Monday, 5 November 2012

Celebrating NI Water

How many times have you heard about problem IT projects? If you work in IT there are always problems, challenges and hurdles to overcome, and sometimes we get so caught up in them we forget what has actually been achieved.

So I was delighted to be invited to an event to celebrate achievement with NI Water. This is an organisation that is moving away from a history in Public Sector and has been established as a Government Owned Company (GoCo) – which is a statutory trading body owned by central government but operating under company legislation.
NI Water have a substantial Oracle IT footprint including EBS (Financial, Procurement, HR/Payroll and EAM), OBIEE and Hyperion. Their SI partner is Fujitsu and when I moved to Fujitsu in Belfast in 1996 they were on 9.4.1 of EBS; in Dec 2011 they went live on R12 – one of the first organisations in Ireland to do so!

This journey has been hard, the IT projects were challenging but they were to support monumental changes to an organisation, few ever go through, so it was great to be able to step back and appreciate that.
The event, sponsored by NI Water and Fujitsu was held at the Silent Valley Reservoir, a fantastic location and it appears that Larry really does control both Cloud and Sun as the weather was perfect. Who would have expected a ‘no jacket’ let alone ‘no coat or umbrella’ for NI at anytime of year, AND THIS WAS OCTOBER!!

The sun was too bright!!!
Jon Paul the country lead from Oracle, and Greg McDaid from Fujitsu said a few words after Trevor Haslett and Ronan Larkin from NI Water told us how important the projects were to them. Alan Stewart, Head of Financial Systems spoke about the projects themselves and I was asked to welcome NI Water to UKOUG as new members, following Alan’s top rated presentation at our OUG Ireland Conference in March. At the end of the speeches, Moira Barratt from Fujitsu and Alistair McDonald from Oracle gave a memento of the day to everyone attending.

Alan Stewart NIW
Then it was lunch of Irish Stew and wee buns (small cakes), before a walk around the reservoir and a talk about its history. Then we drove a few miles to the Fofanny Water Treatment Plant for another tour, but you had to look hard to find it, this facility is totally underground.

I am always telling my audiences that you need to know what business you are in. IT is an enabler, and this event gave everyone, the project teams from both NI Water, Fujitsu and Oracle an excellent insight into exactly that, the business of NI Water. Everyone can be proud of their part in helping NI Water in this journey.

No comments: