydney Water that are now using the BxP platform in some way,” Hatfield said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Tada Images

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