Tue 07 Jul 2009

Gentrack transforming the customer experience for Australian water utilities

7 July 2009: New Zealand developed software Gentrack Velocity continues its success in the Australian water industry. North East Water, a Victorian based water company has successfully completed an overhaul of its IT systems including a key upgrade of its Gentrack billing, CRM and credit management solution.

North East Water’s Gentrack Velocity project is one in a chain of recent successful Gentrack projects in the water and energy industries and further strengthens its position as a leading specialist water solutions vendor in Australia. Gentrack’s water billing and CRM solution provides the technology platform North East Water require to implement a variety of complex water tariffs and innovative customer management strategies, while also running automated system processes for effective debt collection and asset tracking.

Eamonn Tobin, Executive Manager of Information Systems at North East Water commented on the recent project: “We were pleased that Gentrack Velocity came out on top following a very transparent and exhaustive tender process. We wanted a solution that would allow us to deliver on our current commitments to our customers and enable us to engage our customers in a totally professional manner, providing them with a better experience each time they contact us. The implementation of Velocity has enabled us to follow our strategic IT path and move to a strong, modern technology platform. We are looking forward to further developing our new CIS and integrating it to other core corporate applications.”

North East Water has used Gentrack solutions since 1996, deploying the Gentrack water billing and customer care platform amid the restructure of the Victorian water industry. An ever increasing focus on water sustainability and cost reflective pricing since has driven many councils and water utilities across Australia to review aging systems and IT requirements to prepare for new market structures and the demands made by regulators and customers alike.

Tobin continued: “There are always bumps in projects of this significance, and I am pleased to say that the North East Water and Gentrack project teams worked closely to resolve any issues with little fuss. Our expectations were high and on go live Gentrack had delivered on those expectations. The upgrade has been quite significant for North East Water and has allowed us to refine our business processes and look to maximise the capabilities of the new system to support the future of our business. At this early stage we are already seeing greater operational efficiency in our call centre, and we foresee greater savings from reduced system maintenance and training.”

More changes within State based water markets in Australia are expected with the planned consolidation of water retailers and distributors in Tasmania and South East Queensland before the end of 2010 – changes Gentrack CEO James Docking says, the company is well equipped to support. “The capabilities of Gentrack’s latest billing, CRM and credit management solution provide the agility water companies like North East Water need to adapt to changing market requirements. Our goal is to provide market regulators and water utilities with the confidence that new market structures and metering technologies can easily be supported by specialist solutions such as Gentrack Velocity.”

The success at North East Water comes with the latest release of Gentrack Velocity designed to provide water companies with access to tools for system process configuration and automation – a prospect many energy and water utilities will welcome as operational cost reductions and efficiency become a prime source of improved profitability.

“We are in the game of delivering real value for money to water utilities through taking responsibility for the end-to-end software supply chain” Docking continued. “That means we rely on our own expertise to empower customers in the midst of market and business change – without using system integrators and consultants that can add unnecessary risk, cost and time to projects. Our business model is delivering real value with low risk – at a competitive price.”