Cambridgeshire strive for channel shift efficiency benefits
"In May 2016 Cambridgeshire County Council moved to Report It for their online highway fault reporting system. The public of Cambridgeshire has been reporting highway faults online for over 5 years, with the Contact Centre dealing with highway related issues for over 7 years (interfaced into Insight). However it was felt that the old system was outdated, required a lot of maintenance and needed to be more customer focused.
Discussions began whilst Suffolk County Council were at implementation stage and Cambridgeshire decided to make the move in October 2015. It was noted by Cambridgeshire that Report It has a clear and familiar website, redirection options are excellent, as well as the handling of email responses. Despite this a small review was conducted to ensure the communication back to the reporter was as effective and efficient as possible to ensure all the aims of this project were met.
Following the implementation of Report It, feedback from Members, the public and staff has been very positive. The biggest improvement has been the visibility of each reports’ detail and current status. This prevents the need to report an issue more than once whilst at the same time being more transparent and customer focused. Although it is too early to see if the volume of reports has changed significantly compared to the previous application Cambridgeshire has been able to see an improvement with the quality of data received.
This, along with the mobile friendly application, has enabled the authority to start to fine tune the channel shift from ‘phone to “digital first”’ with more certainty, an issue that will be affecting most highway authorities going forward."
Chris Stromberg, Asset Systems Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council
Suffolk County Council receives ‘Highly Commended’ accolade
We are pleased to report that at the recent V3 Digital Technology Leaders Awards Suffolk County Council received a ‘Highly Commended’ accolade for their entry in the Website Project of the Year category. Their entry was based on the facility for members of the public to report Highway Faults via their Highways Report Tool. This web-site is largely based on Symology’s Report It web portal which has been developed in partnership with Suffolk County Council over the last few years, and is also in live operation in Cambridgeshire County Council and is currently being implemented for Bedford Borough Council and the City of London.
Suffolk County Council announced the success to their internal staff as follows:
There was a proud moment in London last week when SCC were ‘Highly Commended’ for their entry in the Website Project of the Year category at the V3 Digital Technology Leaders Awards. The entry was based on the new Highways Reporting Tool which went live on our website last year. The innovative online map-based highway defect reporting tool was a project delivered by a number of teams which included Highways, Digital, Customer Service, IT and HR. SCC was up against other organisations from both the public and private sector which included some big players such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The submission highlighted the significant improvements to both customer experience and internal efficiency that the project delivered. The impact and benefits of the project were obviously recognised by the judges and the team were understandably delighted with the ‘Highly Commended’ outcome.
In addition to this, the project has also recently been shortlisted as a finalist in the O2 NextGen Digital Challenge Awards 2016 in the O2 Digital Champions Award category. Results for these awards will be announced in October. Well done to all those involved.
Symology add 'Silver Lining' to Cloud Solutions
Until now, the Symology Cloud Solutions have been delivered from the Gyron Hosting Centre in Hemel Hempstead. As has been proven in practice, this hosting centre offers the highest levels of security, reliability and resilience to failures.
Symology has now introduced a second hosting centre site, Infinity Hosting Centre in Slough, which has enabled a change to an active/passive dual hosted model with full data replication facilities between the two sites. Both Gyron and Infinity will be configured to the same level of capability, and in normal circumstances, customers of Symology Cloud Solutions will be split evenly between the two sites. However, each site will also be capable of accommodating the customers from the other site in the event of a worst-case scenario, which puts one site out of action.
For customers, this will provide continuance of high performance, and offer improved resilience, especially in relation to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. It will also provide increased scope for expansion of Cloud Solutions, which are currently Symology’s fastest-growing area of business. These are just some of the benefits to our Cloud Solution customers:
• Ensure the Ongoing stability and performance of the Cloud Solutions whilst accommodating the continuing rate of customer growth.
• Provide both existing and new users with improved levels of reliability and security.
• Ensure that, in the event of one hosting centre becoming unavailable, 100% of functions, services and features are accessible in the secondary environment.
• Significantly improved Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
Symology's Customer Service Manager, Jon Panconi, commented /span> span="">/> span="">/>>/> span="">/>>/>>/>>/> span="">/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/> span="">/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>>/>“This investment marks a significant upgrade in the Cloud infrastructure which is safeguarding the quality of the Cloud services for both current and future customers. None of these costs have been passed on to our customers, showing Symology’s continued commitment to putting its customers first.”
Tarmac & Knowsley Council 'working together' with Insight
Towards the end of 2015, Tarmac was awarded the Highways Maintenance contract with Knowsley Council. Tarmac, already an existing Symology customer, made the decision to expand their already growing use of Insight to help deliver the high levels of service and the direct efficiency savings required by the council.
The resulting implementation had challenging timescales but was nevertheless successfully and smoothly delivered on schedule. Symology’s Account Manager for Tarmac, Darren Grindell, commented,“We are delighted to announce the successful implementation of the Knowsley Highways Term Contract working alongside our expanding customer Tarmac. The timescales of the implementation were extremely strict and were achieved on time and with great success. This strengthened our growing relationship with Tarmac and I look forward to working with them in future ventures.”
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council move to Symology’s Cloud-based Enterprise solution
This month saw Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council make the switch from a locally hosted Insight solution to our cloud-based Enterprise edition. A Symology customer for a number of years, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s drive for continued service improvement and efficiency savings were key factors behind the switch.
The second phase of the project is the implementation of Symology’s Works Management module. This includes increasing Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s use of Insight Mobile, which will help them maximise their benefits by streamlining their maintenance lifecycle processes, thus delivering the required service improvements and efficiency savings.
Insight passes latest UKPMS Annual Health Check
Symology's Insight system (v3.6.4) has satisfied the requirements for the 2015 Annual Health Check for UKPMS and this has been ratified by the Road Condition Management Group on behalf of the UK Roads Board.
Symology's solutions available via latest G-Cloud 7 Framework
Cloud computing has brought about a step change in the economics and sustainability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The Government is committed to the adoption of cloud computing and the G-Cloud is an iterative programme of work to achieve this - delivering fundamental changes in the way that the public sector procures and operates ICT.
The primary aim of G-Cloud strategy is to:
- achieve large, cross government economies of scale
- deliver ICT systems that are flexible and responsive to demand in order to support government policies and strategies
- take advantage of new technologies in order to deliver faster business benefits and reduce cost
- meet environmental and sustainability targets
- allow government to procure in a way that encourages a dynamic and responsive supplier marketplace and supports emerging suppliers.
Solutions awarded a place on the G-Cloud framework can be procured directly by public sector organisations without the need for an OJEU procurement process or mini-competition. This not only saves money but also dramatically shortens the time to implementation. Symology recognised the importance and benefits of the G-Cloud from the outset and has been awarded placement on each iteration of the framework since its inception.
Under G-Cloud 7, Symology offer five Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions:
- Insight Enterprise
- Insight for Street Works
- Insight for Highways
- Insight for Street Lighting Management
- Insight for Bridges and Structures Management
Stuart Marshall, Sales & Marketing Manager at Symology commented "We're delighted to have been awarded placement on the G-Cloud 7 framework. We believe it is really important for Symology's solutions to be available on every G-Cloud framework and G-Cloud 7 is no exception. It gives us the opportunity to regularly review our available cloud-based editions, to ensure we continue to offer Local Authorities the efficiency savings that the continuing financial climate demands."
New Customer Case Study - Electricity North West
Electricity North West has migrated its locally-hosted Street Works Management solution to Symology’s Managed Service in order to gain a range of benefits. We talked to Deborah Marshall, New Roads and Street Works Act (NSWRA) Co-ordinator at Electricity North West, to get the background on the benefits of this move.
New Warrington Office
Symology is pleased to announce the relocation of its North-West Consultancy team from Blackburn to Warrington. The new office unit provides a modern working environment with access to fully refurbished conference and training facilities, with convenient transport links.
Symology’s Business Development Consultant - Stuart Marshall commented, “The new facilities provide reassurance and peace of mind to our current staff that Symology will have a base here for the foreseeable future. It means that we can also now expand operations seamlessly without any future disruptions. The additional space will also offer a desirable working environment, helping us to recruit and retain high quality staff, to continue providing the level of Service that our customers in the North West expect and deserve.”
Hillingdon Council switch to Symology's Cloud-based Highways Asset Management solution
Following a competitive tender process Symology's Insight solution was selected to manage Highways Maintenance, Street Works, Asset Management and UKPMS. London Borough of Hillingdon Council's Highways department will be going live with their new Insight system on 1st April 2016.
The Insight product solution will also include mobile working, corporate IT system integration and will be interfaced with third party platforms such as London Works.
Correen Muir – ICT Business Systems Analyst at London Borough of Hillingdon Council, commented: "It is early days, but so far we are really pleased with the service Symology are providing - fully engaged at all times, with clear, concise communication and discussions are pitched at the right level with the business in meetings - a key factor in maximising requirements for a speedy implementation. Symology has demonstrated a slick transition which Hillingdon are very excited about"
Scott Hutchinson - Sales & Marketing Manager at Symology, said: "We are delighted to welcome London Borough of Hillingdon Council as a Symology customer, joining our ever increasing base of clients. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with the staff at Hillingdon, and we look forward to a fruitful and productive future relationship."
Suffolk County Council - Case Study
Suffolk County Council (SCC) has recently changed how it enables customers to report highway concerns and then uses the information to assist with ordering repairs. The new system provides a web based mapping tool for customers to create reports which then automatically connects to Suffolk County Council’s key business software Insight.
The Insight software, the online highways reporting tool and the interface have been developed by Symology, who have worked in a close partnership with the council.
Wessex Water - the latest new customer to go-live
Symology is pleased to announce that Wessex Water is the latest new customer to go-live with our cloud-based Insight for Street Works solution. The first six months of 2015 have been exceptionally busy, with Wessex Water joining Sunderland Council, Durham County Council, Cheshire West & Chester Council and Knowsley Council in becoming new Symology customers and going live with their Street Works operations.
All of the above new customers have migrated from competitor solutions, further cementing Symology’s status as the largest and most successful supplier of Street Works solutions in the UK.
At Durham and Sunderland Street Works is merely the first phase of wider implementations covering the whole range of Insight’s highway asset and works management solutions.
Account Management Consultant - Job Vacancies
Due to the continued success of the company, Symology is looking to increase the size of its Account Management Consultancy team.
Opportunities exist at our offices in Bedfordshire, South Yorkshire and Cheshire/Lancashire.
Symology sponsor APSE Service Awards
Symology were pleased to sponsor and award to Portsmouth City Council the APSE Best Service Team Award for Highways, Winter Maintenance & Street Lighting.
Service award winners received their awards at a charity dinner, in aid of Parkinsons UK, held at the Capital FM National Ice Arena in Nottingham, with the compère for the night being Maria Filippov of Dancing on Ice fame.
