Our Council clients range in size, but our hosting solution is one-size-fits-all
Across New Zealand and Australia, Councils of all shapes and sizes are on board with AssetFinda, our enterprise asset management solution. In fact, our client base includes all levels of government, making the most of a powerful, fully integrated system that’s designed to optimise the life cycle of all assets, ensuring communities can move forward with confidence.
However, asset management is by no means all that’s on offer with this solution. Clients can also choose between local or cloud-based hosting solutions. When hosted, wherever teams are located, they’ll have instant and up-to-date access to the data they need. And as we navigate the Covid-19 era, it’s essential for Councils to be flexible when it comes to their processes and operations. Teams need to be able to work from home, or access solutions from multiple locations. Just because they’re working remotely, you can still bring them together, enhancing communication and collaboration.
Our hosting solution is ideal for Councils of all sizes. In 2018, Yarriambiack Shire Council in Australia became an AssetFinda client, choosing our cloud-based hosting solution from the outset. A small Council, they serve a population of just over 7,000 people, covering an area of 7,158sq km. Because their IT department have limited resources, they made the decision to be hosted by AssetFinda as it meant that the data storage and recovery could be handled by AssetFinda freeing up their time to focus on core business.
“We were using spreadsheets to manage asset registers before migrating to AssetFinda,” says Ram Upadhyaya, Manager Assets. “The biggest challenge with this approach was data security. It was difficult to implement the appropriate controls while giving access to appropriate staff. Any data changes would be almost impossible to track if we decided to revert.
Ram goes on to note that they also had issues with staff filing different versions of the same file in the directory. “It was difficult to identify the most recent and up-to-date version of the asset register,” he explains. “Also, some of those files are very large as they hold a huge amount of data, so it was hard to access those files on the remote desktop while trying to work from home.”
The need for creating one centralised database that is easily accessible from various locations was behind the Council’s decision to employ the hosting service as well as the asset management solution.
The Council enjoy greater security and better disaster recovery if needed. All their security permissions remain in place, but their team benefits from the increased flexibility and mobility the cloud offers.
AssetFinda is also in the process of being integrated into the Yarriambiack Council’s ERP system. This means the system can access Yarriambiack’s Names and Address Registry (NAR), and use it to populate works requests within AssetFinda.
Because the Council is being hosted by AssetFinda, this integration was able to get underway, and proceed faster than if they were locally hosted. The AssetFinda team is able to access the necessary data and IT in real-time, and ensure accuracy and efficiency.
“We have a single source of truth with an audit trail function which means we can track any changes made to the database,” says Ram. “The database is also backed up by the host, so we can revert any changes by sending one little email or a ticket. Being hosted means the AssetFinda team has access to our data at all times which means we have a more efficient support system.”
Ram also notes that the ease of accessibility is one of the biggest advantages. “We only need to be connected to the internet to access the asset register from any corner of the world,” he explains. “No need for a remote desktop connection and a lengthy wait to load a larger file. The host also allows us to access the data in the SQL server by using Power BI, which enables us to do multiple queries and build many dashboards. Also, the access control functionality provided by AssetFinda has been great for maintaining data security.”
Upper Hutt City Council is a significantly larger council in New Zealand. It comprises of the Council itself, H2O Xtream, Upper Hutt Libraries, Activation, and Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre. Diverse teams work on a variety of tasks ranging from customer service, planning and policy to engineering, community outreach, road science and communications. They serve a population over 46,000 in one of four cities that make up the Wellington metropolitan area.
An AssetFinda client since February 2019, Upper Hutt City Council also decided to go with AssetFinda’s cloud hosting solution from the beginning. As part of implementing AssetFinda, it was the Council’s IT strategic direction to use applications that could be hosted as a service (SaaS).
It meant that the burden of data storage and recovery, upgrades, and IT infrastructure is undertaken by AssetFinda, providing greater flexibility and freedom not only for their IT team, but for the Council as a whole.
“What this means for us is not having to have specialist engineer(s) to support an on-premise environment,” says Senior Asset Analyst, Mike Paterson. “By having our AssetFinda database hosted, the ongoing operational maintenance of the server, backups and business continuity are the responsibility of AssetFinda and their service providers. Upgrades to the core application are managed as and when required, once we have completed testing of the new features and bug fixes, and we have agreed on when the upgrade will be performed. We have a policy of being on the latest version where possible and this extends to those applications that are hosted.”
When you’re hosted by AssetFinda, you can expect:
- All versioning managed and updated by the AssetFinda team
- All software updates completed automatically
- Hosting of all databases
- Swift support response times
There’s a big demand on IT teams these days, especially within local government agencies. AssetFinda hosting means that they can be freed up to focus on more high-value activities, rather than time-consuming and tedious tasks like software updates.
No matter what size your Council is, AssetFinda will host you securely and efficiently. Drop us a line and we’ll start a discussion around your hosting requirements.