Case Study

Sonoma County Water's Journey from On Premises to Hosting to SaaS

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About Sonoma County Water Agency

Sonoma County Water Agency in Northern California provides a wide range of services to the local area, including water supply, wastewater collection & treatment, flood protection, and environmental services on a wholesale basis. Their services provide for 600,000 people across two counties and include managing 92 million gallons of water per day.

To achieve this, Sonoma Water needs to maintain a large volume of assets, including six pumping plants, three supplemental wells, 100 miles of pipeline, and eight booster stations. They also manage more than 150 miles of flood control channels and have approximately 250 vehicles and pieces of heavy equipment.

Sonoma Water has been using Maximo since 1996 to manage these resources. Over the last 23 years, they have moved from in-house to hosted, before later settling on a cloud solution from Projetech as the ideal implementation.

Initial Implementation: Local In-House Environment Maximo (1996)

Sonoma Water’s first implementation of Maximo was local and done without outside help; the only support they had was from PSDI (the original developers of Maximo) for software issues.

While this was Maximo on their own terms, Sonoma Water would be the first to admit that implementing Maximo in this way was not ideal: standards were not pre-set, which led to a messy hierarchy, and much of this work needed re-doing at a late date.

Additionally, staff training was patchy, and enterprise knowledge had to be built up over time. Despite these early challenges, Sonoma persevered and continued to increase the effectiveness of its use of Maximo over the following years.

Migrating to a Hosted Environment (2010)

Following changes in key personnel, including the impending retirement of the one IT staff member with the knowledge necessary to manage the Oracle database Maximo used, Sonoma Water needed a change. The remaining members of the IT team were unfamiliar with Oracle and Maximo, and they didn’t want to have to scramble to find a new IT manager with this specific expertise.

To solve this problem, Sonoma Water switched to a SaaS solution. This saved time, reduced costs for the IT department, and meant that the new IT manager didn’t need to worry about the Maximo implementation.

Moving to a hosted solution meant that Maximo staff had more freedom to manage Maximo effectively because they no longer needed to compete with other in-house IT priorities to get the changes they needed.

From Hosted to The Cloud with Projetech (2018)

In 2018, Sonoma Water changed providers to Projetech’s premier buiness partner with the intention of further outsourcing the support they required. They asked for:

  • Hosting services (systems, hardware, and network)
  • Support including account management
  • Security of equipment and data
  • Report development
  • System configuration
  • Customer assistance
Projetech’s partner suggested a move to the cloud would help them meet their objectives, and that Projetech would be the ideal partner. Sonoma Water agreed and made the switch to the cloud using Projetech’s Maximo as a Service solution.

The implementation was quick and easy. Projetech’s partner worked with the previous provider to back up the system, and Projetech loaded that onto the new site.

Key Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

By moving to the cloud, Sonoma Water achieved several key benefits compared to the hosted solution:

Benefit 1: Improved Accessibility

The redundancy offered by the cloud virtually eliminates downtime. Using a cloud-hosted Maximo solution, Sonoma water benefits from:

  • 24/7/365 availability through any internet-connected device.
  • No VPNs or special setup necessary.
  • Guaranteed 99.99% uptime.

Benefit 2: Maximo Cloud Security

When using a hosted or local solution, IT teams often have a reactive mindset, and problems are typically noticed by users first. With Projetech’s cloud solution, security experts take a proactive approach to monitoring the system, leading to a considerable improvement in security.

  • Robust, military-grade security architecture delivers industry-leading protection.
  • Key security certifications, including ISO 27001, provide reassurance that data is safe and managed appropriately.
  • 24x7x365 security monitoring, scanning, and alerting catches problems as they happen.
  • Security infrastructure is continuously updated to ensure data is protected against known problems.

Benefit 3: Redundancy & Disaster Recovery

Situated in California, Sonoma Water is no stranger to natural disasters. In the last four years, the area has suffered from floods, fires, and earthquakes, and Sonoma Water has come close to losing key property in the area. If their data has been held in-house, it would have been at significant risk – but in the cloud, it was safe.

With Projetech’s Maximo as a Service, backup data is replicated to multiple locations across the United States, which means that a single disaster cannot wipe out every backup of the system.

Dedicated to Success

With Projetech and their partner, Sonoma Water has two teams of Maximo experts dedicated to helping them succeed. With this support, Sonoma Water can focus on the details that help their teams increase the ROI they receive from Maximo, leaving the technical support and security to dedicated experts.

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