Symology release Insight Version 3.6
Symology is pleased to announce the release of Insight Version 3.6. This version contains a wealth of new facilities and enhancements, which have the potential to improve operational efficiency.
Full details of what is included within this release are available within the Symposium section of this website.
Symology announce EToN 6 training seminars
Symology, the UK’s largest and most successful supplier of Street Works systems is staging four EToN 6 training seminars in October 2014.
It is generally accepted that EToN 6 can provide substantial benefits and improvements in operational efficiency. However, senior officers in National HAUC recently commented “The biggest problem with EToN 6 is that many users (authorities and utilities) do not know how to utilise the facilities available”.
The seminars will directly address this, by discussing in detail how to gain the maximum benefit from the changes that were introduced with EToN 6. We will work through all of the key new areas in detail, addressing how to get the best out of EToN 6 and Insight Version 3.6 facilities, from both Authority and Works Promoter perspectives.Further details regarding these events can be found here - http://www.symology.co.uk/downloads/streetworks2014.pdf
Independence Day - An Independent Symology
On Friday July 4 2014, Independence Day and UK Employee Ownership Day, Symology is proud to announce that it is becoming an Employee Owned Company.
Symology has remained an independent company since it was founded in 1983. With a customer-focused approach, and its established reputation for integrity and honest trading, Symology has achieved its current success by prioritising product development and service provision. The result is a Company with enviable employee knowledge, substantial financial resources and stability - the best guarantee for protection of customers' long-term investment.
The Company has successfully operated an Enterprise Management Incentive share option scheme for over 12 years, so is already familiar with Employee Ownership and an advocate of what it achieves for businesses and their customers. Now, the Chairman and founder shareholder is looking to secure the long-term future of the company, and the core objective of ensuring continued independence and integrity. Transferring a controlling stake to employees was an obvious choice.
The directors agreed that the holding of a collective stake for the benefit of employees via a trust, was a good cultural fit for the organisation.
Working with The MPA Group as advisers, the company designed the detail of how the employee trust will be run, how the trust, as majority shareholder, would interact with the Board whilst at the same time giving employees at all levels within the organisation a clear voice. As part of this process Symology became members of the Employee Ownership Association (http://employeeownership.co.uk/) which is the voice of co-owned business in the UK – a network of companies with significant employee ownership and a sector of the economy worth over £30 billion annually.
This exciting new chapter in Symology’s history ensures the founder’s wishes will continue to resonate with future generations of customers, suppliers and employees.
Chairman and founder member Ken Hickson explained the decision – “Ensuring the future of the Company, its staff and its customers is a much higher priority than personal financial gain. The transition to employee ownership is occurring with the Company in the strongest position it has ever been. It will ensure that Symology continues to progress from strength to strength as an independent company, providing the best possible service to its customers.”
Mike Bartlett, Managing Director of Symology commented "Employee Ownership is the perfect fit for us. By safe-guarding our independence and fully engaging our employees, our decision-making can be solely focussed on the long-term benefit of our customers and employees. This allows us to do better business, with the integrity and honesty that we were created for."
Lancashire adopts Symology’s cloud-based Insight for Street Works
The implementation project, which commenced in early January, was completed within 8 weeks ensuring that LCC were ready for the introduction of the new EToN6 requirements that came into force on 1 April.
Lancashire’s Strategic Network Management team, who went live with the new system on Monday 17th March, are using Insight to manage the coordination and monitoring of all works and other non-works activities such as licences and events within the County. Symology’s Insight Mobile software will also be used by LCC’s Street Works Inspectors out in the field, and Insight will also be used by the County for Street Gazetteer and Additional Street Data Management.
Michael White – Street Works Manager at Lancashire County Council, commented: "Considering that a data migration exercise from our previous supplier was required as part of the process it was remarkable how quickly and smoothly the implementation went. The attention to detail throughout the process was first class, and the Symology team responded very quickly to any queries or issues raised. It really was a superb joint effort between all parties involved.”
Symology's Sales & Marketing Manager, Scott Hutchinson, said: "We are delighted to welcome Lancashire County Council and their ICT delivery partner, BT Lancashire Services, as Symology customers. The timescales for this implementation were extremely tight, so it was very pleasing that the deadline was successfully met – a key reason for this was the meticulous pre-planning work that had been put in place by BT Lancashire Services and LCC Staff prior to the project commencing. We have established an excellent working relationship with both LCC and BT Lancashire Services throughout this process, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership supporting their business operations."
Symology customers ready for EToN 6
EToN 6 for Street Works comes into force tommorow (1 April 2014) and is estmated to net efficiency savings of £14.3 million over the next 10 years.
We are pleased to announce that 99% of Symology's 150+ customers will be EToN 6 ready on day one.
Gloucestershire County Council switch to Symology’s Cloud-based Street Works solution
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is delighted to announce that Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), in readiness for the introduction of EToN 6, is the latest organisation to switch to Symology’s Insight for Street Works solution.
Gloucestershire’s Network and Traffic Management team, who went live with the new system on Monday 9th December, will be using Insight to manage the coordination and monitoring of all works plus other non-works activities such as Licences and Events within the County. Symology’s Insight Mobile software will be used by GCC’s Street Works Inspectors out in the field, and Insight will also be used by the County for Street Gazetteer and Additional Street Data Management.
Phil Cameron – Traffic Manager at Gloucestershire County Council, commented: "With EToN 6 and a new Highways Contract coming into force in April 2014, we were keen to extricate our Street Works Traffic Management system from the County’s Asset Management system. This lead to us carrying out a thorough review of all of the Street Works systems on the market and it was quite clear from this that Symology’s Insight system was the outstanding candidate. The switch-over project has happened quickly and relatively smoothly, considering that a data migration exercise from our previous supplier was also required, and we have developed a fantastic relationship with Symology’s Implementation and Managed Services team. We now look forward to the introduction of EToN 6 with full confidence, in the knowledge that we have a comprehensive Street Works management system in place that will enable us to proactively manage our Network.”
Symology's Sales & Marketing Manager, Scott Hutchinson, said: "We are delighted to welcome Gloucestershire County Council as a Symology customer, joining our ever increasing base of clients. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with GCC, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership supporting their business operations."
Read the full case study here
Symology to sponsor EUA Utility Street Works Seminar 2014
Symology is delighted to announce that it will be the principal sponsor of the Energy & Utilities Alliance - Utility Street Works Seminar 2014.
Symology will be chairing a session, delivering a presentation and also exhibiting at this event.
Further details can be found here - http://www.eua.org.uk/events/utility-streetworks
Insight passes latest UKPMS Annual Health Check
Insight has passed the latest UKPMS Annual Health Check and is now accredited for production of Performance Indicators for 2013/14.
Symology's Asset Management Bureau Services will be delivered using the latest version of Insight, giving customers piece of mind that all deliverables will be based on the very latest up-to-date standards and best practice.
Dee Valley Water switch to Symology’s Cloud-based Street Works solution
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is delighted to announce that Dee Valley Water (DVW) is the latest organisation to switch to Symology’s Insight solution.
Symology’s Insight system, which went live on Monday 7th October, will be used by DVW’s Street Works team to discharge their duties as a Works Promoter in accordance with the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and the Traffic Management Act 2004.
Julie Lloyd (Office Manager) at DVW commented: "With EToN 6 on the immediate horizon, we were keen to switch to Symology’s Insight solution given its pre-eminence in Street Works. We also wanted a solution that would remove all of the ongoing technical and gazetteer management aspects that arise from a locally hosted solution. By switching to Symology’s cloud-based solution, we will always have a fast up-to-date system, and we no longer need to worry about technical maintenance issues. We can now simply log-on and use the system to carry out our daily operations. With the EToN 6 deadline fast approaching we required a quick switch-over to another supplier, including a data migration of our existing data. From the time of placing an order with Symology we were live within 6 weeks! The switch-over process was relatively smooth and Symology’s team have worked very closely with us during this period of transition. We now look forward to the introduction of EToN 6 with extreme confidence."
Symology's Sales & Marketing Manager, Scott Hutchinson, said: "In recent months we have seen a number of new customers switching to our solutions, and I am delighted that Dee Valley Water is one of these. As a company we have put a lot of hard work in to ensure that our Insight for Street Works solution maximises on the benefits that EToN 6 provides, so it is rewarding that this is being recognised by the Street Works community and is leading to the influx of new customers that we are seeing.”
“As we do with all of our customers, we will look to provide Dee Valley Water with a first class level of service, with the aim that they can maximise the system to its full capabilities and therefore enhance their ongoing operations.”
Symology celebrates it's 30th Anniversary
The 11th October 2013 represents a proud moment in time as we reach the 30th Anniversary of the formation of Symology, with the Company still leading the way in innovation and providing proven business solutions. Even in these tough economic times, growth has continued at an ever faster rate.
It is particularly pleasing that the central strategic policy of ethical business operation has proved so successful. The open and honest relationship that has been established with customers has proved enormously beneficial. True partnership working, as opposed to simply an image of it, has created an environment in which genuine exchange of ideas takes place and progress is accelerated.
The future for both Symology’s customers and staff is secured by the enduring commitment to remain an independent company that is controlled and operated by its employees. The strong retention of staff over decades has enabled the building of a management team with unmatched experience and skills, as well as a total commitment to ensure that the existing culture continues to flourish. The focus of policy will remain solely based on the interests of our customers, and I have complete confidence that future anniversaries will mark the same path of success.
Ken Hickson (Company Chairman and Founder)
East Sussex County Council switch to Symology’s G-Cloud Street Works solution
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is delighted to announce that East Sussex County Council (ESCC), in readiness for the introduction of EToN 6 and the South of England Permit Scheme, is the latest organisation to switch to Symology’s Insight solution.
ESCC is the first customer to procure Symology’s products and services via the G-Cloud. The G-Cloud framework enables public sector organisations to buy cloud based software solutions, from pre-approved suppliers, without the need for any OJEU procurement process or mini-competition. This not only saves money, it also dramatically shortens the time to implementation.
Symology’s Insight system, which went live on Monday 9th September, will be used by ESCC’s Street Works Team for coordination and monitoring of all works and other non-works activities such as Licences and Events within the County. Symology’s Insight Mobile software will also be used by ESCC’s Street Works Inspectors out in the field.
Graeme Lake (Team Manager Inspection & Enforcement) at ESCC, commented: "With both EToN 6 and the South of England Permit Scheme on the immediate horizon, it was vital to ESCC that we selected a company that is fully committed to being at the forefront in terms of meeting Street Works requirements. With deadlines fast approaching we needed a quick switch-over to another supplier, and we were concerned about the time it would take to go through a formal OJEU process. The fact that we could avoid this by procuring Symology’s Insight for Street Works solution via the G-Cloud was a huge help and benefit to us. The switch-over process has happened quickly and relatively smoothly, considering that a data migration process was also required, and we have developed an excellent relationship with Symology. We now look forward to the introduction of EToN 6 and the new permit scheme with confidence."
