Utilities fork out for mobile platforms

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Utilities fork out for mobile platforms

Improving data capture in the field.

Two water utilities have inked separate deals for software designed to improve field crews' access to corporate information systems.

Victoria's Wannon Water has bought software from the U.S. provider ViryaNet for call taking, dispatch and case management in its systems maintenance branch.

The ViryaNet project was expected to benefit field crews by providing access to corporate systems as well as improving safety.

Crews were primarily involved with sewer and water network maintenance in response to customer enquiries or as part of programmed works.

The project would also streamline the capture of asset related data to inform the asset management system, allowing better planning for maintenance and replacement programs, the utility said.

The ViryaNet system would interface with the utility's CRM, asset management, GIS, and SCADA telemetry systems.

In a separate deal, Western Australia's Water Corporation has bought an Afaria software platform from Sybase to manage PDAs and laptops given to its field force.

The utility selected Afaria in a competitive tender.

Water Corporation revealed to iTnews earlier this month that it would invest in a fleet of HTC Touch smartphones for field staff.

Field staff used their devices to update Water Corporation's systems with job status, work and event details as well as information about crew labour allocation, according to the utility.

Crews could also be located in "near real-time" when the device was connected to Water Corporation's enterprise IT systems.

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