Trustmarque helps Natural Resources Wales protect our environment with cloud technology:
About Natural Resources Wales
The world’s air, land, water, wildlife, plants, and soil are the human race’s most valuable resources. When cared for properly, our planet’s natural resources can not only provide us with our basic needs, such as food and energy, but they can also contribute significantly to the economy by supplying our building industry and fuelling tourism.
But – as we all know – our planet coming under increasing pressure. Protecting our natural resources and using them in a sustainable way is more important than ever. Moreover, any decision made now will have a knock-on effect for generations to come, so planning for the future is vital.
This is where Natural Resources Wales (NRW) comes in. NRW was born In April 2013, when EA, CCW, and FCW joined together with the aim of taking a ‘joined up approach’ to the sustainable management of the world’s natural resources.
Before NRW, each legacy organisation was responsible for separate parts of the natural environment, such as water, forestry, and land management. Now, with the creation of NRW, each different aspect can be brought together to create the bigger picture. By looking at the larger picture, NRW can better plan for the future by understanding how our planet’s natural resources work together.
NRW’s approach also recognises the vital importance of our natural resources to our economic and social prosperity. By working at both a community and a landscape level, NRW can join things together and create collective, collaborative solutions that benefit the economy, society, and the environment.
As an amalgamation of three former, legacy operations, the new NRW was struggling to manage three separate and different business models and systems. For the first twenty months of existence, NRW was operating three different finance systems, two separate payroll systems, and countless different applications. Although challenging, this was essential to allow NRW to continue carrying out their vital work for Wales’ environment.
It was, however, not a sustainable approach to business. In the same way that NRW recognised the need to take a unified approach to the management of our natural resources, they also recognised the need to take a unified approach when it came to internal IT and systems. Running three disparate systems was not only confusing, complicated, and costly for the organisation, but it also undermined the ‘joined up’ approach of NRW.
Developing a unified Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution was essential. NRW’s ERP underpins a range of core business requirements, from raising questions, to budget monitoring, to claiming expenses.
NRW selected Trustmarque via G-Cloud to implement Unit4 as its new ERP platform, and to consolidate the ERP systems it was using for finance and HR onto a single platform. The original ERP systems had been delivered through a combination of cloud, on-premise and managed services. Trustmarque is now delivering NRW’s sole ERP system as a private cloud service from the Trustmarque Cloud.
The Trustmarque Cloud is accredited to manage systems and data operating at OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE and that require connectivity to the Public Services Network (PSN), surpassing the minimum security standards the NRW was looking for. The level of security was important to NRW, as its ERP holds considerable amounts of sensitive data, including employee, supplier and partner information.
Since the launch of NRW’s new ERP system, the organisation has continued to move quickly in implementing new functionality, such as Time Recording and Out of Hours working.
Each day, staff at NRW are alerted via email of all workflow tasks that require their attention, and NRW’s ERP system can be accessed at any time, on any device. This means that employees are not only automatically reminded of all tasks that they need to complete, but they can complete them with ease at their own convenience. In the modern age of mobile working, this is essential.
The popularity of a new, cloud based ERP system is more than apparent when you look at NRW’s Annual Leave system. Previously, NRW had relied on a largely paper-based Annual Leave recording system. With a new and convenient cloud based system, NRW saw an 82% take up rate of Annual Leave within one month of launch.
But NRW’s new ERP system doesn’t just make employee’s lives easier – the business has also seen numerous benefits already. NRW’s Annual Accounts, for example, will be able to be completed than ever before, saving NRW time and money when it comes to accounting.
Overall, the consolidation of the three existing ERP platforms and the move to cloud has increased the quality of the Management Information available to NRW, enabling it to make better informed decisions and process improvements. By selecting the Trustmarque Cloud, NRW is now able to realise the benefits of its Unit4 ERP system via a secure and robust platform. As part of the contract, Trustmarque is also managing the software licensing of Unit4 for NRW, simplifying its infrastructure licensing requirements and taking the responsibility for ensuring compliance, allowing NRW to focus on its core business without any compliance concerns.
Trustmarque has been working with NRW for the last two years to help the organisation simplify its IT estate following the merger of the three different bodies. Trustmarque boasts expert knowledge in ERP platforms, Cloud services, Shared Service mobilisation and process re-engineering, and were enlisted as NRW’s provider of choice. Trustmarque has since extended its partnership with NRW for a further two years, to support and deliver the Unit4 Business World ERP solution from the Trustmarque Cloud; providing it with full disaster recovery, and application and infrastructure support.