Symology's Sales & Marketing Manager, Scott Hutchinson, said: "I am delighted to welcome East Sussex County Council as a Symology customer, joining our ever increasing base of clients. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with ESCC, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership supporting their business operations."
“I am also delighted that ESCC has become our first customer to procure through the G-Cloud framework. For any public sector organisations, who may still have concerns about meeting the requirements of EToN 6 or impending Permit Schemes, our Insight for Street Works G-Cloud offering provides an effective route to meeting the requirements on time and comprehensively – as has been proved by ESCC.”
Link to Symology's Insight for Street Works G-Cloud Solution
Symology Insight users ready for EToN 6
At the latest Symology User Group on the 17th September, an update was provided to Symology users on the progress in implementing EToN 6 across the country. A review of EToN 6 Experiences to date was presented by Sarah Twigg, Symology Account Management Consultant.
The session focussed on the EToN 6 Pilot testing exercise between St Helens MBC and Scottish Power. As part of the pilot scheme Symology provided EToN 6 training sessions, user test scripts and technical and business assistance to validate the configuration on the new systems. Following this, the two sites successfully interchanged a number of EToN 6 works and notices covering new areas such as Diversionary Works, Defective Apparatus, Permit Modification Requests and sending of Inspection Results via Web Services. The testing is still in progress, but no significant issues had arisen so far.
Subsequent to this, Sarah explained how other Symology customers, particularly Transport for London and National Grid, had performed a parallel test, covering similar business areas. National Grid extended the exercise further by testing the web services link between their SAP Works Management System and Insight Street Works system. This provided a full end to end test of the business processes. Subsequent to the user group, National Grid has become the first organisation in the country to confirm their EToN 6 readiness by publishing their Operational District Data file with the Code of Practice version updated to EToN 6.
Matt Bridge-Wilkinson, National Grid TMA Project Co-ordinator and ETON System owner commented, “The project to upgrade all of National Grid’s systems to EToN 6 has been a significant exercise with months of planning. During this time we have worked closely with Symology to ensure we took the right option at each stage. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to perform all the necessary upgrades in advance of the EToN 6 sunrise period on October 1st. We’re leading the way and are looking forward to working with the street works community to realise the efficiency savings the new version can provide.”
Finally, Sarah confirmed that one-day EToN 6 training courses are available either in Symology’s training facilities or on user sites. She announced that tailored versions for authorities and utilities are available, and both sets had already been run successfully for a wide range of users.
England’s first Joint Permitting Scheme goes Live using Symology’s Insight
The Greater Manchester Road Activities Permit Scheme (GMRAPS) went live on 29 April 2013, becoming the first joint permitting scheme to be introduced in England.
GMRAPS is operated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the ten Greater Manchester Local Authorities: Bolton, Bury, Manchester City, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
The Scheme applies to any person or organisation who wishes to carry out road works/street works or other registerable activities on all streets within the Greater Manchester area.
The scheme aims to improve the effectiveness of the transport system in Greater Manchester which is an essential driver of economic growth, connecting businesses with their employees, suppliers and customers.
The central computer system being used to operate the scheme is provided by Symology - the UK's leading supplier of Street Works noticing and permitting systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems. The system is delivered as a Managed Service, operating out of Symology’s Private Cloud infrastructure.
The system is expected to be dealing with approximately 100,000 permit applications per year, and will be used by around 50 concurrent users to manage the following:
- The co-ordination of all works within Greater Manchester
- Validation of all applications by a Collaborative Service Centre (CSC)
- The granting and refusal of permit applications under GMRAPS by the 10 Local Authorities
- The monitoring and application of street works related charges including permit charges, S74 over-run charges and inspection charges
- The monitoring and application of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) System
- The provision of operational and management reports
In addition, some of the Local Authorities will be using the central computer system for managing their inspections (of the works undertaken) using mobile devices connected via wireless networks.
Real Time Road Works Website Launches
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has worked with the ten Greater Manchester Local Authorities to launch a new, easy-to-search website: gmroadworks.org. This website was developed by Symology as part of the Greater Manchester Road Activities Permit Scheme (GMRAPS) Contract that Symology was awarded in late 2012.
A Full Press Release is available at:
EToN 6 - Summary of Changes
Symology has produced a user-friendly summary document outlining the changes being introduced with EToN 6. Please feel free to circulate this document to whoever you feel will gain from an understanding of the forthcoming changes.
DfT Announce go-ahead of EToN 6
The DfT have today announced the go-ahead for EToN 6, with a formal introduction date of October 2013. Whilst the final deadline for EToN 6 conformance is not until 1 April 2014, the DfT has also agreed that any organisations wishing to collaborate on the implementation and use of EToN 6 prior to October are free to do so. Indeed some Symology customers are already planning to roll-out EToN 6 as early as this summer to take advantage of the efficiency savings and improved business benefits that it offers (see EToN 6 - The Benefits).
Local Transport Minister - Norman Baker said "It is estimated that about two thousand hours could be saved by councils and utility companies every week by using the new system, saving industry alone £600,000 a year. In total, the street works sector is expected to net savings of £14.3 million over the next 10 years, driving efficiencies and saving taxpayers’ money."
Symology has already built all of the new EToN 6 functionality into the latest release of its Insight product. These enhancements, which are being provided to existing Symology customers without any additional charges, extend throughout our product offerings including our Insight Mobile software and our external Works Management systems interface.
In keeping with our status as the largest and most successful supplier of Street Works systems, Symology has invested early and heavily in making all of the necessary changes to allow the necessary time to develop a fully comprehensive EToN 6 solution, designed to maximise on the potential benefits.
Asset Management Bureau Services
Over the past 12 months, Symology has seen a steady increase in existing Insight customers and non-customers taking up the Asset Management Bureau Services. These services were put in place to help Authorities who have found their resources to be stretched, or who have lost in-house expertise following restructuring.
The Bureau Services initially provided a solution for Authorities wishing to deliver the Road Condition Indicators and local reporting as outlined in the Government Single Data List. However, as the requests for the Bureau Services have grown, the offering has increased to deliver a more thorough Asset Management Solution.
The Asset Management Bureau Services now include the CIPFA/HAMFIG Accumulated and Annual Depreciation Reports for Carriageway and Footways, GIS Outputs for Treatments/Observations and Survey Coverage reports.
To make Bureau Services more accessible, Symology have produced on-line questionnaires for the Carriageway / Footway, Structures and Lighting Assets. This will allow authorities considering making use of these services the facility to identify what datasets they hold and choose what outputs they require. The completed form will be sent directly to our Asset Management Team to consider your requirements. The forms are accessible from the Bureau Services section of the web-site or using the following links
In addition, for those Authorities that are comfortable with delivering all the necessary Indicators and Valuation Reports, Symology can provide health-checks to ensure that the CIPFA/HAMFIG requirement is met and past Valuations can be reviewed to ensure the most accurate information is provided to HM Treasury.
If your Authority is interested in a Health-check or you are interested in assistance with Structures Valuations/Condition Indicators or Street Lighting Valuations/Condition Indicators, then please contact either your Symology Account Manager or our Asset Management Team email@example.com.
The Bureau Services are also available as part of Symology’s Cloud solutions which can be found on the Cloudstore at http://gcloud.civilservice.gov.uk/cloudstore/
TfL switch to Symology’s Cloud-based Insight for Street Works solution
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is delighted to announce that Transport for London has entered into a five year contract for the provision of a spatially-enabled Local Street Works Register (LSWR) to fulfil their statutory duties under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA), the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA), the London Permit Scheme (LoPS) and the Transport for London Lane Rental Scheme (TLRS). The system will be delivered as a Managed Service, operating out of Symology’s Private Cloud infrastructure.
The Planned Interventions Team within TfL Streets/Traffic Directorate has the responsibility for coordination and monitoring of all works on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) undertaken by external and internal works promoters, and the LSWR is used for every aspect of this work. The system is expected to be used by around 125 users and includes:
- The co-ordination of all works on the TLRN
- The granting and refusal of permit applications under LoPS
- The inspections of works undertaken on the TLRN
- The monitoring and application of all streetworks related charges including permit charges, S74 over-run charges, inspection charges and lane rental charges
- The monitoring and application of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) System
- The management and application of the TLRS
- The provision of operational and management reports
- Mobile working
Mark Beasley, Head of Planned Interventions at TfL, commented: "The Mayor and TfL’s overall approach to reducing the impact of road works has led to a number of measures on the TLRN to reduce road works disruption, including the implementation of LoPS in January 2010 and TLRS which went live in June 2012. It’s vital to the future operation of these schemes that we selected a technology partner able to help us effectively manage the existing initiatives and implement any future developments as required. Symology put forward a superb proposal and we’re looking forward to working with them."
Symology's Business Development Manager, David Gurr, said: "With around 75,000 permit applications and over 1.5m EToN transactions per year, TfL’s selection of Symology’s Insight system represents a substantial endorsement of Symology’s cloud-based strategy. Early progress with TfL’s Planned Interventions team has been excellent – we’ve been impressed with their speed of mobilisation on this project and we’re already well on the way to migrating data from their existing system. Together we’re expecting to deliver a solution that everyone involved can be proud of."
Multi-Award Winning Asset Protection Solutions from Symology
An Asset Protection Solution provided by Symology for the Scottish Road Works Community has won the following two National Awards:
- Institute of Engineering and Technology Built Environment Award 2012
- National Joint Utilities Group Avoiding Damage Award 2012
The Scottish Community Apparatus Vault is a new way to share and access information on the location of underground pipes and cables. This major new development makes underground pipe and cable information accessible via the Scottish Road Works Register (SRWR) (Scotland's existing national database for the electronic transfer, retention and management of road works data).
Each type of apparatus is held as a separate layer and users can view all plant or a specific type of plant as required. Other information such as on-going and planned works or the locations of bus stops can also be accessed. All information can be interrogated on-line or can be printed as A3 or A4 maps. To date, the records of all electricity cables, gas pipes, drains and sewers are available. The spatial database includes over 8 million assets, over 290,000 km of cables and pipes, with data received from 35 different organisations. Whilst the project is obviously a significant technical achievement it also represents a massive collaborative achievement to get all the Utilities and Road Authorities working together to contribute to the solution.
Prior to the introduction of the Community Apparatus Vault in March 2012, users would have to contact each underground apparatus owner separately, and receive plans in a variety of formats including e-mail, CDs, individual web-sites and even paper copies. The new system provides significant administrative benefits by dramatically reducing this staff intensive process. In addition, with the aid of a mobile device anyone needing to dig in a road can access the records on site and instantly see what pipes and cables they are likely to encounter, providing significant safety benefits.
