Heroku > Case Studies > Severn Trent Water's Digital Transformation: Real-Time Data Access for Enhanced Customer Service

Severn Trent Water's Digital Transformation: Real-Time Data Access for Enhanced Customer Service

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 Severn Trent Water's Digital Transformation: Real-Time Data Access for Enhanced Customer Service - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Real Time Analytics
  • Sensors - Utility Meters
Applicable Industries
  • Cement
  • Telecommunications
Applicable Functions
  • Maintenance
  • Product Research & Development
Use Cases
  • Intelligent Urban Water Supply Management
  • Leakage & Flood Monitoring
  • System Integration
The Customer

Severn Trent Water

About The Customer
Severn Trent Water is the second largest water company in the UK, serving millions of customers in England and Wales. The company's water and sewer pipes, some of which date back to the early 20th century, have required significant modernization in recent years. Since the privatization of the water industry in the UK in 1989, water companies like Severn Trent Water have been able to raise revenue to repair and replace aging pipes, as well as provide new services to a growing population.
The Challenge
Severn Trent Water, the UK's second largest water company, faced the challenge of modernizing their infrastructure to meet the growing demands of their customers. With the advent of mobile technology, customers expected faster solutions for broken water pipes and sewage problems. The company's customer service and support organizations also needed improved back-end services to expedite reporting and analysis. This would enable them to identify and fix problems more quickly and proactively replace old pipes before they broke. However, legacy software systems and organizational bottlenecks were hindering the company’s software development team. Acquiring resources for mobile services, including databases, web and application servers, was expensive and time-consuming. Employees resorted to creating informal solutions in spreadsheets and local databases to circumvent the lack of tools to address these business needs, but these could not be integrated into the core systems.
The Solution
Severn Trent Water addressed these challenges by creating several mobile apps and back-end solutions using the Heroku platform. This allowed them to deliver new, integrated, and scalable solutions more quickly. One of the apps they built, the Real-Time Alarms app, uses water loggers to measure pressure and flow and sends real-time data back to technicians to track performance and maintenance. This enables the operations team to investigate what caused the alarm to be triggered, identify and fix the underlying problem before it escalates. By switching to Heroku, the team modernized not only data gathering but also notification communications. Instead of using an email system to receive notifications from the water loggers, they now have an immediate notification system direct from the loggers, significantly speeding up response and resolution time.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of the Heroku platform and the development of mobile apps like the Real-Time Alarms app have revolutionized Severn Trent Water's operations. Technicians can now easily pick an item off the list as alarms come in, shortening handling times and providing faster response for customers. The team can also provide 'network visibility' which shows all of the alarms in a map view, making it quickly apparent which alarms are related. This has improved field efficiency. With Heroku powering the back-end, Severn Trent has plans to expand their mobile app footprint to further modernize its business. Future plans include adding more intelligence to the map view for automated data analysis, which can increase the speed at which a repair is made and ensure the company keeps its customers supplied with water.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Significant reduction in response and resolution time due to immediate notification system
  • Increased efficiency in field operations by assigning related alarms in the same vicinity to one person
  • Faster customer service response due to real-time data access

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