Empowering staff with bespoke training

When Scottish Water decided to migrate to Esri’s ArcGIS platform from a legacy GIS system, it appointed Esri UK to deliver a suite of on-site and online training courses. This comprehensive and bespoke training programme enabled 1200 GIS users to transition confidently to new business processes and make optimal use of ArcGIS in their jobs.

Bespoke training enables 1200 GIS users to transition smoothly to new enterprise GIS

Professional trainers give employees the skills to do their jobs effectively

eLearning resources provide long term return on training investment

The Challenge

At Scottish Water, geographic information system (GIS) solutions play a pivotal role in helping the company to deliver 1.34 billion litres of drinking water and take away 847 million litres of waste water, day after day. Over 1200 employees use GIS routinely for everything from handling customer enquiries to planning new infrastructure investment. Consequently, when Scottish Water decided to replace its existing GIS with Esri’s ArcGIS platform enterprise-wide, it recognised the importance of providing high quality training.

“The transition to ArcGIS marked a big step change for the business in the way that it employs GIS and shares data, across a number of business processes,” says Stuart Hill, Business Change Manager at Scottish Water. “It was critical for the business to ensure that every-day users could be confident in using the new technology from day one. At the same time, it was also important for us to ensure that more advanced users in our IT team had the ability to maintain and support our new enterprise GIS platform.”

“ The Esri UK trainers were very experienced and had a real passion for the product. They delivered what we were looking for within our tight budget

Stuart Hill, Business Change Manager, Scottish Water

 

The Solution


First, experienced trainers from Esri UK held workshops and worked closely with representatives from the business to gain a clear understanding of users’ requirements. Then, Esri UK developed courses, training manuals and training documentation using the company’s own data and examples of actual business processes, to make the training highly relevant and meaningful for employees.

Esri UK also created different levels of courses for the company’s 381 desktop users and 868 web GIS users, to cater for different requirements. These included a basic course for employees who predominantly just use the ArcGIS web portal to view and search for data on maps; a standard desktop course for employees who need to perform some data analysis and data editing as a part of their roles; and an advanced desktop course for specialist users, which included instruction on data management and the development of the company’s ArcGIS web portal.

Over a four month period, Esri UK delivered 39 separate training courses, at five different locations across Scotland. For each of these courses, Esri UK supplied laptops for all attendees, pre-loaded with all of the ArcGIS software, business data and examples, so Scottish Water did not have the inconvenience or additional cost of having to prepare, setup and use its own IT resources.

In addition to the face-to-face training, Esri UK also developed a portfolio of eLearning resources to allow employees to acquire skills and knowledge of ArcGIS, at a time to suit them, online. As with the face-to-face courses, this web-based training was designed to meet the training requirements of different levels of user and was fully tailored to reflect Scottish Water’s business processes.

“ Esri UK’s training programme gave our employees the competence and confidence to use ArcGIS to its full potentiall and do their jobs to their best ability

Stuart Hill, Business Change Manager, Scottish Water

 

The Benefits

Smooth transition to a new enterprise GIS
Scottish Water’s employees were able to transition more easily to the new ArcGIS platform, because the training provided by Esri UK was bespoke to Scottish Water and based on the company’s own business data and processes. “Our employees were better able to understand the training and could embed new skills more quickly, because they were working with data that they were already familiar with,” Hill explains.

Improved return on ArcGIS investment
By providing training at different levels, for different categories of users, Esri UK has helped to ensure that all employees can make optimal use of ArcGIS, whether they are handling customer enquiries, managing assets or developing apps. This, in turn, will help the company to maximise the return that it gains from its investment in ArcGIS. “Esri UK’s training programme gave our employees the competence and confidence to use ArcGIS to its full potential and do their jobs to their best ability,” Hill says.

Flexible and inclusive training options for employees
The combination of classroom-based training courses, at five locations, and online eLearning resources gave the company’s 1200 GIS users a choice of ways to receive training, depending on their preferred learning style and situation. The eLearning resources were particularly ideal for employees based in more remote locations, who didn’t find it easy to travel to attend an on-site course, as well as people who prefer to learn at their own pace. As Hill explains, “The different methods of delivering training helped us to ensure that everyone who needed training, had access training.”

Long term benefits from training investment
Scottish Water will continue to gain ongoing benefits from its investment in Esri UK’s training services for many years to come, as it can continue to use the bespoke eLearning resources to train new employees and existing employees who move into new roles that involve using ArcGIS. Employees who attended training courses can also refer back to eLearning resources to reinforce what they learned in the classroom, helping them to continually develop and advance their skills.

Value for money from experienced trainers
All in all, Hill believes that the training services delivered by Esri UK for Scottish Water were highly professional and cost effective. “Esri UK definitely delivered value for money,” he says in conclusion. “The Esri UK trainers were very experienced and had a real passion for the product. They delivered what we were looking for within our tight budget.”

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