The National Joint Utilities Group Avoiding Damage Award 2012 was a joint application between the Scottish Road Works Register Management Group (SRWR MG), the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner (OSWRC) and Symology. The award was presented by Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Commons Transport Select Committee, to Nisha Kharbanda (OSRWC), Andrew Leyden (SRWR MG Chair & Scotland Gas Networks) Mike Bartlett (Symology) at the House of Commons, Members Dining Room.
The Institute of Engineering and Technology Built Environment Award was a joint submission by the following organisations; University of Leeds, Susiephone Ltd, Ordnance Survey, 1Spatial Ltd, ESRI(UK) Ltd, Symology Ltd, UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR), the VAULT Steering group and the VISTA consortium.
The judging panel commented:
This innovation provides an imaginative solution to the coordination of underground services by supporting the integrated planning and maintenance of underground infrastructure assets and improves the safety of works on and around buried utility services by encouraging a collaborative approach between service providers. Wider benefits include reduced disruption to the public and significant time and cost savings to utility suppliers by accessing a comprehensive asset database.
Further details of the awards are available here:
Further information on the Scottish Community Apparatus Vault is available here:
Seamless Integration Video
Symology has produced a short promotional video which highlights Insight's capabilities for seamless integration throughout the whole works lifecycle (see below).
Existing Symology customers can see a more detailed video based presentation of these facilities within the Symposium area of this website, see http://www.symology.co.uk/Areas/Symposium/Content/UserGroup/250912/hmep.html
Symology expands Technical Headquarters
Symology is pleased to announce the acquisition of two additional office units adjoining the existing Technical Headquarters in Dunstable, Central Bedfordshire. The addition of the new office units doubles the space available in the existing facilities. The Technical Headquarters provides a dedicated office suite for our Software Development and Customer Service teams, including the Managed Service Hosted Support operation.
A delighted Mike Bartlett, Managing Director of Symology (pictured left), commented, “This demonstrates our policy of long-term sustainable growth and confidence in the future, as well as the strength of the Company’s business position. The doubling of office capacity for our technical teams emphasises the company’s commitment to focus on quality Customer Service and continual innovation in Product Development and Design. It also reflects the need to expand our dedicated Hosted Support Team as a result of the success in providing cloud-based solutions and services to our customers.”
Symology’s Customer Services Manager Jon Panconi added, “As a location, Central Bedfordshire suits us well and the expansion of our headquarters provides reassurance and peace of mind to our current staff that Symology will have a large base here for the foreseeable future. It means that we can expand operations seamlessly without any future disruptions. The additional space will also offer a desirable working environment, helping us to recruit and retain high quality staff, to continue providing the level of Customer Service that our customers expect and deserve.”
Symology announce EToN6 Seminars
Symology, the UK’s largest and most successful supplier of Street Works systems, and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is staging four, free-to-attend, EToN 6 Management Seminars in September 2012.
At these seminars we will discuss in detail the content of the forthcoming changes in EToN 6 and how these enhancements reflect the practical aspirations that have been expressed within the community. The focus will be on how you can improve the effectiveness of working more closely together with your authority and utility partners.
The seminar will provide a comprehensive understanding of EToN 6 facilities. More importantly, it will address the challenge of meeting ever-increasing demands within constrained resource budgets. Live software demonstrations will highlight how the new facilities have been incorporated in a way that enables maximum benefits to be realised, together with reduced administrative overhead.
Existing Symology customers and non-customers are welcome to attend these events, which are to be held at the following venues:
- 11 Sept - Bridge Hotel, Wetherby, Yorkshire
- 12 Sept - Chester Racecourse, Chester, Cheshire
- 13 Sept - Mary Ward House , Central London
- 20 Sept - Bear Hotel, Hungerford, West Berkshire
If you wish to attend, please book on-line at - http://www.symology.co.uk/News/Events
Symology stage Flood Risk Assets Webinar
Symology recently staged a webinar showing how existing customers could maximise on their investment by utilising their Insight Asset Management system to manage flood risk assets.
The feedback from attendees was very positive, and a video of the event is now available within the Symposium section of this website.
May Gurney rolls out Insight for multiple clients
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is pleased to announce that May Gurney, the market leader in facilities management to local authorities, has entered into a five year contract for the provision of a spatially-enabled Street Works System to enable their highways and utility clients to discharge their Street Works noticing responsibilities for highways works.
Darren Gladden, Technical Support Manager at May Gurney, commented: "We were looking to replace multiple legacy Street Works noticing systems for multiple clients with a single multi-tenanted solution that could provide a single real-time street works interface to our market-leading technology platform, MGConnect. After an exhaustive search, we concluded that Symology was the only supplier who could meet our needs." He continued: "Symology has proven to be an excellent choice, helping us to meet changing customer requirements and reacting quickly when needed. We’ve now rolled this solution out to clients including Surrey County Council, Tor2 joint venture , Northamptonshire County Council and East Sussex County Council."
Symology's Business Development Manager, David Gurr, said: "Our work with other clients on shared services means that we have the robust security and separation mechanisms to allow multiple contracts to be operated on a single system, with the additional assurance of our ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System) certification, and our real-time works interface allows us to effectively provide a Street Works ‘business rules engine’ for works management systems. This has been a natural fit for us, and we are delighted to be working with May Gurney."
Environmental Management Award for Symology
Following close on the heels of ISO 27001 (Information Security Management) accreditation, Symology has now been awarded ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System.
Said a delighted Mike Bartlett, Managing Director, "We have long recognised the importance of environmental issues for our customers, and have made great strides in the past 12 months to manage our company's impacts on the environment. Now with the award of ISO 14001 certification, this has been confirmed by outside experts who are used to judging standards on a daily basis in a wide variety of trades and industries".
Andrew Denchfield, who undertook the assessment for QMS Quality Management Systems, paid particular tribute to "the investment in people and training that enables Symology to provide an efficient and environmentally friendly service to their customers."
Symology is the UK's leading provider of integrated Highway Asset Management and Street Works Management solutions. Symology's software and professional services are designed to meet the needs of Local and Central Government, Utilities, Construction and Engineering organisations. Its clients include some of the largest UK Highway Authorities, and many of the foremost Utility companies throughout the UK. With unparalleled expertise and offices throughout the UK, Symology's best-in-class product lines empower thousands of users to plan, coordinate, manage, protect, operate and sustain highly efficient highway networks and associated assets, and provide an enduring platform for customer success.
For more information, call Symology on 01582 842626.
City of London choose Symology for Highway Asset Management & Street Works
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is pleased to announce that following a rigorous OJEU procurement process the City of London Corporation recently awarded a five year contract for the provision of a spatially enabled fully comprehensive Street Works and Highways Asset Management System to Symology, with an optional five year extension.
The solution provided by Symology for the City of London Corporation includes:
- Management of Street Works (including permit schemes) and various highway activities
- Map-based management of highways assets (highways, footways, utility subways, street lighting)
- Integration with corporate CRM
- Mobile operations
Ian Hughes, Assistant Highways Director, commented: "The City has significant volumes of ongoing highway activities - such as street works, highway schemes, building sites, scaffolds & hoardings, special events and parking dispensations - concentrated into a tight-fitting and inter-dependent street network. We were looking for a system to assist us in managing these activities in order to help us minimise disruption to traffic and our businesses, residents and visitors, and thereby to deliver our Network Management Duty. Symology put forward an excellent proposal, giving us the confidence that they have the software and expertise to assist us in achieving our aims."
Symology's Business Development Manager, David Gurr, said: "We are delighted to welcome City of London as a Symology customer. One of the strengths of the Symology Insight product is the degree of flexibility and parameterisation. This allowed us to propose our standard system but configured for the City of London Corporation's precise requirements. By providing a tailored standard system we're able to provide a better cost base and consistency of technical support compared to bespoke systems. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with the City of London project team, and we look forward to delivering a system that both of our organisations will be proud of."
Information Security Management Award for Symology
Following an assessment by an independent body, Highway Asset Management and Street Works Management solution provider Symology has been awarded ISO 27001 certification. This certification has only been achieved by less than 1% of UK businesses and this prestigious award is supported by the Government and recognised world-wide.
Said a delighted Mike Bartlett, Managing Director, "We have always been proud of the service we offer our clients and the way that we conduct our business including the importance we give to Information Security matters. Now with the award of ISO 27001 certification, this has been confirmed by outside experts who are used to judging standards on a daily basis in a wide variety of trades and industries".
Peter Carvin, who undertook the assessment for QMS Quality Management Systems, paid particular tribute to "the investment in people and training that enables Symology to provide an efficient and Information Security aware service to their customers."
Symology is the UK’s leading provider of integrated Highway Asset Management and Street Works Management solutions. Symology’s software and professional services are designed to meet the needs of Local and Central Government, Utilities, Construction and Engineering organisations. Its clients include some of the largest UK Highway Authorities, and many of the foremost Utility companies throughout the UK. With unparalleled expertise and offices throughout the UK, Symology’s best-in-class product lines empower thousands of users to plan, coordinate, manage, protect, operate and sustain highly efficient highway networks and associated assets, and provide an enduring platform for customer success.
For more information, call Symology on 01582 842626.
Yorkshire Common Permit Scheme achieves EToN Compliance
The proposed Yorkshire Common Permit Scheme (YCPS) has been certified as being compliant with the Electronic Transfer of Notices (EToN) Technical Specification. YCPS follows hot on the heels of the Merseyside Authorities Permit Scheme in establishing EToN compliance - thus ensuring that the scheme will be able to be administered using the latest EToN 5.01 national standard in England & Wales.
Six Highway Authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Kirklees, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield) have participated in the creation of a Common Permit Scheme for the Yorkshire Highways and Utilities Committee (YHAUC) area. The scheme contains a common set of rules that will be available for adoption by all Highway Authority members of Yorkshire HAUC.
The YCPS, which was certified as compliant with EToN by Ken Hickson of Symology Ltd, fully satisfies the EToN compliance requirement defined for Test 4 in Section 6.6 of the Department for Transport (DfT) document "Traffic Management Act 2004 - Permit Schemes - Decision-making and development (2nd Edition)".
YCPS has now been submitted to the DfT for final approval with an intended implementation date of April 2012.
Ken Hickson of Symology commented "I am delighted that the six Highway Authorities involved in preparing the YCPS appreciated the importance of ensuring that the proposed scheme complies with EToN. This will ensure that all aspects of the scheme can be administered electronically using EToN compliant systems."
Engineers at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council stated "We are pleased that the proposed YCPS is EToN compliant, and we would like to thank Ken and Symology for their thorough review of the proposed scheme, and the general advice and guidance provided."
