Siemens and HELIOZ sign MoU to provide Sudan with safe water
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Siemens will collaborate with HELIOZ - a social enterprise company in the field of water disinfection and development of climate projects in order to provide safe drinking water to marginalised residents in Sudan.
Recognising the need for clean drinking water in multiple areas of Sudan, Siemens will collaborate with HELIOZ in order to change this. Siemens will sponsor a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) campaign that will provide drinkable water to marginalised communities in Sudan.
“Clean drinking water is an essential and basic human right. Communities having reasonable access to clean water promotes better health, while preventing the spread of easily avoidable diseases. This solution that we’re bringing to the people of Sudan will provide an improved way of life and will add value to our people,” commented Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO of Siemens, Southern and Eastern Africa.
Developed by HELIOZ, the projects will be rolled out to the beneficiaries in two phases. The first stage will be implemented in disadvantaged areas in Greater Khartoum - in this part of Sudan access to safe water is currently a major challenge.
In the second stage, Siemens and HELIOZ have established plans to extend the initiative into Kosti in White Nile State, where Siemens is already contributing to the upgrade and renovation of two schools in the area.
As part of the two companies efforts, the technology which will be utilised is based on an environmentally friendly method. The method will include - Solar Water Disinfection with UV-indicator known as WADI.
WADI - a technology which has been tested and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective method for household water - was specially designed by HELIOZ for communities that require an easy-to-use solution for water disinfection.
Not only do the solar powered devices provide those in disadvantaged communities with safe water to drink, the technology also has a positive impact on the environment. By changing the method of disinfecting water from the traditional boiling method to WADI, results in a reduction of CO2 emissions as well as indoor air pollution.
“Business exists to serve society and helping the societies in which we operate is part of our core value at Siemens. Our collaboration with HELIOZ on this project solidifies our commitment to address basic human needs and essential infrastructure for the advancement of communities and regions we operate. Positively impacting the quality of life of people in our regions is crucial to us,” concludes Sabine.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”