Seriously Secure with ISO27001
Symology operate with a drive for constant improvement. this applies to everything. Whether it's our software, our services or our solutions, we never stop improving. With aurora now starting to go live across our utility and works promoters customer base, it felt like the perfect time to try and improve and test ourselves once again. With our previous ISO27001 accreditation coming to an end, we took the decision to select a new UKAS accredited auditing company to put us through our paces.
NQA are a global certification body with over 30 years of experience supporting a wide variety of organisations in over 100 countries around the world. Operating with a philosophy of "Never stop improving", Symology felt NQA's beliefs are closely aligned with our own.
Symology’s successful ISO27001 certification was confirmed last week by Malcolm Watson, Infrastructure and Security Manager, who had this to say, “Security is not something that you can just repeat doing the same things year on year. The challenges and threats that we face are constantly evolving and so we must do everything possible to stay ahead of the curve. At Symology, we felt that adopting an approach of "restarting" rather than "renewing" would give us the most accurate and truest assessment of our current corporate approach to security and I have to say I'm delighted with the extremely successful results.“
New Beginnings 2
Following last month's news item, entitled "New Beginnings", this month we continue with the same theme for slightly different reasons.
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that a new Company logo has started appearing in the public domain. We completed a rebranding exercise in time for our annual Symology Conference in June 2020, however launching this at the height of the pandemic seemed inappropriate. As we move into our "new normal" we felt that the launch of the two Aurora products this month provided a more appropriate opportunity.
Our new branding complements the Aurora branding, as we move into a new era of Asset Management and Street Works. To support this new dawn, we also have a brand new website dedicated to our Aurora solutions, aurora.symology.com, featuring articles, case studies and bitesize feature videos that will grow as Aurora continues to develop.
Whilst Aurora provides our community with an exciting new future, we continue to deliver Insight solutions for the majority of our customers. Our existing website, www.symology.co.uk, continues to provide access to our Development, Customer Services and Professional Services teams who are fully engaged in providing support for Insight.
September always feels like a new beginning and at Symology, this year more than most. With the development of Aurora continuing, more and more features are added, and later next month sees two versions being made available. The first will provide facilities for Street Works promotion and Phase One Asset Management. With a number of existing customers already pencilled in to take this version, the implementation team will be extremely busy ensuring the transition is smooth and painless.
The second, Aurora Lite, is aimed at supporting organisations using Street Manager directly by providing a wealth of features not accommodated by the DfT solution at a low cost. Aurora Lite bridges the gap between Street Manager and the additional obligations placed on Works Promoters in England delivering business process improvements in order to streamline operations, offering operational efficiency savings to maximise performance and minimise financial penalties.
Both solutions give us the opportunity to build on last year's Street Works UK Project of the Year award, which with no ceremonies being held last year due to coronavirus, has just arrived in the post.
Aurora's 1st Birthday
Symology has been providing the Scottish Road Works Register (SRWR) to the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner since 2006. Symology’s Insight solution has been used in the provision of this national system until July 2020, when their service was upgraded to Symology's brand new solution, Aurora. After a year of using Aurora, Iain Ross talks about the challenges faced in upgrading a national system and how the collaborative approach was key to its success.
Portsmouth Water switch to Symology's Managed Service
Symology has been providing online Managed Service solutions since 2006 and in the last twelve months, the number of customers migrating to these solutions has significantly increased. The benefits of customers being able to access their systems from any location via just a modern browser and an internet connection have become only too apparent during a global pandemic that has forced many to “work from home”. Whilst that seems to be the obvious driver for the switch, Symology’s online solutions offer so much more that just flexible access, as highlighted by Portsmouth Water’s Business Analyst, Quentin Gallagher when commenting on their migration earlier this year.
"Portsmouth Water have used Insight since 2008, when it replaced an in-house system following a selection process. Our solution was provided on a Hosted basis, until the combination of a loss of local expertise and the frequency of releases associated with Street Manager persuaded us to move to the Managed Service."