Merseyside Authorities Permit Scheme achieves EToN Compliance
The proposed Merseyside Authorities Permit Scheme (MAPS) has been certified as being compliant with the Electronic Transfer of Notices (EToN) Technical Specification. MAPS is believed to be the the first Permit Scheme in the country that has actually gained EToN compliance – thus ensuring that the scheme will be able to be administered using the latest EToN 5.01 national standard in England & Wales.
A comprehensive review of the proposed MAPS was undertaken by Ken Hickson of Symology Ltd. Following the initial review, detailed discussions took place between Ken, Danny Gordon and Jennifer Hull (of St. Helens Council – the lead authority in preparing the proposed MAPS) and minor modifications to the scheme definition were agreed.
The proposed MAPS fully satisfies the EToN compliance requirement defined for Test 4 in Section 6.6 of the Department for Transport (DfT) document “Traffic Management Act 2004 – Permit Schemes – Decision-making and development (2nd Edition)”.
As part of the review process, the St. Helens Street Gazetteer was also reviewed to ensure its conformance to NSG Level 3 standards, and all other standards under “Compliance with general technical and definitional requirements” within the above-mentioned DfT document.
It is intended that MAPS will now be submitted to DfT for final approval, and that it will be implemented in February 2012.
Ken Hickson of Symology commented “I am delighted that Danny and Jenny at St. Helens (working on behalf of the Merseyside Authorities) appreciated the importance of ensuring that the proposed MAPS complies with EToN. This will ensure that all aspects of the scheme can be administered electronically using EToN compliant systems.”
Danny Gordon of St. Helens Council stated “We are absolutely delighted that the proposed MAPS is EToN compliant, and I would like to thank Ken and Symology for their thorough review of the proposed scheme, and the general advice and guidance provided.”
Doncaster MBC - Network Management
One of the most significant changes introduced by the Traffic Management Act 2004 was the requirement for Local Authorities to establish the position of ‘Traffic Manager’. At the same time, new requirements were introduced for Local Authorities to register their own works on the Street Works Register in accordance with all the same rules as those which Utilities have to abide by.
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) has taken these new duties in the spirit they were designed for and has developed a true network management capability based on a sophisticated integrated Insight solution which assists the Traffic Manager in ensuring the smooth flow of traffic.
Symology Becomes Gold Partner in Esri Partner Network
Strategic Partnership Distinguishes Symology as Industry Leader Offering Comprehensive spatially enabled Highway Asset Management and Street Works Solutions
Symology, the UK’s largest and most successful supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, today announced that it has become a Gold Tier Partner in the new Esri Partner Network. The strategic partnership recognises Symology’s industry leadership through superior GIS-centric solutions.
The Esri Partner Network is a global programme for companies developing and delivering cutting-edge geospatial solutions and services based on the Esri software platform. Its goal is to build a stronger worldwide GIS community through strategic partnerships and provide greater support to Esri’s global partners. Members are part of a well-defined program with clear eligibility requirements, quality standards, and access to a wide range of resources and benefits. Symology’s new level of partnership enhances sales, marketing, and development efforts and best practices shared by the company and Esri as they work closely together to deliver mission-critical geocentric solutions to Local and Central Government and the Utility and Construction industries.
"We are delighted to have Symology among our distinguished group of Gold Tier Partners," said Geoff Tennant, Esri Partner Manager. "Their proven track record of delivering high-quality GIS enabled solutions on the ArcGIS software platform is important to Esri and our users. We are very pleased to expand our relationship with them."
"Symology has chosen the powerful Esri technology as the best foundation for its GIS-centric Highway Asset Management and Street Works solutions, the most comprehensive solutions on the market/em>," said Mike Bartlett – Managing Director. "Our market leading product range is seamlessly integrated with Esri’s ArcGIS software, providing our customers with a comprehensive, easy-to-use, true GIS-centric solution for all their needs. We are excited by the opportunity to engage with the Esri Partner Network at the Gold Tier level, and look forward to continuing to team with Esri in providing our mutual customers with superior technology crucial to their everyday work."
Symology is the UK’s leading provider of integrated Highway Asset Management and Street Works Management solutions. Symology’s software and professional services are designed to meet the needs of Local and Central Government, Utilities, Construction and Engineering organisations. Its clients include some of the largest UK Highway Authorities, and many of the foremost Utility companies throughout the UK. With unparalleled expertise and offices throughout the UK, Symology’s best-in-class product lines empower thousands of users to plan, coordinate, manage, protect, operate and sustain highly efficient highway networks and associated assets, and provide an enduring platform for customer success. For more information, call Symology on 01582 842626, or visit www.symology.co.uk.
About Esri UK
Esri UK is the leading provider of geographic information system (GIS) technology, helping businesses become more profitable and public service more efficient through a better understanding and analysis of location-based information. Esri UK offers an extensive range of GIS technology and professional services and is the only company in the UK providing a complete and entirely integrated GIS solution.
Esri UK has been providing GIS solutions for over 20 years to a wide range of markets including Central & Local Government, Commercial, Defence & National Security, Education, Public Safety, Utilities & Telecommunications, as well as catering for system integrators and application developers through the Esri Developer Network.
Customers include Birmingham City Council, Defra, the Environment Agency, Metropolitan Police Service, Ministry of Defence, Ordnance Survey, RSA Group, Scottish Power and The Crown Estate.
Esri UK is part of the Esri global business network with more than 300,000 customers in 150 countries worldwide. Esri technology runs on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, providing the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis.
Esri UK helps organisations to think and plan geographically in order to make better decisions, keep communities safe and create a more sustainable world. It’s what we call Visionary Thinking. For more information, visit www.esriuk.com
Northern Ireland Electricity chooses Symology for Excavation and Reinstatement Contract Management System
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is pleased to announce that Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) recently selected its Insight software solution for the provision of a spatially enabled fully comprehensive Contract Management System.
The solution is being provided as a Managed Service. NIE simply logs into a secure web area and then launches and uses the system. Symology's 'Insight Online' Managed Service enables all the technical overheads and workload, associated with traditional functions relating to database management, upgrades, new installations and re-installations, to be avoided by NIE. Symology hosts the application software and manages all server-side functions.
The solution provided by Symology will initially address:
- Management of 5 excavation and reinstatement contracts and contractors across the whole of Northern Ireland
- A number of major business areas such as, Customer Connections, Fault and Emergency, Plant Projects, Repairs and Maintenance
- Forwarding of all registerable activities onto the central Northern Ireland Street Works system
- Integration with local Job Management, Finance and GIS implementations
- Sophisticated access control mechanisms to allow contractors to log on to the central system to access and maintain their own jobs
- Mobile Working for contract monitors
- Full Reporting Facilities
- Embedded GIS facilities across all of the above functions
Ruadhrai O'Kane, Northern Ireland Electricity's Excavation and Reinstatement Contract Manager commented, "We had already gained confidence in Symology as a company during the successful implementation of the centralised Northern Ireland Street Works system. What impressed us was the overall design of the Insight system which meant it was an elegant fit to our overall IT architecture. Symology was also willing to listen and understand our business processes, and provide analysis and guidance regarding the best method of implementation."
Ruadhrai continues: "Historically, NIE has operated using a paper-based approach within the Excavation and Reinstatement Contract, which involved manually issuing work packs and receiving paper invoices. Monitoring the contracts was achieved by updating a series of disparate spreadsheets. With the new system we hope to save considerable time manually keying in data and significantly reduce the amount of paper we use. Furthermore the alerting and reporting facilities will allow us to carefully monitor our expenditure and more easily track defects and remedial activities."
Mike Bartlett, Managing Director of Symology added, "Over the last few years a considerable amount of design and development effort has gone into Insight's new embedded Works Management system, and in ensuring that it integrates seamlessly with Street Works requirements across the whole of the UK. Implementing this project really demonstrates the capability of the system and its ability to provide a mature solution to Utility Works Management requirements. We're very pleased to see NIE's success in streamlining its business processes. NIE's cohesive vision for its operational requirements is exactly what Symology's Insight system is designed to enable, and it is great to see Insight delivering efficiency improvements for this customer."
ScottishPower - Roadworks with Insight On-line
ScottishPower discuss the benefits of using Symology’s Insight On-line Managed Service for the management of Street/Road Works.
Conwy & Denbighshire - The UK's First Cross-County Highways and Infrastructure Collaboration Solution
Early in 2008, both Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) and Denbighshire County Council (DCC) had a vacancy for Head of Service for their Highways and Infrastructure Departments.
The two councils decided on an innovative, collaborative approach that led to the appointment of a joint Head of Highways and Infrastructure in February 2009, the establishment of a joint cross county team, and the extension of the Symology Insight System, already in place in Conwy, to incorporate both counties requirements.
Solihull wins Innovation Award using Insight Mobile
Symology is delighted to learn that Solihull MBC has been awarded the 2010 Telecoms Innovation Award through their use of Insight Mobile.
Solihull is harnessing the power of mobile technology to improve service levels and change the way that inspectors carry out their roles. The solution enables users of standard Microsoft Windows mobile devices to interact remotely with a central system. Network inspectors are therefore free to spend much more time in the field carrying out inspections, which improves the timeliness and quality of the information collected.
Solihull MBC Inspectors can log the coordinates of defects on a graphical map interface, take photographs, perform risk assessments, raise works orders, update customer service requests and complete a range of different types of inspections and condition surveys. All the data becomes available in the central system in near real time. It also integrates fully with Symology's Street Works module, ensuring full compliance with the Traffic Management Act.
Launched in January 2009, with the mapping functionality added in August, the technical project started back in May 2008. Training was provided jointly by Solihull and the technology provider Symology, with a training video produced and made available on inspectors' office desktops. The council plans to put the video on the hand-held devices themselves, so if an inspector in the field is unsure about something, they can just play the video.
The five-year view is to move away from PDAs to the emerging breed of small laptops where, using the same infrastructure, the inspectors will have much more functionality.
Judges comments: "An innovative mobile application that has the potential to deliver huge benefits both for council inspectors and for the environment of residents."
A full Case Study on Solhull is available here
Symology awarded new Scottish Road Works Register contract
The contract for providing the Scottish Road Works Register service for the next five years has been awarded to Symology Ltd. The scope includes a fully hosted service for the national centralised Road Works Register, including electronic notification and integrated digital mapping. Plant Information Requests and a “Dial before you Dig” service are also included.
The contract includes options to extend the service both to allow exchanges of data in real time between SRWR and individual works management systems and to provide a centralised electronic records service for all underground apparatus. The overall service will be backed up with a comprehensive range of maintenance, support, help-desk and training services.
The decision was made following a detailed evaluation of the bids submitted by six short-listed organisations, based on determining the offering that provided a comprehensive, quality solution on the most economically advantageous terms.
