Weeks to roll out Workplace Service Delivery
Instead of hours to perform contact tracing
Experience for employees to maintain a safe workplace
Support return-to-work policy and maintain a safe workplace
In March 2020 all staff at Yarra Valley Water (YVW) were required to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Water utilities such as YVW manage critical infrastructure which must be operated and managed by on-site staff, so the company needed an approach and application that would both protect staff through registration, approval, and track their movements, as well as ensuring business continuity was not impacted. Initially the system was all paper-based while a digital capability was built. During this period, management responses to the virus and government requirements were changing daily, which in turn changed the application requirements. Fortuitously, Yarra Valley Water had just embarked on a digital transformation and was able to take immediate advantage of its investment in ServiceNow.
“We saw ServiceNow as our strategic partner rather than just a service management provider,” says Glenn Wilson, General Manager, Service Futures, Yarra Valley Water. After the first series of lockdowns, the Victorian Government announced a staged return to workplace policy. Yarra Valley Water wanted to ensure a safe workplace for employees while regulating the number of people working in the office and maintain social distancing under the new health guidelines.
Yarra Valley Water achieved this by digitalizing the process for reserving a desk with ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery. As most employees had been allocated dedicated desks for more than 20 years, it was a big cultural shift, but ServiceNow made the transition easier. Using ServiceNow Workplace Space Mapping and ServiceNow Workplace Reservation Management applications available within the Workplace Service Delivery solution, employees can easily view the office space from the mapping feature and quickly select the desk they want to book and work at for the day.
To help those people who joined the organization during the lockdown period and were not familiar with the office site, the application also includes a Way Finder, a function which acts like an internal GPS to help them find their way around and locate their booked desk.
According to Kowsikaraman Pattabiraman (Raman), Senior IT Service Delivery Manager at Yarra Valley Water, the company was one of the first early adopters of ServiceNow’s Workplace Service Delivery solution in Australia and rolled out the solution in only six weeks.
“With changing health guidelines, we had to quickly adopt a solution that employees could easily use when we started returning to the office. ServiceNow enabled us to achieve this,” says Raman.
Yarra Valley Water has also expanded use of ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery and IntegrationHub to simplify the process for visitor management.
Head of ICT Services, Service Futures
“Visitors simply need to scan a QR code via their mobile device and enter their details into the ServiceNow check-in page. If they are a repeat visitor, ServiceNow will preload their information,” says Raman. “Thanks to ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery, managing visitors and workplace reservations is now a seamless experience for both employees and visitors.”
While safety is important to all companies, water utilities have a higher proportion of high-risk jobs and activities which are often undertaken in remote locations at all times of the day and night. ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery enables Yarra Valley Water to manage this risk, for example when employees or contractors visit a facility such as a treatment plant, they can easily check in with the Workplace app which allows facility managers to know who is onsite. If there is the need for an emergency evacuation, the facility manager is able to broadcast a message instantly to all on-site personnel.
And more critically, Yarra Valley Water is protecting staff by tracking vaccination status information while maintaining privacy, as well as having the ability to perform contact tracing within minutes rather than hours or days. The most recent enhancement is an integration with the office wireless access network, making it possible to trace movements between buildings when it’s needed due to infection breakouts. The building access system is also integrated with ServiceNow, limiting entry to only vaccinated persons, another protection for both staff and visitors.
“ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery has empowered the business to be more innovative as we progress with a staged return to workplace policy. We can now deliver a unified experience for employees and maintain a safe workplace,” says Sandra Sanderson, Head of ICT Services, Service Futures, Yarra Valley Water.
As the response to the pandemic developed over time, the ServiceNow platform has allowed Yarra Valley Water to be flexible, speedy, and pragmatic in its digital approach to keeping people safe and continuing to provide its critical services.
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