The introduction of Street Manager last July, during a period when organisations may have experienced a loss of resource and expertise, brought significant challenges. These were felt further by organisations with local solutions wanting to maintain a more specialised Street Works solution integrating with the Street Manager API, like Portsmouth Water. Terry Wood, Symology Account Manager, has worked closely with Quentin for a number of years,
"Cloud based systems are more popular than ever these days but for us, the service doesn’t end with just hosting the infrastructure. Our designated specialist Managed Service team is what sets our services apart, removing our customers' risk and responsibility in managing not only the infrastructure but the regular updates, including those from Street Manager which are all included. We were keen to work in partnership with Quentin and Portsmouth Water in finding the best solution to overcome their issues and unanimously felt that a migration to the Managed Service ticked all the boxes and more. Once Portsmouth agreed to the switch, the migration project moved quickly. As with any system implementation and migration, there are always significant concerns about downtime and unforeseen issues, but the experience of our projects team is vast and they are meticulous with their planning."
Words echoed by Quentin, “We are very happy with our decision. During the implementation the Symology project team were knowledgeable, flexible and responsive which reduced the effort required for project management. Implementation took place over a weekend with minimal downtime for system users.”
It seems Portsmouth Waters users have also been impressed with the switch, “Users have adapted quickly to the change, and our Network Administration Manager commented that she is ‘most impressed with the quickness of the system/transactions!’ This applied particularly to the response of mapping, where we also took the opportunity to review the layers and symbology that we use. Our in house Support Team have also been freed of most support duties for Insight.”
Terry added, “We have a great working partnership with Portsmouth Water and I’m personally delighted to see them reap the benefits of being consumers of the quality delivered by our Managed Service offering.”
Aurora wins ArcGIS Adoption 2021 award
Symology are delighted to be announced as the winners of the ArcGIS Adoption award at the 2021 Esri Partner Conference.
In March 2021, at the virtual annual Esri Partner Conference, Esri UK recognised Symology's adoption of Esri technologies in its latest development, Aurora. Symology was selected for the ArcGIS Adoption award, 1 of 26 awards presented, from 2,700 organisations worldwide.
Heather Fletcher, Head of Partners and Alliances at Esri UK commended Symology's adoption of ArcGIS focusing on the user benefits and efficiencies it delivers.
“Symology's Aurora project is a perfect demonstration of the power of the latest ArcGIS system, enabling our partners to deliver new ways of working. The cloud solution offers the flexibility users demand, while the map-driven user-interface is more intuitive, giving each user a high-end experience, letting them find and record assets and street works faster than before.”
Stuart Marshall, Symology’s Sales & Marketing Manager, sees the adoption of Esri technologies by Aurora as a key factor in its success.
“We see Aurora as the future of Highways management in the UK and we're proud to have been recognised for its total modernisation using Esri's cloud-based GIS. Creating an improved, future-proofed solution enables us to retain and expand on over 30 years of functionality, enhance our customer users' experiences and provide us with a platform upon which we can grow as a company.”
Insight passes latest UKPMS Annual Health Check
Symology's Insight system (v3.7.5) has satisfied the requirements for the 2020 Annual Health Check for UKPMS and this has been ratified by the Road Condition Management Group on behalf of the UK Roads Board.
Street Works UK Project Of The Year 2020
Symology are delighted to be announced as the winners of the Street Works UK, Project Of The Year award for Aurora becoming the brand new Scottish Road Works Register.
In July 2020, during a global pandemic, Symology implemented a National Street Works solution which saw Aurora become the new Scottish Road Works Register. Whilst a contractual requirement, this was the very first implementation of Symology’s Aurora solution and so carried with it significant pressure.
Iain Ross, SRWR Manager for the Scottish Road Works Commissioner, praises the efforts of both Symology and the SRWR users in the smooth implementation.