John Gooday, in his role as Scottish Road Works Commissioner, is the “Keeper of the SRWR”. He commented “Following a rigorous procurement process, I am pleased to confirm that Symology will be the provider of our new SRWR service. This is not ‘business as usual’ as the contract contains a number of additional enhancements over the current service with the option to add other innovative services, particularly the possibility of centralised access to electronic underground apparatus records. The Scottish road works community has worked very closely with Symology in developing the current service and I am sure that they will continue to do so and keep SRWR at the leading edge of such systems worldwide.”
Susiephone Ltd is responsible for arranging the provision of the SRWR on behalf of the Commissioner. Brian Cooper, Chairman, explained “The Directors are proud to be involved with the ongoing provision of the SRWR by enabling the contract re-tendering process. The continuation of the SRWR service with the enhancements included in the new contract specification will significantly benefit not only the user community but other organisations and the travelling public as well.”
Ken Hickson, Chairman of Symology Ltd, added “We are delighted to retain the Scottish Road Works Register contract for another term, and view this as an endorsement of the hard work we have done over the last five years to establish the Register to its current level of functionality. This has only been possible because of the excellent partnership relationship that has been established with the Scottish community. We are determined to build further on this and continue the incremental improvement process, to ensure that the SRWR retains its position as the most advanced system of its kind”.
Insight enables Rotherham MBC to Secure an Extra £5m Funding
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is projecting long-term efficiency savings after allocating an extra five million pounds of funding to its A-road network. The action was taken thanks to the condition projection and budget modelling features within Symology’s Insight for Pavement Management solution.
Insight for Pavement Management is a fully integrated solution that can create projections of future road conditions, depending on levels of proposed funding, and present them as easy to understand, colour-coded maps. All the complex underlying data is shown as a simple street-plan, with roads marked red, amber or green, depending on whether they will be in a critical state, need moderate attention or still be in good condition, after a set period of time and with a given budget.
Rotherham has invested in Insight for Pavement Management and the result is a validated increase in allocated budgets.
Mike Bartlett appointed as Managing Director of Symology
Mike Bartlett has been appointed the new Managing Director of Symology Ltd. Mike, who has been employed by Symology since 1993, has taken over the role from Ken Hickson - the company's co-founder and majority shareholder.
In preparation for taking on the role, Mike has been operating as Managing Director Designate for the last 18 months. His role previous to that was Chief Solutions Architect, which he carried out for over 10 years. Ken has moved into the role of Company Chairman.
Ken Hickson made the announcement at the Company’s AGM, saying: "I am delighted that Mike has taken on this role and I have absolutely no doubt that he will be an unqualified success. Ten years of planning have gone into building a management team to take Symology into the future. Mike has the trust and support of that team and all other Symology employees. As well as having the intellectual capability and business acumen required, I also know that the ethical policies on which the Company’s success has been built will endure with Mike at the helm."
Mike Bartlett said: "I am thrilled to be taking on this new role, especially at a time when we have such a strong financial base, a commitment to independence and a set of customers that are willing to talk to us and work with us, so we can solve the problems they are facing. I am particularly looking forward to the challenges ahead and adapting to the ever-changing legislative, technical and business requirements."
Integrated approach delivers efficiency savings to Tameside MBC
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council has achieved far reaching efficiency savings through the scale of their Symology infrastructure.
The Insight suite of asset management solutions is now used across all relevant business areas at the council, enabling full operational integration between all highways functions. The result is streamlined processes, improved customer service and a huge array of everyday economies of scale.
Symology Licences Module provides unique Street Works Efficiencies at Camden Council
Camden Council has reduced systems complexity and the potential for error within its highway operations by adopting Symology’s Insight Licences module.
A Symology customer since 1989, the council was already using Insight for Street Works and Highway Maintenance. Adopting the Licences module has created further efficiency savings by enabling faster processing of applications and ensuring the viability of every licence granted.
Symology Mobile Device Software Brings Multiple Efficiency SavingsTo Solihull MBC
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council anticipates significant end-of-year efficiency savings after making all of its network inspection teams fully mobile. Leading the way with mobile devices, the council is showcasing the power of the technology and its capacity to revolutionise the role of inspectors, and thus improve service levels. This has been made possible through Symology’s Insight Mobile solution.
West Sussex choose Symology for TMA and Gazetteer Maintenance
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management systems, is pleased to announce that West Sussex County Council recently selected its Insight software solution for the provision of a spatially enabled fully comprehensive Street Works and Gazetteer Management System.
The solution provided by Symology for West Sussex addresses:
- Street Works Management
- Gazetteer Maintenance
- Mobile Working
- Full Reporting Facilities
- Embedded GIS facilities across all of the above functions
The Insight system has already been implemented and is in live operation - ensuring that the County Council fully comply with the latest EToN 5 requirements.
Insight handles the electronic sending and receiving of Street Works Notices and Inspection Results. Upon electronic receipt, notices are recorded in the system and automatically plotted onto the embedded GIS facilities. Whilst works are being plotted spatial coordination checks are carried out by the system and any potential conflicts are automatically flagged for the Traffic Managers attention.
The systems sophisticated embedded mapping facilities based on ESRI technology are fully integrated with the Council's corporate spatial database - allowing easy access of Insight data throughout other departments of the Council and the Council's own website. West Sussex is also utilising Symology's Gazetteer Maintenance solution to manage and maintain its Level 3 Local Street Gazetteer. These tools include the ability to import OS MasterMap ITN data, match it against the LSG and then utilise the spatial data element for LSG Maintenance purposes.
Insight also provides comprehensive reporting and invoicing capabilities, including full functionality to manage and invoice Fixed Penalty Notices.
Symology's Insight Mobile software, which fully integrates with the main Insight system using web services, is also being used by West Sussex to carry out statutory Street Works inspections. The Insight Mobile software has been deployed on Trimble Juno devices allowing the full capabilities of the software to be utilised, including mobile mapping facilities, integrated GPS, an inbuilt 3 mega-pixel digital camera for taking photographs, and live in-the-field updating using 3G communications.
West Sussex's Street Works Team Leader - Roger Howard commented "Symology's selection was as a direct result of the confidence we gained in the company during the procurement process. What really stood out was Symology's detailed level of understanding of Street Works legislation, the impact of the legislation on Authorities and Utilities alike, backed by a fully comprehensive product in "Insight", which mirrored the obvious high level of expertise. We are delighted that our initial confidence was well founded, the implementation of the system was carried out smoothly and we now have a Street Works Management system in place which enables us to carry out our duties under the TMA more effectively."
Symology's Business Development Manager - Mr John Allison said "We are delighted to welcome West Sussex County Council on board, joining our ever expanding base of customers. Symology's reputation for providing the UK's most widely used and highest quality Street Works solution is matched only by our experience in delivering projects smoothly, within budget, and on time. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with our friends at West Sussex, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership supporting their business operations."
Symology awarded 2009 ESRI Partner of the Year Award
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of spatially enabled Street Works Systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management Systems, is delighted to announce that it has been awarded the prestigious 2009 UK Business Partner of the Year Award by ESRI.
The award was presented to Symology's Sales & Marketing Manager - Scott Hutchinson at the ESRI Worldwide Business Partner Conference in Palm Springs, California, in March 2009. The award recognises Symology's achievements in developing 'best-in-class' spatially enabled Street Works and Highway Asset Management Solutions, delivering excellent customer service to it's clients, and also delivering impressive business growth.
"This award, Symology's second in consecutive years, is a testament to the success of our partnership with ESRI and our utilisation of their ArcGIS product suite" says Scott Hutchinson. "The award validates Symology's credentials as the leading supplier in it's field. Combined Symology and ESRI technology allows our clients to access and share all Highway related information in a real-time multi-user environment across the enterprise, enabling better, more informed business decisions to be made.
We are excited by the direction ESRI is continuing to take with ArcGIS, and we are committed to utilising future advances in the product suite in order to provide our clients with faster and more sophisticated ways to manage assets, coordinate works and integrate their data for optimal decision-making."
One recent example of the Symology/ESRI partnership in action has been the adoption by North Yorkshire County Council of Symology’s Insight software solution for the provision of a spatially enabled integrated Highway Asset Management System. The solution is being provided as a Managed Service, with Symology hosting the application software and managing all server-side functions. North Yorkshire's end-users simply launch a website to log into a secure area and then launch and use the system. Symology's 'Insight Online' Managed Service enables all the technical overheads and workload, associated with traditional functions relating to database management, upgrades, new installations and re-installations, to be avoided by North Yorkshire County Council.
Mark Hodgson, Partners & Alliances Manager, ESRI (UK) commented ‘We are delighted that Symology has been named the UK Business Partner of the year – a real achievement considering the stiff competition they are up against. This award reflects the excellent standards Symology set both in their solution delivery and their customer support, and is testament both to the strength of our partnership and commitment to offer best in class spatial technology solutions."
North Yorkshire choose Symology for TMA & Asset Management
Symology, the UK's leading supplier of Street Works systems and a leading supplier of Highway Asset Management system, is pleased to announce that North Yorkshire County Council has selected its Insight software solution for the provision of a spatially enabled integrated Highway Asset Management System.
The solution is being provided as a Managed Service. North Yorkshire's end-users simply launch a website to log into a secure area and then launch and use the system. Symology's 'Insight Online' Managed Service enables all the technical overheads and workload, associated with traditional functions relating to database management, upgrades, new installations and re-installations, to be avoided by North Yorkshire County Council. Symology host the application software and manage all server-side functions.
The solution provided by Symology for North Yorkshire will initially address:
- Customer Services (including integration with corporate Lagan CRM system)
- Street Works
- Highways Maintenance
- Street Lighting & Traffic Signals
- Bridges and Structures
- Asset Management and Asset Valuation
- Network Maintenance
- Gazetteer and ASD Maintenance
- Integrated GIS across all of the above functions
Insight's Street Works module has already been implemented and has ensured that the County complied with both EToN 4 and EToN 5. A conversion of all Street Works data held in the previous Street Works system has also been carried out and successfully implemented. Gazetteer and ASD Maintenance has also been implemented.
All other business areas are in the process of being implemented, with the aim of going live in the coming months.
'In this era of Asset and Traffic Management we recognised the importance of establishing an integrated system to manage all Highway based assets, co-ordinate both Utility and Highway Authority works, manage customer service issues, and help streamline our business processes' says Doug Huzzard, Highways Asset Manager at North Yorkshire County Council.'
Doug Huzzard continues: 'Historically, we have operated a range of different systems, each unable to talk to the other, which, whilst still effectively serving the purpose, became increasingly inefficient in the face of such issues as TMA Legislation, NSG Requirements, Asset Management and Asset Valuation guidance documents, Well Lit Highways guidance, Bridges/Structures guidance and UKPMS requirements. With Symology, we expect to run a seamless and highly efficient asset management operation across the county, delivering on current and future traffic and asset management directives and ultimately more effectively serving the people of North Yorkshire.'
