How PowerApps powered up Melbourne’s largest water corporation

Imagine a pilot phase so successful that staff not only started using the new app straightaway, but the company’s teams couldn’t wait for full roll-out to begin!

That’s what happened when Modern Workplace Alliance partner Engage2 joined forces with Melbourne’s largest water corporation, Yarra Valley Water, to create a mobile solution for more accurate and efficient on-site reporting.

From manual to mobile

Yarra Valley Water wanted to modernise the way their mobile safety workers conducted on-site reporting. Everything was manual. Workers had to carry around bulky hard-copy safety manuals. Hazard and incident reporting couldn’t be done on location and staff often had to wait to complete paperwork when back at the office.

Staff had to keep that information – including manual calculations – in their head for hours at a time. Additionally, alerts were done through email, which often proved unreliable.

An annual audit found that mobile verification was urgently needed. So Yarra Valley Water’s solution architect, Axel Bendix, and his team developed a list of requirements and looked around for the right IT partner to help deliver them.

“We already had licensing capability for Microsoft PowerApps platform, we decided to perform a proof of concept to see if the platform could meet the requirements.”

Axel Bendix – Yarra Valley Water Solution Architect

Yarra Valley Water spoke to three potential vendors and chose Modern Workplace partner, Engage2.  Their experience with PowerApps, and the fact they could demonstrate real-life examples of delivered solutions meant Yarra Valley were confident they could deliver results.

Teamwork and a targeted mobile experience

Engage2 rapidly became a part of Yarra Valley Water’s team. 

“We worked iteratively together then moved into the main project to get the features delivered week by week, features were reviewed daily and changes made. We wanted rapid development.”

Axel Bendix – Yarra Valley Water Solution Architect

Engage2 ran a pilot focusing on two areas:

  • Pre-work safety check An app with yes/no questions and tick-boxes
  • Access to safe work procedures Mobile access to a PDF containing all the procedures

Because PowerApps is part of Microsoft 365, Yarra Valley Water didn’t need to worry about security. This meant Yarra Valley Water and Engage2 could focus directly on the much-needed functional aspects.

For example, PowerApps can log the location of an issue and include photos. This means Yarra Valley Water’s head office can see the problems without having to send someone out to review them.

Raft of benefits

Staff began using the app straight away. Yarra Valley Water’s other teams are eager to gain access and a full roll-out of the app to more than 300 users wil begin in early 2019. The team are expecting a number of immediate benefits:

  • Intuitive design
  • Improved compliance
  • Better data and analytics
  • Improved safety index reporting
  • More flexibility

Another expected benefit is improved staff morale, which was something that occurred during the pilot phase. “It was cumbersome for workers to have to come back into the office to file reports,” says Axel Bendix. “Not having to do that will make a huge difference to staff performance and morale.”

Axel Bendix is equally enthusiastic about the partnership with Engage2. “Project delivery was done with minimal fuss and minimal disruption,” he says. “It was delivered on time and on budget while meeting all of the requirements.” Interested in seeing how PowerApps could make a real difference to your modern workplace? Download the full case study or get in touch with us directly.


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