“The implementation of any new solution necessarily includes a number of unknowns for users, but we knew Symology had previous experience of executing national solutions and their team worked closely with the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner and RAUC(S) representatives to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”
A proud James Smith, one of Symology’s Product Managers heavily involved in the implementation, commented on both the timing and the success of the winning project, with a clear eye on the future of Aurora.
“I am immensely honoured that our Aurora project has been recognised with this award. Aurora for Scotland has been a mammoth collaboration between Symology, the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner, and the whole Scottish road works community. Under the dual pressures of a global pandemic and the launch of a national system in England, I am exceptionally proud that we delivered a comprehensive, feature-rich solution, specifically tailored to Scotland’s needs. I am excited to bring the benefits of Aurora to the rest of the UK.”
G-Cloud 12 Offers Fast Procurement Solutions
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 12, 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
Lee Turnbull, Business Development Consultant at Symology commented "In the current climate, it is more important than ever that we continue to be ever present on the G-Cloud procurement framework providing our customers with as many procurement options as possible. The Digital Marketplace not only reduces the time and resources needed to procure Symology's market leading solutions, but it has not been impeded by the pandemic in the way that the more traditional procurement routes have been. Short term contracts provide customers with both flexibility and committed performance driven service, whilst Symology's reassuring stability and consistent efficiencies mitigate the risks that often come with changing suppliers."
Coronavirus Update - We're back (we were never really away)!
Since the beginning of September, Symology staff have been returning to their offices in line with government guidelines. As a result, from 7th September, we are delighted to be able to reopen the telephone support service for our customers during the standard support hours. At the moment our staff are returning on a rota basis to ensure social distancing so we are not at full capacity. As such we’d request that you limit usage of telephone support for urgent issues or for follow-up discussions where a conversation is likely to be more effective. Customers can also continue to use email and the support portal and we would still recommend this approach for the majority of calls. The service is subject to change as we continue to carry out regular risk assessments of all our working practices, in line with government guidelines, looking at how best keep our employees and customers safe.
We would like to thank all our customers during this particularly challenging period and hope this is a step towards our normal service being resumed.
If you need Support, please call us on 01582 812444.
Coronavirus Update - Telephone Support Suspended
Following the Prime Minister's announcement last night, all Symology staff are now working from home. Our support hours remain the same and we will continue to provide a full support service for all customers, but the circumstances mean that we can only respond to cases raised by email or via the support portal, as we are no longer able to offer a telephone support service. Where a phone call is useful or required to help resolve a case, we will continue to be able to call you. We expect to return to a full telephone service once this situation has subsided.
If you need Support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have Finance/Administration queries, please email email@example.com.
Symology..."more than just a software company"
Network Rail stand alone in the Street Works community in that they are an undertaker according to the Department for Transport, and operate nationally as an authority for bridges and streets, promoting works on local authority owned streets whilst simultaneously publishing and maintaining its own set of uncoupled ASD data that is published to Geoplace. We talked to Rob James, National Highways Interface Manager at Network Rail, to get the background on some of the unique challenges they face and the benefits of working with Symology.
Symology host Street Manager Integration Seminars
Over the last two months, Symology have been busy hosting six, free to attend, Street Manager seminars spread across the UK. With the Street Manager go-live date getting nearer, these seminars gave customers the opportunity to understand how Symology’s Insight system will integrate with the new DfT Street Manager service.
The seminars were aimed at Street Works Managers and Business Change teams tasked with managing the migration from EToN to Street Manager and the successful on-going integration with Street Manager.
