Responsible for building, operating, and maintaining Australia’s largest electricity network, Essential Energy delivers critical electricity network services to more than 800,000 homes and businesses in 1,500 regional, rural, and remote communities, operating across extremes of terrain and climate. The New South Wales (NSW) Government-owned corporation also provides water and sewage services to 20,000 customers in Far West NSW. Employees based in depots and offices across three regions are responsible for building and maintaining almost 200,000 kilometers of power lines, 1.4 million power poles, 136,000 distribution substations, and 326 zone substations that span a diverse geographical area.
Achieving successful digital communication across this vast, distributed workforce is as difficult as it is important. Essential Energy’s employees must be able to receive critical communications at all times, whether in an office or in the field. This means messages must be available over multiple channels and delivered via a resilient and streamlined solution.
The Need for Enhanced Digital Communication
However, what Essential Energy had in place was a number of basic bulk SMS products that were unable to meet the organization’s communications requirements. These services only provided simple SMS messaging, without functionality across multiple channels.
Essential Energy needed an integrated messaging and communication solution to help manage the variety of business-critical and higher service level communications that needed to be sent to its employees every day. It found this solution in Whispir.
Innovative Communication and Advanced Functionality
Essential Energy chose to implement Whispir’s fully auditable, multichannel solution. Whispir worked with Essential Energy to align the solution to its specific operating needs and varied business communications requirements. As a result, Essential Energy gained:
Greater functionality. The SMS functionality in the Whispir solution is more robust than basic bulk SMS solutions. At the same time, Essential Energy gained advanced multichannel capabilities – useful for reaching people who are traveling or moving to different sites.
Communications management for a variety of uses. Essential Energy can now more easily manage communications for different audiences and purposes – including crisis and incident management, business continuity, field operations, and IT service management – all in one place. In addition, Whispir offers a teleconference management tool that allows employees to instantly call key stakeholders in the event of an incident, without needing meeting numbers or PINs.
Role-specific messaging. Staff now only receive communications relevant to their area of the business. Each business unit and line of business has their own workspace within the platform that contains different message templates for day-to-day requirements.
Greater resilience. The Whispir platform is managed centrally in a hosted solution, which reduces risk and improves the organization’s resilience.
Improved communication processes. Communications can now be sent faster while containing more accurate content and more reliably reaching the right people. These improved processes, in turn, increase organizational resilience, improve transparency and compliance, and help create a safer working environment.
“The platform also provides complete accountability and auditability with uninterrupted audit trails and real-time reporting of communications, even when accessed from mobile devices.”
David Sandery - Essential Energy's Senior Project Manager (IT Infrastructure), praising the auditability of Whispir.
With Whispir, high-volume, targeted messages can be sent to employees and key stakeholders wherever they may be, even if internal hardware systems fail. This resilient functionality, combined with enhanced multichannel capabilities, has brought significant improvements to Essential Energy’s processes. The company is now more secure in its ability to communicate with its distributed employees – thereby helping them keep the lights on in homes and businesses across NSW.