Telecommunictions Efficiencies for Northern Ireland Water

The Challenge

Northern Ireland Water (NIW) is responsible for the supply and distribution of drinking water, and the provision of sewerage services to approximately 800,000 domestic, agricultural and business customers representing a population of 1.7 million people across Northern Ireland.

NIW operate the largest privately-owned transmission network in Northern Ireland. This is used to transfer core data, voice and telemetry information between outstations, equipment and offices located across the region.

The equipment was ageing , support costs were increasing and a number of NIW contracts were coming up for renewal. There was a need to develop an overall Telecommunication Strategy to ensure that the organisation’s  telecommunications infastrcture was efficient.

Our Approach

ASE provided an independent assessment of the existing voice, data and mobile solutions against current industry practices and identified areas where the organisation could improve its efficiency and effectiveness

We provided specialist skills to develop a robust strategy and a sustainable cost awareness culture, majoring on contract management and optimum accessibility. All services provided were required to deliver best-practice techniques, technology options, skills transfer and enhanced billing options.

We identified how new developments in the telecommunications industry, both commercial and technology-driven, could improve NIW operational efficiency and proposed a resultant Total Cost of Ownership model and road map to implement the strategy.

The Results

Underlying delivery was an effective package of service offerings, tailored to the specific requirements of NIW, covering:

• Savings achieved of £260k per annum
• Recommendations for a phased implementation of integrated voice and data services
• Introduction of diverse routing and additional contingency measures
• Improvements to back-up and disaster recovery procedures
• Removal of redundant services
• Consolidation and reconfiguration of services to maximise performance
• Rental and call billing review including risk/benefit impact analysis
• Incorrect billing & overcharges identified & actioned
• Maximising the benefit to the customer of large corporate expenditure
• Commercial and technical roadmap to include Public Service Network options
• Identified gaps in technology and recommended refresh programme
• Commercial strategy for voice, data and mobile; complete transparency of costs and services with minimum operational impact

Specific critical success factors targeted across delivery of the above services were:

  • Cost avoidance
  • Service closure costs
  • Reduced voice costs
  • Optimised configuration
  • Improved billing management
  • Tariff watch

Fred Heanen, Head of IT Transformation, Northern Ireland Water commented, “ASE provided excellent support to develop our Telecommunications strategy for the next 3 – 5 year period. The exercise was performed in an organised, efficient and extremely competent manner. Throughout we experienced an excellent rapport and received a professional approach to all the complexities and nuances associated with strategy development. The result was a successful cost awareness programme highlighting significant cost saving opportunities and the delivery of a robust commercial and technical Telecommunications strategy. ASE completed the project within budget and on-time. I can strongly recommend them as a professional and competent organisation”.

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