The day began with a full end-to-end demonstration of the Street Works lifecycle using Insight from a Promoter and Authority perspective and how these transactions are integrated into Street Manager via Symology’s Connection Manager (Street Manager API). The integration itself was also covered in depth followed by exactly what users need to know on a day-to-day basis to ensure that all systems are kept in synchronisation and how validation errors are handled. Attendees were also presented with a full overview of the main differences between EToN and Street Manager and their implications. This led to a detailed look into the transition phase, from EToN to Street Manager, and how this will be managed for organisations and for individual works. Other topics covered included the overall integration timetable for the next nine months, how Contractors will be impacted, the impacts of Promoters and Authorities operating a noticing scheme and the implications for Private Streets. Customers were also given the steps they needed to take in order to be ready along with appropriate documentation.
Customer feedback from the seminars was excellent across the board, with the sessions being “so informative” and “helped paint the picture of what’s to come”.
Others found them “reassuring” and felt they “were in good hands” and “didn’t need to worry being with Symology”.
The demonstrations invoked further feedback saying that “Significant progress has been made to enable integration with Street Manager from Insight” and “It shows how much work has already gone in behind the scenes at Symology to get to this point”.
Symology Customers get their hands on Aurora
Following on from the success of last week's London Customer Conference, Tuesday 25th June saw the event held in Leeds at the Royal Armouries Museum. With the agenda consistent with that of the previous week, attendees were treated to presentations by both Symology staff and customers addressing topics including industry changes, Street Manager, Aurora, Channel Shift efficiency opportunities and best practice.
Aurora, Symology’s future solution, featured heavily across the day, starting with Symology’s Product Management Team each giving an update on its progress across key solution areas including Street Works, Asset Management, Reporting, Channel Shift Customer Service and the new Community Portal. Each of these updates also included live demonstrations. This was followed by a session on Planning for Aurora aimed directly at making the transition from Insight to Aurora as smooth as possible.
Symology’s continued customer focused approach meant that, throughout the day, customers had the opportunity to have the very first hands-on experience of Aurora, after which they could provide feedback by means of a questionnaire. This introduction included using a number of simple functions as well as the general look and feel.
“At both the London and Leeds Conferences we have demonstrated the progress we are making with Aurora and the response has been extremely positive. In addition to demonstrating the product, we also wanted to provide hands-on Aurora sessions, so that users could try the software out for themselves and provide their feedback. Across the two conferences over 100 people took the opportunity to use the software for the first time. At the end of each session users completed a short questionnaire to feed back their thoughts. We are delighted to be able to say that every single person taking part indicated that their first reaction to the software was positive and that they found the software easy to use. This fantastic feedback gives us great confidence that Aurora will be a huge success.” Scott Hutchinson, Product Manager
“At Symology, our focus is always on our customers, and that is no different when it comes to involving them in future developments. The feedback from the Aurora sessions has been amazing and will really help shape its further development. It proves to us that our approach is right and that some things are worth waiting for.” Stuart Marshall, Sales & Marketing Manager
Symology interface with Street Manager
On Wednesday 19th June, Symology hosted the first of its two, annual, free to attend, national customer conferences in London, with the second to follow next week in Leeds. The agenda itself was packed with presentations by both Symology staff and customers addressing all the industry hot topics of the day including all things Street Manager.
In an hour long address to Symology customers, Mike Bartlett, Managing Director, gave a progress update on the work already undertaken behind the scenes at Symology in preparation for the arrival of Street Manager. Focusing on Symology's solutions, Mike began by reiterating Symology's ongoing commitment and responsibility to making interfacing with Street Manager a success. Having personally attended all the API meetings with the DfT, Mike gave an in depth look at Symology's involvement to date, which included detailed testing of the Private Beta API with over a hundred permits raised/progressed so far. In addition, Symology have provided detailed feedback on requirements as well as raising issues when discovered, continuing to be fully engaged throughout the development process.
This was followed by a look at Symology's comprehensive plans for integrating current and future solutions, Insight and Aurora, with the Street Manager API and how this development had already begun.
Focus then shifted to Symology's customers, providing details on what their options will be and their associated impact not to mention planning for the change. It was at this point that Mike surprised his audience by actually demonstrating Insight interfacing with Street Manager.