'Symology's Insight solution provides North Yorkshire County Council with specialised detailed functionality in each specific business area, whilst at the same time providing all the benefits of fully integrated spatially enabled system,' comments Scott Hutchinson, Symology's Sales & Marketing Manager.
'We are delighted to have been selected by North Yorkshire County Council and have already established an excelling working relationship. We are confident that North Yorkshire will reap the rewards of its investment.'
North Yorkshire County Council selected Symology following an EU wide tendering process. Its ultimate selection was based on Symology's proven ability and reputation for delivering on its promises.
Symology awarded Northern Ireland centralised Street Works System
Symology is pleased to announce that the Northern Ireland Department for Regional Development (DRD) Roads Service, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Road Authorities and Utilities Committee (NIRAUC), has awarded a 5 year contract to Symology for the provision of a central Street Works Register system.
The Register is the focal point for planning and coordination of all road works that are carried out on all roads in Northern Ireland.
Symology's Insight software will convert existing data and provide a single full NSG Level 3 compliant Gazetteer. Comprehensive user training covering a wide scope of services to the DRD and Utilities are also being provided to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.
The Northern Ireland Street Works Code of Practice is similar to the England and Wales Codes, but with some significant variations. Early in the life of the project a new Code of Practice will be introduced closely following the English Traffic Management Act and New Code of Practice.
The Insight Street Works Register is already capable of handling all of the England/Wales and Scottish variants, in one database. The Northern Ireland rules are likely to be based on the England/Wales standards, with possible minor variations.
This system will be delivered using the same method of operation currently in place for the Scottish Road Works Register, with a single Insight system used by all of the Utilities and the Roads Service, hosted by Symology in a secure data centre. Users access the system through an internet connection.
The key facilities provided by the system include:
- Map-based Level III Street Gazetteer for all of Northern Ireland
- Utility Street Works Notifications
- Geo-coding of Utility and Roads Authority works
- Map-based co-ordination of all activities
- Automated Conflict Detection
- Roads Service Responses and Directions
- Registration of the Roads Service Own Road Works
- Reinstatements and Inspections
- Damage Records
- Management Prompting and Reporting
Symology's Managing Director Ken Hickson commented, "The award of this major contract cements Symology's position as the UK's leading supplier of Street Works Register Systems. I look forward to establishing a relationship between Symology staff and the Northern Ireland Street Works Community based on openness and trust, in the same way as we do with all of our customers."
Utility Industry Team of the Year Award
At the prestigious “Utility Industry Achievement Awards”, National Grid was selected for the “Team of the Year” award. This was based on the highly successful TMA (Traffic Management Act) implementation project, which involved Symology as a major partner.
“The Team” collecting the award - in addition to National Grid staff, this included Ken Hickson of Symology (far right, back row) and Sharada Sistla of Wipro (second left, back row)
National Grid’s achievement in mobilising the largest utility organisation in the UK to be one of the few that were completely ready for the TMA implementation on time, was remarkable, and fully justified the award. Symology supplied the TMA software, including facilities for real-time integration with the National Grid works management systems, and provided consultancy advice and support throughout the project.
Rory Bremner presented the awards
The on-time implementation was made possible by Symology providing beta versions of the TMA software in early January, and having a full software implementation available during February and March. This enabled the development of a works management interface, and the appropriate training and implementation programme to take place before the 1 April implementation date.
The award was presented by Rory Bremner, who seemed a little surprised by the number of people collecting the award. This was representative of National Grid’s ethic of inclusive teamwork, which had helped generate the remarkable success of the project. Ian Hucker, National Grid Project Manager, had made substantial efforts on team-building during the project, and the value of this was highlighted for all to see.
Ken Hickson commented “It was a perfect example of how projects ought to operate. In addition to the high levels of capability of those involved and good proactive management, there was total commitment and trust on all sides. This guaranteed the success of the project, and there is no doubt it merited the award.”
Ian Hucker and Ken Hickson with the award
The case study “TMA-Meeting the Deadline” explains how the collaborative approach enabled National Grid to achieve this success, and provided benefits for the whole Street Works community.
TMA - Meeting the Deadline
How a collaborative approach to working eased the transition to EToN 4 for National Grid, and provided benefits for the whole Street Works community.
Symology welcomes Three Valleys Water Plc
Symology is pleased to welcome Three Valleys Water as new customers. The water company purchased Insight Street Works Register and the Insight Universal Interface for automated Works Notice creation and update directly from their Works Management System.
The Insight solution was installed early in January 2008, complete with a history of Works records since 2003. The new version of Insight was delivered at the end of February, providing full TMA and New Code of Practice compliance, enabling the company to be in a position go live during March in time to meet the new requirements on 1 April.
ES Pipelines Ltd choose Symology for TMA
ES Pipelines Ltd, who provide residential and business customers throughout Britain access to mains natural gas, has become Symology’s latest customer using the fully managed “Pay-per-Works” system. This service is aimed at organisations that have a limited number of Street Works operations each year.
The fully managed service provides subscribers with the ability to record and monitor the progress of works, with full 2-way transmission of all EToN Notices, Comments and Inspections. The powerful, built-in exception reporting tools help minimise the costs that can occur with possible Section 74 Overstay charges. With the introduction of Fixed Penalty Charges for any incorrect or late notices, this service can significantly reduce the potential liability resulting from errors that can easily occur with a manual system. The service provides full compliance with the new Street Works Code of Practice, TMA and the new Web Services based data interchange.
Peter Peart, Operations Engineer at ES Pipelines, comments "We do a relatively small number of works each year in England & Wales and could not justify the cost of purchasing and administering a Street Works System ourselves. This managed service provides us with a cost effective and fully compliant Street Works solution, at a reasonable cost but without the hassle of system administration, or worries about changes to the Code of Practice. We are already using Insight in Scotland so it made sense to use the same system in England & Wales. It is clear that Symology’s staff have in-depth knowledge of Street Works legislation and understand our business processes".
John Allison, Business Development Manager at Symology, said "We are delighted to welcome ES Pipelines to the ever increasing number of Symology customers. Our 'Pay-per-Works' Managed Service provides the perfect solution for organisations that only carry out a small number of works per year. The fact that we are able to demonstrate a fully comprehensive TMA system, and offer an assured implementation path to meet the requirements on time is testament to the extensive development that Symology has carried out over the last two years."
Southend-on-Sea choose Symology for TMA & Asset Management
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has purchased almost all of the Integrated Asset Management modules to build a full management system. Insight was installed in early January, starting with Street Works. The Street Works Notice files received from the utilities since April 2007 were back loaded, using a mechanism to ensure they were imported in the correct sequence, giving the council a flying start. By the start of the new financial year it is planned to have Cyclic Inspections in place to allow Inspectors to carry out Highway Inspections, record any defects and progress these into Works Orders, which in turn will be registered in the Street Works Register. More importantly it enables the Inspector to record “No Defects Found” recording the fact that inspection was carried out. Whatever the outcome of the inspection, the next inspection is automatically prompted in accordance with the Inspection Cycle. Further plans to integrate with the corporate Customer Call Centre, introduce Mobile Devices and build a full Highway Asset Register will follow shortly.
"Insight replaces a locally produced Street Works system that was labour intensive" said Martin Osborne at Southend-on-Sea, "We have already benefited from the automated import of Notices and the extensive exception reporting built in to the application to manage Street Works in the Borough and we will be able to discharge our Network Management Duties more effectively. We are confident that Symology will deliver a system that is fully compliant with the TMA and New Code of Practice, in time for us to be ready for the 1st April 2008.
"We are already looking into introducing Insight into other areas of the Council’s operations and discussing how we can introduce other modules, such as the integrated GIS, and the full UKPMS condition survey analysis and needs based budgeting".
Portsmouth Water Ltd choose Symology for the TMA
Portsmouth Water Ltd has purchased the Insight Street Works Register, strengthening the position of Insight Street Works in the Water Industry. The system was installed in December 2007 and included embedded GIS utilising their existing corporate GIS facility with ESRI’s ArcGIS products. This new system replaces the Street Works noticing that had been embedded in Portsmouth Water’s Works Management System (WMS). Portsmouth Water staff are now making changes to their WMS to output records using the Insight Universal Interface in a batch process to create and update Street Works Records.
Pauline Mousley, IT Services Manager for Portsmouth Water, led the project to evaluate the Street Works systems from various suppliers and commented "We were impressed with the way Symology's Street Works system operated and the provision of a fully documented Universal Interface will significantly reduce the development of the link with our Works Management System. We received very positive feedback from the Insight Customers we contacted, even those Symology had not suggested. We are confident that Symology will deliver a system that fully complies with the TMA in time".
Symology - Leading the Way on TMA
Symology has delivered the first TMA system. A beta version of Insight 2.5, with comprehensive coverage of the entire Street Works noticing life-cycle, was delivered to the first customers on 10 January.
National Grid is spearheading a trial exercise on TMA noticing, as part of a collaborative arrangement with Symology. NG is leading a team, which also includes Wales & West Utilities, United Utilities and Fulcrum Connections. Initially the testing team will be interchanging notices, using the new web services protocols, with Symology’s own managed service test site. At the end of January, London Borough of Camden will be joining the exercise, and interchanging notices directly with National Grid.
Thames Water has also been provided with the same software version. Like the other utilities, they will be using the system both for trial running and for testing interfaces that have been developed with their Works Management systems.
The close relationships that have been established for these exercises will help to ensure that the Insight 2.5 product, which is set for general release to all Symology customers from 18 February, will have been fully validated in simulated “real-life” environments.
Les Guest (Street Works Policy Manager at National Grid, and Director of NJUG) says "National Grid always aims to be at the forefront in implementing systems to ensure compliance with legislation. Given the almost impossible timescales for introduction of TMA, we are delighted that we are able to start noticing trials in co-operation with Symology at this early stage".
Scott Hutchinson, Symology’s Marketing Manager, commented "Symology's leading position is because of considerable investment over the last three years in a complete re-design of the noticing software to fully meet the demands of the TMA era. When the EToN Technical Specification was finally approved in November, the Insight TMA system was ready and waiting for the finalised noticing formats to be slotted in. Potential customers immediately recognise that we are providing the most comprehensive solution; way in advance of systems that simply provide the basics of noticing compliance. This is why we have seen an increasing number of new customers switch to Symology's Insight system."
Real-time roadworks information for the whole of Scotland
A new website has been launched (developed by Symology on behalf of the Scottish Executive) to allow the public to see where roadworks are taking place across the Lothians and Scotland.
The website - http://www.roadworksscotland.org - provides the public with real-time road works information in both textual and map-based forms for the whole of Scotland.
