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Joseph Pizzinga, CFO WaterNSW

"WaterNSW is a State-owned Corporation established in 2014, that manages a large portfolio of dams and other water infrastructure assets and supplies two-thirds of the water used in NSW to regional towns, irrigators, Sydney Water Corporation and local water utilities.

 

We started our Microsoft Dynamics 365 ‘As a Service’ journey in 2017 intent on delivering finance (core, procurement, accounts payable, accounts receivable) HR, billing and large infrastructure asset management, with several interfaces to critical systems including, project management, payroll and timesheeting and Enterprise Risk Management. Early in 2018, we realised the program, in its current form, needed a change, and as such, we engaged Focused Business Solutions (FBS) to enhance the scale and capability of the project team and provide the necessary discipline to reset the project on a successful pathway.

FBS’s experience in managing large, complex projects was evident in their skill, discipline and creative approach to problem-solving. They fostered collaboration between the business, technology, vendors and the broader WaterNSW community which contributed to their successful delivery.

From a purely financial point of view, FBS paid meticulous attention to the preservation of financial information and delivery of “best practice” capability. They clearly embraced their audit and compliance obligations (coordinating passing multiple internal and external reviews, including the DFSI Gateway process). Via a well-managed transition to “go-live” and post-production support program, FBS enabled the business to confidently engage in “business as usual” activity within days of “go-live”.

 

FBS’s highly experienced team was always professional, committed to providing excellent ‘value for money’ and constantly acted in WaterNSW’s best interest. I have had the opportunity to work with FBS on several occasions on challenging and complex programs of work, which have all resulted in successful outcomes and as such I would not hesitate to recommend them."

Ian Robinson, CIO WaterNSW

"We began a major technology initiative in 2017 to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a service ERP. We engaged Focused Business Solutions (FBS) to significantly enhance the scale and capability of the project team at a time when the project needed to shift gears. The program included; finance (core, procurement, Account Payable, Accounts Receivable) HR, billing and large infrastructure asset management, with a number of interfaces to critical systems including project management, payroll and timesheeting, and Enterprise Risk Management.


The FBS team provided valuable expertise using best practice, considered implications to the business at every step, engaged with the WaterNSW business community, managed and negotiated with the vendor on our behalf, bridged the information gap in product architecture, supported processes, provided documentation and prepared our organisation for ‘business as usual’. FBS’s highly experienced team was always professional, committed to providing excellent ‘value for money’ and constantly acted in our best interest.


The successful delivery was based on FBS spanning both the system integrator and business to ensure the solution was customised using standard Microsoft extensions. This means the system can be continuously patched and upgraded to keep it evergreen. It also means FBS has left behind a legacy that is an automated regression testing solution and a Business well equipped to enhance and release new capability each month."

I initially engaged Focused Business Solutions (FBS) at Rail Corporation NSW (RailCorp). This Government owned organisation provided passenger rail services throughout NSW. FBS demonstrated their consulting versatility by undertaking several challenging assignments within the Commercial Services functions under my management. These included: relocating the RailCorp 450 seat training campus; a Health Check of the existing $40M Property Management Service Agreement to inform an impending contract renewal; facilitating the resolution of critical audit items reported monthly to the Board Audit Committee; working with critical stakeholders to develop a Target Operating Model for RailCorp’s non-operational Property Management Group, and project management of the construction of a service road at the RailCorp Clyde Maintenance Facility. All tasks were completed in a thorough and professional manner, with requirements met or exceeded.

 

In my next role at the NSW Police Force (NSWPF), and based on results achieved at RailCorp, I again engaged FBS to manage several complex and major projects within the business areas under my management as CFO.

 

Initially, operating within the Police Property Group, FBS were tasked with managing a large, complex property services contract transition between the new and incumbent service providers. During this program were accountable for regular Executive briefings to myself and my superior, the Deputy Commissioner Corporate Services. FBS successfully managed the transition; they ensured sound contract management practices were in place and resolved the many significant commercial challenges that were to be expected when dealing with a $1.6B property portfolio and a $220M annual program of work.