“The conference is a great opportunity for us to formally update all our customers on the great progress we have made to ensure that the Street Manager implementation is a success. Using the Street Manager API we can seamlessly connect Insight to Street Manager and allow our customers to continue to use all the additional features that Insight provides whilst ensuring the data appears in Street Manager in a timely manner. I think that being able to actually demonstrate this, rather than just talk about it, gives our customers the security and reassurance that they can always rely on us to do what needs to be done in accordance with the national timeframes.” Mike Bartlett, Symology’s Managing Director
Conwy CBC win award for Street Lighting Innovation
We are delighted to report that at the recent APSE Highways, Street Lighting and Winter Maintenance Innovation Awards, Conwy County Borough Council were successful in winning the Innovation Award for Street Lighting.
This significant recognition has been awarded for the comprehensive digital transformation of the service, culminating in the recent implementation of a public facing Street Lighting "ReportIt" Web Portal. The Portal, accessible 24 hours a day, provides channel shift efficiencies by enabling members of the public to select a Street Lighting asset directly, and report a fault. This particular Web Portal is Conwy’s third, and follows editions for the reporting of Highways defects, such as potholes, and the reporting of Flooding faults, such as blocked gullies.
Conwy’s Symology Account Manager, Alan Houghton, had this to say,
“It’s fantastic news and a great result for Conwy. Over their many years as a Symology customer, the passion and enthusiasm put in by Sophie and her team has been amazing, constantly driving for improvements. The understanding that they have of their Insight Asset Management solution, coupled with our close working relationship, enables them to continue to grow its use, continuously unlocking further efficiency savings and improving services to the public. Well done to all those involved.”
Vic Turner, Traffic & Network Manager, Sophie Birchall-Rogerson, Senior Management Information Systems Officer, and Nicole Coleman, Asset Management Technician, attended the APSE event to receive the award in person.
CityFibre to benefit from Insight
CityFibre recently became the latest customer to go live with Symology's Insight for Street Works solution. As the UK's leading alternative provider of wholesale full-fibre network infrastructure, CityFibre are currently in strategic partnership with Vodafone rolling out fibre-to-the-premises, targeting 5 million homes and businesses by 2025. This partnership, along with recent rapid expansion, led to a review of the Street Works market with Symology's reputation and more specifically as the solution provider to the Office of Scottish Road Works and Transport for Greater Manchester, being key factors. Following a competitive process, a five year contract was signed at the end of October 2017 and CityFibre went live in January 2018.
Daniel Hague – Programme Manager, commented: "CityFibre is delighted to have selected Symology as our Street Works solution provider for the next 5 years. Symology has shown excellent Street Works knowledge and expertise and the Insight Street Works solution meets all of our requirements for works promotion nationally, including management of contractor works, attachments, ease of use and reliability.
Symology's Insight Street Works solution will give us significant benefits from a secure and reputable provider.
The implementation was delivered on time and within the budget. I genuinely cannot remember the last time I dealt with a software implementation that went so smoothly. We look forward to a successful working relationship with Symology."
Paul Thomas – Symology Project Manager, said: "We are delighted to welcome CityFibre to the Symology community. They have demonstrated a high level of professionalism during the implementation which was a fundamental reason for its success. Their five year commitment highlights their belief that Symology continues to have an integral part to play in the future of Street Works and will use our expertise to support our customers through any required change."
SSE Networks impressed with Symology
Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks recently went live with Symology's Insight for Street Works solution. The competitive process saw Symology selected on the basis of compliance, performance, efficiency and cost as SSE Networks continually strive to be the best that they can be. The implementation project was not without its complexities but was still delivered on time, maintaining Symology's unblemished 100% implementation success rate.
Hannah Holmes – Street Works Administration Manager, commented: "Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks are pleased to be working with Symology as part of our commitment to providing the best possible customer service at all times. We have recently installed the Insight Product to support the management of out Streetworks responsibilities, and since we started to use it we have been impressed with its reliability and ease of use."