Scottish Road Works Commissioner John Gooday, said: "This site will, at the click of a mouse, allow the public to find out how long they are planned to last, what their impact is likely to be, the organisation responsible for the works and their contact details.
Roadworks often come in for a bad press, but the reality is that they are a necessary fact of life if we wish to have well-maintained, safe road networks and to continue to enjoy essential services such as gas, water and electricity and telecommunications."
The Google Maps based mapping system reads data directly from the ESRI ArcSDE spatial database that is used for the full Scottish Road Works Register System which Symology also provide - for further information see - Helping Avoid Disruption.
Symology Launches Street Works "Pay-per-Works" Service
Symology is pleased to announce the launch of the UK´s first fully managed web-based Street Works "Pay-per-Works" service in England and Wales. This service is aimed at organisations that have a limited number of Street Works operations each year and cannot justify the purchase and management of their own system.
The fully managed service provides subscribers with the ability to record and monitor the progress of works, with full 2-way FTP transmission of all EToN Notices, Comments and Inspections. The powerful, built-in exception reporting tools help minimise the costs that can occur with possible Section 74 Overstay charges, and eliminate charges imposed by Highway Authorities for sending "paper notices". With the expected introduction of Fixed Penalty Charges for any incorrect or late notices, this service can significantly reduce the potential liability resulting from errors that can easily occur with a manual system.
John Allison, Business Development Manager at Symology said: "We designed the service model to be straightforward for subscribers to work out their costs in advance. We provide the subscribers with the full Insight Street Works Register system, including the ability to define their own report layouts and download the results to their own PC, as well as emailing a report to any destination. The users have full access to the Symology Support Desk for day-to-day queries and advice. All upgrades to the system, including the new features required for the Traffic Management Act and New Codes of Practice, are provided at no extra charge, in line with our policy for all of our customers."
"The first subscriber of this service went live on the 2nd of July 2007. Envoy provides gas and electricity operations and maintenance services to independent utility asset owners. With over 450,000 metering assets, Envoy is the market leader in this very competitive sector. As a dynamic business that is growing fast, the success of Envoy had resulted in the need to develop an effective and robust system for managing projects that involve street works."
Tracy Jones, Network Asset Manager, Envoy: "In Scotland the group are members of the Susiephone community, which uses the central Insight register to record and monitor all Road Works in a service provided and managed by Symology. For our growing operation in England and Wales we needed a cost effective solution that will provide the full facility of a Street Works system and enable us to deliver the best possible service, both to our customers and the general public. Symology’s "Pay-per-Works" service fits the bill perfectly; it has all the features we were looking for plus a proven track record in Scotland. A single course at Symology’s offices fulfilled our training needs, and we can see a clear growth path for the service as our business expands."
Scotia Gas Networks go live with Insight
Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) has recently gone "live" with the UK´s most successful and widely used Street Works Register Solution - Symology's Insight system.
SGN acquired the Scotland and South of England gas networks from National Grid Gas in June 2005. They are now the company responsible for distributing gas to homes and businesses in Southern England, including South London, as well as the whole of Scotland. The SGN network comprises of approximately 73,000km of gas pipelines.
The implementation of the Insight system at SGN was complex. All of the Street Works data for the SGN regions, which was stored in the UK wide National Grid Gas Street Works System (also managed using Symology´s Insight system), was required to be extracted and converted to the latest release of Insight. In addition, real-time bi-directional XML/SOAP interfaces were required to be developed between Insight and SGN´s Maximo Works/Asset Management System.
The Insight system automatically sends all notices to English Highway Authorities, as well as to the Scottish Road Works Register. Insight is able to do this because it supports multiple simultaneous Codes of Practice.
Symology worked closely in partnership with SGN (and their outsourced IT provider - Tata Consultancy Services), and the project that commenced in late 2005 was successfully completed when the system went "Live" on-schedule in December 2006.
Mr Chris Semple of Scotia Gas Networks said "The introduction of a new street works management system, combined with the introduction of a new work asset management system, was always going to be a challenge given the implementation timescales. However, with the support of Symology and a good working relationship with our IT solution provider - Tata Consultancy Services, the implementation of Insight 2.3 successfully went live on schedule. The business looks forward to maintaining a good relationship with Symology, to ensure we get the most from their application, thus ensuring the business can maintain a good relationship with the different road authorities and respond to any new regulatory changes as efficiently as possible."
Symology´s Managing Director - Ken Hickson added "The successful completion of this implementation now means that the entire UK gas industry is based on using Symology´s Insight product for Street Works operations. This is the sixth Insight Street Works project that has been implemented smoothly, within budget, and on time in the last twelve months, all of a high-profile and complex nature. Both Symology and Scotia Gas Networks can be proud of the achievement. We are totally committed to retaining the excellent working relationship that has been forged with SGN, and helping to meet the challenges of the impending Traffic Management era."
Symology NSG Users win National Awards
Intelligent Addressing has announced the winners of the 2006 NLPG and NSG Exemplar Awards. The Awards, which attracted a record 53 entries, recognise outstanding service delivery by local authorities using the National Land & Property Gazetteer (NLPG) and National Street Gazetteer (NSG), and are supported by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA).
The Awards Presentation took place at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Manchester on Tuesday 10th October 2006. A workshop was staged immediately prior to the event to share best practice allowing senior members of staff to hear how the NLPG and NSG are delivering real, demonstrable benefits to both local and central government. A key part of the workshop included a presentation of an independent report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research into the value of the efficiency savings offered by LLPGs and how they can help local authorities meet public sector efficiency targets under the Gershon Review as well as their obligations under Transformational Government.
Symology is pleased to announce that two of its customers who use Insight for NSG Management won awards.
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council were highly commended for their "Best Use of the NSG with partners".
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council won the award "Most Creative Use" of the NSG.
The photograph to the left shows Sandwell's Simon Gelenscer and David Crisp receiving their award.
Symology launch Asset Valuation software
In line with the recommendations in the document "Highway Infrastructure Asset Valuation Guide" produced by the County Surveyors Society (CSS) and the TAG Asset Management Working Group, Symology has launched a new Asset Valuation module.
With Benchmark Asset Valuations being recommended for submission by the end of this financial year, to support Asset Management and Whole of Government Accounts, this new module provides all the facilities necessary to meet these requirements.
The new facilities allow multiple Valuation Sets to be defined. Each Valuation Set comprises the Highway Infrastructure Asset Type e.g. Roads, Footway/Cycle Routes, Highways Lighting etc., and allows these to be divided into Asset Groups and Sub-Groups so that Unit Rates and Gross Replacement Cost (GRC) models can be defined.
Extensive selection criteria facilities are provided (in advance of the CSS guidelines), which allow the user to select Asset Details, Attributes, Street Gazetteer or Network Referencing data that are to be used in the valuation calculations.
The highly scalable facilities allow the user to adopt the approach that they wish to use, be it a very broad high level approach or at the other end of the scale users may wish to define values for very specific sub-sets of data. Whichever approach is required, the facilities provide the flexibility to accommodate the methods chosen.
Once an Asset Valuation process has been run, the valuation results are presented on screen in summarised form with further options to drill-down on each line to reveal the valuation of each individual asset.
A detailed audit report is also provided in order that the valuation results are able to be submitted in a fully auditable and transparent manner.
Northern Gas Networks Ltd go live with Insight
Northern Gas Networks Ltd (NGN) went live in August 2006 with the UK's most successful and widely used Street Works Register Solution - Symology's Insight system.
NGN took over the north of England Gas Network from National Grid Gas in June 2005. They are now the company responsible for distributing gas to homes and businesses in West, East & North Yorkshire, the North East and northern Cumbria. The NGN network comprises of 36,000km of gas pipes, that's enough to travel from Leeds to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
The implementation of the NGN system was complex. All of the Street Works data for the NGN region, that was stored in the UK wide National Grid Gas Street Works System (also managed using Symology's Insight system), was required to be extracted and converted to the latest release of Insight. In addition, two real-time bi-directional XML/SOAP interfaces were required to be developed. One between Insight and NGN's SAP Works/Asset Management System, and the other between a separate Insight database (that is to be used for the connections side of NGN's business) and AMT Sybex's Ellipse system.
Symology worked closely in partnership with NGN (and their outsourced IT provider - Wipro), and the project that commenced in August 2005 was successfully completed when the system went "Live" on-schedule in August 2006.
Symology's Managing Director - Ken Hickson said "I am delighted to welcome NGN on board, joining our ever expanding base of Utility sector clients. Symology's reputation for providing the highest quality Street Works solution is matched only by our experience in delivering high-profile complex projects smoothly, within budget, and on time. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with NGN, and I look forward to a long and successful partnership supporting their business operations."
Mr Steve Thomas (Network Support Manager) of Northern Gas Networks Ltd said "What has impressed us about Symology is their breadth of knowledge and expertise both from a business perspective and in their understanding of the complex IT issues involved in this project. Overall NGN needed to get the new business up and running by migrating data and business processes from thirty seven old National Grid systems onto seven new systems of our own. To implement these systems and successfully integrate Insight with SAP and AMT Sybex was a huge challenge. The migration of the existing data and the launch of Insight 2.3 has been a great success. With the Insight system in place and further regulatory change around the corner (in the form of the forthcoming new Codes of Practice) we are confident, that in Symology, we have the ideal partner to allow us to approach these future changes with confidence."
Wales & West Utilities go live with Insight
Wales & West Utilities Limited (WWU), formerly part of National Grid Gas, went live in June 2006 with the UK´s most successful and widely used Street Works Register Solution - Symology´s Insight system.
WWU is a regulated gas distribution business with around 34,000 km of gas distribution pipelines located in Wales and the South West of England, serving a catchment area with a population of 7.4 million people.
The implementation of the WWU system was relatively complex. All of the Street Works data for the Wales and West region, that was stored in the UK wide National Grid Gas Street Works System (also managed using Symology´s Insight system), was required to be extracted and converted to the latest release of Insight. In addition to this a bi-directional real-time XML/SOAP interface was required between Insight and WWU's SAP Works Management System.
Symology worked closely in partnership with WWU (and their outsourced IT provider - Wipro), and the project that commenced in August 2005 was successfully completed when the system went "Live" on-schedule in June 2006.
Symology´s Managing Director said "Switchover to the new system occurred smoothly, within budget, and on time. This is a tribute to all involved, and a reflection of the excellent working relationship which had been established. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with WWU, supporting their business operations."
Simon Trivella (Commercial Support Manager) of Wales & West Utilities Ltd said "to replace all our IT systems and successfully integrate them was always going to be a challenge, the migration of data and launch of Insight 2.3 has been a great success, Insight not only provides a solution for us to comply with our notification requirements but allows us to manage, monitor and report with greater visibility than we have ever had. With the new notification regime (TMA) coming in 2007 we hope that we can continue to work closely with Symology, build on our strong working relationship and be well prepared for the future."