Trility slims IT systems to SAP

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Trility slims IT systems to SAP

First major IT reform since takeover.

Water utility Trility has kicked off its first major IT reform project since its acquisition by a consortium led by Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation last year.

The company has signed agreements to consolidate point software solutions across its functional areas - including finance, HR and engineering - into a single SAP Business All-in-One enterprise resource planning system.

Scoping and configuration work is being carried out by UXC-owned integrator Oxygen Business Solutions.

The new SAP system is expected to go live in March next year.

Trility's corporate planning manager Walter Munakata told iTnews that three vendors and systems integrators had been scoped by a cross-functional committee set up ten months ago.

"Our main concept was to look for an ERP system for the company to fulfill our business requirements," Munakata said.

"We have independent [software] systems running in parallel in departments. We can do inter-exchange [of data between the systems] but it's not as smooth as a total ERP system."

Munakata said the departmental systems had been installed over the past 20 years when Trility was known by its former name, United Utilities Australia (UUA) - a division of British firm United Utilities.

UUA was sold to the Mitsubishi-led consortium for approximately $225 million in May last year. The transaction closed in October 2010.

UUA was renamed Trility by the new shareholders who, Munakata said, were keen to grow the company in Australia, hence the investment in IT systems.

Mitsubishi Corporation used SAP "by coincidence... but it's not why we use SAP", Munakata said.

 

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When completed, the SAP system will give Trility a consolidated view of the business and allow data to pass functional areas more easily.

"I think Oxygen and SAP will also aid our expansion of company services and increase our efficiency with regard to real-time customer services," Munakata said.

"I think this will bring us more competitive position in the future for providing better service to the clients."

He said that might include future development of a self-service user interface to front the SAP backend, although no specific project has been announced.

Trility plans to make a clean break with the SAP system by not migrating data across from legacy systems.

Munakata declined to reveal further details about the system cutover and the future of legacy systems and the data they held, citing security concerns.

Trility maintains a total of 60 water, wastewater, reuse and desalination plants in five Australian states.

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