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Wattyl paints a brighter picture of employee productivity with new collaborative portal

  • 10 February, 2005 14:06

<p>SYDNEY, 10 February 2005 – One of Australia’s oldest paint and surface coating manufacturers, Wattyl Ltd., has streamlined its administrative practices by introducing a new collaborative portal across the entire company. The IBM technology portal delivers information, processes and collaborative tools required by employees, based on their roles, to ensure easier access to information needed for their daily tasks. Wattyl anticipates an overall increase in productivity amongst its 850 employees who will utilise the new portal throughout Australia and New Zealand.</p>
<p>Being a company which prides itself on its portfolio of leading brands across all segments of the paint and coatings market, Wattyl wanted to ensure its internal processes were just as reliable and robust as its products. IBM’s Workplace Services Express portal product was selected to provide Wattyl employees with collaborative functions and team work spaces.</p>
<p>“Our employees required a solution that will enable them to work together more effectively on tasks and projects,” said Wattyl’s Chief Information Officer, John Croker. “The new portal creates a virtual workplace, a resource where employees can share information - corporate wide or within their own specific teams.”</p>
<p>With the new portal, information residing in Wattyl’s various systems will be integrated so that employees have less need to concern themselves with the particulars of different systems, such as the company’s PRISM Enterprise Resources Planning system and JD Edwards Financials, or business applications, such as Stratum, Hyperion, and Microsoft Office. The integration makes employees’ daily tasks easier, as well as allowing them to better manage and utilise their time.</p>
<p>“Employees will be able to access multiple IT systems, documents and team rooms and conduct chat sessions with each other using the portal. We want the portal to be owned by the employees rather than the Information Management team or administrators. All employees with access to desktops will be trained on how to use and manage the portal.” said Wattyl’s Information Systems Manager, Rae Hough</p>
<p>This has allowed a greater understanding and involvement in Wattyl’s business and in sharing information and internal knowledge.</p>
<p>“With offices in every state in Australia and in New Zealand, we were sharing documents across many different servers, which clogged up the email system with documents flying all around the states. You didn't know if the document you were looking at was the latest version. The Workplace portal is taking away the confusion. Employees can go to the portal and see the latest version. They can check the document's status to know whether it has been approved by management,” said Mr Croker.</p>
<p>In addition to the employee benefits, Mr Croker believes from an implementation and administration perspective, his Information Management team, responsible for the implementation, will benefit from this new technology. “There is also a powerful time and cost advantage when new applications are added to an intranet-backboned corporate information structure”, said Mr Croker.</p>
<p>“IBM’s Workplace Services Express offered everything in a nice package that is easy to administer - being an out-of-the box solution we didn’t have to go out and look for add-ons. It integrates with Active Directory and supports the solutions we are after," said Ms Hough.</p>
<p>Wattyl’s new portal was implemented by Synoptic Solutions in conjunction with BCA IT, both being IBM business partners. Synoptic Solutions Managing Director, Greg De Laine said the portal was implemented using sophisticated and scalable technology that was cost-effective and reliable, delivering to Wattyl an affordable solution that did not require an expensive infrastructure. Mr De Laine went on to say, “by combing Synoptic Solutions’ unique methodology for helping customers understand information and process gaps and the flexibility of filling those gaps using IBM Workplace Services Express, Synoptic and BCA IT have created a strong foundation for continuous and verifiable business benefits.”</p>
<p>Wattyl will roll out the workplace in five major phases to allow employees to learn as they go. The first phase of the implementation was completed in December 2004, within 2 weeks of purchasing. The remaining phases will be completed throughout 2005.</p>
<p>Wattyl foresees the implementation will extend to become the foundation for all of its future development plans, such as their POS (Point of Sale) environment for retail outlets. Eventually the company plans to use Workplace Services Express to reach out to all 8 office and distribution sites and the 136 trade outlets that sell its paints in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Croker said the portal will offer them functionality and lines of communication which they have not had before.</p>
<p>According to Hala Batainah, Lotus Brand Executive at IBM, the robustness, flexibility and scalability that the IBM Workplace Services Express portal product offered was very attractive to Wattyl. The product was also selected for being Java-based and therefore open and standards-based.</p>
<p>“IBM Workplace Services Express is going to help Wattyl become more effective by delivering information needed by employees more easily and more efficiently by making the processes less time-consuming,” said Hala Batainah.</p>
<p>– ends –</p>
<p>About Wattyl</p>
<p>Wattyl is a paint and surface coatings company that produces a broad range of paints, varnishes, lacquers and special purpose protective coatings. Wattyl’s products are used by individuals, contract painters and industrial customers. Wattyl’s well known brands include I.D., Solagard, Killrust, Estapol and Solver.</p>
<p>About IBM</p>
<p>IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers a wide range of middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the on demand era. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at</p>
<p>IBM, Domino, Lotus, Notes, WebSphere, Workplace and Workplace Web Content Management are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other company product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.</p>
<p>About Synoptic Solutions</p>
<p>Synoptic is focused on helping organisations reduce the risks associated with technology and change management projects and delivering verifiable, measurable bottom line gains for its customers. Synoptic solutions believe that benefits from technology do not just happen on their own; benefits realisation is a business responsibility not an IT responsibility; benefits realisation is a continuous process that needs to be measurable to be of value.</p>
<p>About BCA IT</p>
<p>BCA IT has been supplying Australian businesses with IT solutions on a national basis since 1983 and is, today, one of Australia's largest and most respected IT service organisations. The company specialises in providing comprehensive IT infrastructure services and counts amongst its clients a wide range of blue chip corporate and medium-sized enterprises.</p>
<p>For more information please contact:</p>
<p>Natalie Connor</p>
<p>Tel: +61 (0)2 9956 5733</p>
<p>Mobile: +61 (0)417 259 054</p>

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