Thames Water is currently trialling new tablet technology which will be used by staff in the process side of its clean and wastewater treatment operations.
The water firm currently has three devices on trial – the Panasonic G1 ToughPad, Getac F110 Tablet and Motion F5te Tablet. All three devices have lighting fast processors, 10-inch screens and use Windows 8 which has been built specifically for tablets.
The new device, when selected, will replace Panasonic’s ruggedised Toughbook CF-U1 which has been in use for the last two years. Thames Water’s SAP+ guru Alistair Scothern commented:
“Over 200 techs across the company are taking part in trials and roadshows for these three tablet computers. Each device will go through a number of real life scenarios like water proofing, ease of use and battery life to understand the future for SAP+ handheld computers.”
Thames Water started the project in November 2013 with a survey of 200 operational staff aimed at understanding whether their computers were fit for purpose.
According to Alistair Scothern, while network staff were “broadly happy” with their toughbooks, the process side of operations were looking to change the handheld CF-U1s for something a “bit more fit for purpose.”
Currently thirty technicians across clean and wastewater treatment are on a three week trial with each of the three tablets, while Thames Water’s SAP+ team are also holding workshops with 150 technicians. The feedback from each of the users attending the roadshows will be the main factor in the overall decision about what will be used over the next two to three years .
Final decision will be made by April, followed by the roll out which will happen between June and August.