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Home arrow News arrow More Utilities, Telecomm, and Infrastructure arrow Thames Water Achieves New Efficiency with Spatial Information     

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Thames Water Achieves New Efficiency with Spatial Information PDF Print E-mail
Written by Autodesk   
26 October 2004
Autodesk, Oracle, Crowder and Ordnance Survey Partner to Provide Greater Access to Spatial Information across the Organization

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., October 25, 2004 — Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), the world’s leading design software and digital content company, today announced the success of an extensive pilot scheme to share vital infrastructure information and spatial data throughout Thames Water, the world’s third-largest water company.

Autodesk®, with partners Oracle®, Crowder and Ordnance Survey, have introduced significant efficiencies for Thames Water by unlocking spatial information held in proprietary geographical information systems (GIS), making the data pervasive throughout the enterprise. The partnership enables Thames Water to create, manage and share vital information about water infrastructure across departments, so the utility can save costs and fund other service enhancements.

Thames Water, based in London, serves in excess of 70 million customers in 20 countries, as part of the RWE Group, a global provider of energy, gas, water and recycling products and services.

Previously, the utility maintained aging departmental systems and various proprietary technologies that were costly to maintain and run. To share information inside the organization, data had to be copied, translated and loaded to various file formats and databases, a time-consuming manual process that risked data entry errors. Thames Water tasked its main IT partners including Autodesk with developing a solution that would streamline the use of geospatial data among departments.

“Our principle has been that the data we’ve spent money to create and continuously update should be available to any team that needs it across the organization,” said Simon Timmis, Thames Water information systems business partner. “Most important, the pilot has made everyone throughout the organization aware of what geographic information is, how it works and what it can do for them.”

Robust, Open System Provides a New Way to Unlock Spatial Information
The pilot allows Thames Water staff to access important data about the location and design of water infrastructure that was isolated in departmental systems. Users can log onto an intranet from any desktop PC and use Autodesk Map 3D™ 2005 and Autodesk MapGuide® to access information centralized in an open Oracle Spatial database. This database stores closely-related network asset and corporate data alongside the base mapping OS MasterMap data.

Now Thames Water employees can make effective decisions by working with comprehensive information about water delivery systems. Cross-organizational queries that once took three to four weeks to answer now can be solved within minutes, because the pilot system makes updates simple and fast. Reports and data analysis can be produced easily, while expensive and unwieldy processes are eliminated, improving productivity, cutting overhead and allowing funds to be reallocated to helping improve infrastructure or other vital projects.

“Engineers are creating spatial information through their design work – information that is vital to strategic decisions made by other departments, about everything from expansion plans to emergency response coordination,” said Chris Bradshaw, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Solutions Division. “Autodesk’s vision is for spatial data to be available wherever it’s needed in the enterprise. We’re working with Oracle and others to achieve our vision, and the Thames Water project shows the value of this new approach to data management.”

According to David Aldridge, Oracle International Utilities sales director, “Autodesk is an Oracle Certified Partner and one of Oracle’s key strategic partners in the GIS arena, with many successful joint customers and solutions deployed worldwide. By integrating Autodesk’s spatial design tools on Oracle Database and Oracle Spatial technologies, application developers can combine the rich visualization, analysis and editing capabilities from Autodesk with the reliability, scalability and security afforded by the Oracle database.

“The Thames Water project illustrates our strong joint commitment to supporting open systems, enabling our customers to truly leverage all their enterprise data,” said Aldridge.

The pilot went live in early summer 2004 and has proved the system has the potential to bring far-reaching benefits to divisions within Thames Water and to its customers. The utility anticipates that if taken to full implementation, it could be one of the organization’s largest GIS projects to date.

“We needed more than a single vendor solution. We wanted a group of companies who could communicate and work together easily and effectively,” said Timmis. “We knew Autodesk and Oracle had worked closely to deliver a new class of robust geo-spatial solutions for utilities and that Autodesk, Oracle, Crowder and Atos Origin had all worked with Ordnance Survey in the development and deployment of OS MasterMap. We are very pleased with the results.”

Autodesk Subscription and Consulting Add Value to Software Investment
When combined with Autodesk® Subscription, Autodesk local governments/public works solutions deliver the easiest way to keep design tools and learning up to date. For an annual fee, users get the latest version of Autodesk local government/public works solutions, Web support direct from Autodesk, self-paced training options, and a broad range of other technology and business benefits. For more information, contact an www.autodesk.com/subscription.

Additionally, Autodesk Consulting offers services that can help streamline business processes and help customers get the best possible return on their investment in Autodesk technology. For more information about www.autodesk.com/consulting.

About Autodesk
Autodesk is the world's leading design software and digital content company, offering customers progressive business solutions through powerful technology products and services.

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