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Cross Sector Inspiration Drives Digital Metering Innovation at Yarra Valley Water feat. Raghu Bharadwaj


Show Summary

Innovation inspiration can come from a wide variety of sources outside your industry, at least that was the case for the digital metering team at Yarra Valley Water (YVW). 

In today’s show, I talk with Raghu Bharadwaj, Program Director for the Digital metering program at YVW. Raghu shares with us how his team leveraged cross sector expertise and innovation to develop connected digital meters that are more efficient to make and run than they were in the past. 

And he gives some insight into why Yarra Valley Water has been making waves with their approach to innovation. I wondered if there was something in the water at Yarra Valley. Listen to Raghu as he shares the full story.

 

Meet this week’s expert

Raghu Bharadwaj
Digital Metering Program Director
Yarra Valley Water

Raghu has over 20 years of ICT experience having worked in Consulting (client side advisory) and industry. Recently he has focused on delivering quality and innovative projects in the water utility industry.

Raghu has extensive experience in IoT and LPWA technologies across electricity and water utilities. He has overseen and assisted organisations in the development of ICT business cases, setting up and running all facets of program governance, selecting IoT/communications and metering technologies, as well as selecting, implementing and integrating ICT applications.

Raghu has also worked on a number of large transformation engagements for clients in the water, electricity, government and resources sector. He has successfully led a combination of consulting and internal staff in large transformational projects. He has developed corporate ICT strategies, established new organisation units, managed various ICT implementation/integration projects where he was accountable for delivering the technical solution, data migration, E2E testing, change management, training and go live activities.

Another key area of specialisation for Raghu is in the strategic sourcing domain including developing sourcing and negotiation strategies, capturing requirements for selecting and negotiating with vendors on terms for license and ICT services. He has also been involved in designing, building and operating vendor management office (VMO) capability for many organisations – with key specialisation in Governance, Issue and Dispute management as well as Contract Management processes.

He has worked as a trusted advisor with C-suite and considers himself as “a glue” between technology and business due to his innate ability to speak business and technology language. He has the energy and right attitude to mentor and coach people. He has worked for client both in Australia and overseas.

Raghu holds an MBA and a First Class Honours degree in Information Technology and Information Systems.

Connect with Raghu Bharadwaj on LinkedIn

 

Show Highlights

  • Raghu: Yarra Valley Water has recently transitioned into its 2030 strategy and entering our new strategy, innovation is a key consideration for the whole organization. Also, innovation doesn’t need to be attributable to technology only. It can be part of people and process or the contractual arrangements that you want to set up.
  • Raghu: So, you know, as part of our digital metering trials, we’ve been wanting to introduce more digital channels to enable customers to not just have a look at their usage data, but also gain some insights out of it.
  • Raghu: Look, I think one thing that I would like to say is our regulator is always pushing the boundaries in some ways. You know, whether that be to have more of a customer focus or a productivity gain consideration.
  • Raghu: What’s happened in the last, say, five years is with the advent of new technologies like IoT. and open standard protocols, it’s suddenly opened up this new world where you don’t have to be locked into a vendor and or a technology that you can use open standard technologies and protocols to achieve all of those outcomes that you probably couldn’t at a price point that you can now. 
  • Raghu: we need to partner more and work together not only with other water utilities, but also external partners to enable success.

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