Stuart Marshall – Sales & Marketing Manager at Symology, said: "We are delighted to welcome SSE Networks as a Symology customer and look forward to supporting and enabling their service commitments throughout our working relationship. This continues to demonstrate that, at a time perceived by some to be uncertain across the Street Works community, Symology continues to be synonymous with high quality Street Works solutions."
Symology awarded the Contract to Provide The Scottish Road Works Register
The Scottish Road Works Commissioner has announced that the contract to provide the Scottish Road Works Register (SRWR) for the next 4 years has been awarded to Symology.
The new contract will begin on the 1 April 2018 for a period of 4 years with the option to extend the contract for up to 3 years. The new contract aims to deliver a Register which will enable organisations to carry out their statutory duties with ease as well as providing some added enhancements in line with the current technological advancements, such as mobile technology to assist those on site.
It is envisaged that existing users will experience little or no disruption over the transition period between contracts.
The contract was signed on 17 August 2017 in Edinburgh by the Commissioner, Angus Carmichael and the Managing Director of Symology, Mike Bartlett.
The Commissioner, Angus Carmichael, said
"I am pleased to announce the award of the contract for provision of the Scottish Road Works Register. I am confident that Symology will continue to provide the required service going forward, and that the enhancements provided within the new contract will assist both those working in the road and the travelling public. The register is a national asset and I look forward to working with Symology to enhance this asset."
Mike Bartlett, Managing Director of Symology, said "We are delighted to retain the contract for the provision of the Scottish Road Works Register on behalf of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner. We have already forged an excellent working relationship with the Scottish Road works Commissioner and his staff in Edinburgh. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the community to retain and strengthen the position of the Scottish Road Works Register as the leading system for managing road works."
Tarmac Synchronises with Symology
UK contractor Tarmac has been in partnership with Symology since 2011, using a shared management service for asset management to meet tougher government street work regulations.
"At Tarmac, it is no exaggeration to say that we rate Symology as industry experts. We currently rely on Symology in an advisory capacity when it comes to implementing solutions to many process driven workflows. There is a high level of trust and confidence that has led to us continually returning to Symology for solutions.
Overall, the key reasons why Tarmac has worked with Symology on such a consistent basis are excellent customer service, proven success rates and the stability of their managed service environment. This track record is the reason why Symology is a market leader within the industry. Their after sales and technical support is exceptional, and their technical team is always available to provide support and assistance to ensure that we can resolve problems as soon as possible."
Tim Copping, Technology Manager, Tarmac Contracting & Maintenance
Is it time for real-time Street Works noticing?
JAG(UK) recently implemented a new blog on their website for which Symology were delighted to be asked for a contribution.
Sarah Twigg, Symology Account Management Consultant, provided an article detailing the ideal that real-time noticing is the future of Street Works following recently discussed initiatives, such as penalties for unoccupied “A” road sites over a weekend and extending Lane Rental to consider hourly charging.
Cyber Essentials Plus Symology Equals Security Assurance
With the seemingly constant drive towards cloud based solutions, the risk of cyber attacks is high and something which organisations can no longer ignore. In 2014 the Government launched it’s Cyber Essentials scheme to help organisations protect themselves against these cyber threats and to provide security assurances to their customers.
The scheme offers two types of accreditation, ‘Basic’ and ‘Plus’, with the ‘Plus’ edition offering a higher level of assurance by means of external independent third party testing of an organisation’s approach to cyber security.
Symology are delighted to announce that we have recently been accredited with the Cyber Essentials Plus certification, demonstrating our continued commitment to meeting our customers needs.
Symology’s Managed Service Manager, Malcolm Watson had this to say, “Security is such an important area when dealing with customer data and something which we take very seriously. Adding Cyber Essentials Plus to our existing ISO 27001 accreditation demonstrates Symology’s continued commitment to data security.“
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 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
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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”.