 

Following the commissioning of the new service provider FBS led the development of a rolling five-year Property Management Strategic Plan covering all aspects of the property portfolio from acquisition of an asset to disposal of those no longer operationally required. This Plan also included strategic decisions around the build of new police stations and refurbishment of existing properties. FBS led an exhaustive collaboration process involving key internal and external stakeholders in completing the Plan.

 

The NSW Government completed a whole of sector review of property assets and where they were best owned, maintained and operated. Policy dictated that a front-line agency such as the NSWPF should only own operational properties and be provided with commercial and other properties by a Government owned Property Owner. To this end, the NSWPF owned a residential property portfolio of some 700 residences. FBS were tasked to transition these properties from Police ownership to Property NSW ownership and arrange ongoing Police access on a rental basis. This required tough negotiation between stakeholders, developing strong working relationships between government departments, peak bodies and within the force itself (especially in the regional areas of NSW). Critical to the program was the disciplined management and governance of the commercial aspects of divestment of government assets.

 

FBS also completed several minor concurrent projects in the Property space to support the massive changes impacting the Portfolio. This included the resolution of a capitalisation review to clear a backlog of $140M worth of project work sitting in Capital Work in Progress and the reconciliation of a $270M portfolio of “zero value assets” to address critical audit issues.

 

FBS always provided “value for money” and operated with the best interest of the client in mind. Their consultants combined the necessary discipline, versatility, and experience necessary to consistently deliver complex projects on-time and within the NSW Government’s strict compliance and governance framework for operating agencies. I would not hesitate to recommend their services.

- CFO and Director of Finance & Business Services, NSW POLICE

- Executive General Manager Commercial Services, RailCorp

 "I always found FBS consultants to be reliable and technically proficient"

- COO, FuturePlus

 "Managed the team well to improve their collaboration and performance" 

- CIO, Serco Asia Pacific

"We engaged Focused Business Solutions to project manage a number of strategic projects.  Due to their skills and dedication to our organisation, they have helped us to transform the way we operate."

- CEO, ROOKWOOD

"Focused Business Solutions provides an end-to-end consulting service that Sabre has found to be instrumental in its business operations. Sabre has drawn on the expertise of a knowledgeable FBS consultant for the past five years. A valuable team-player, this particular consultant has demonstrated great initiative while playing an integral role in defining long-term solutions within the organisation. The FBS team has also been extremely easy to work with in relation to billing and invoicing."

- Manager of Product Development, SABRE

The Focused Business Solutions' consultant, was engaged by Ingham’s to manage the transition of IT support to an offshore, outsourced model and to migrate two datacentres. The consultant's experience in dealing with major IT Infrastructure projects and outsource providers was a key element to his selection for the role. The transition and migration project was managed to an aggressive timeline with a significant number of impacting events, scope change, variables and delivery challenges.  The consultant engaged and led the in-house technical resources effectively and engaged the outsource provider confidently and reliably. The key objective of the transition to migration without disruption to business operations was achieved and all changes were managed within an approval and delivery framework.  His professionalism was instrumental to the success of his engagement and has contributed positively to the transformation of the Ingham’s IT team.

- IT Infrastructure and Operations Mgr.,  INGHAMS

"Focused Business Solutions provide an end-to-end consulting service. Their consultants have deep domain knowledge in specific business value chains and this is complemented with experience in company management, program management and governance. You get more than a consultant, you get a team who supports you as you move through any engagement. This vastly improves the quality of work, executive engagement and outcomes for my business."

- IT Manager, FLOW SYSTEMS

In 2015, SuperChoice engaged Focused Business Solutions (FBS) with a requirement to meet a two-week RfP deadline to a Major Bank.

 

The timeline for the consulting assignment was very tight and required FBS getting across a significant amount of complex domain expertise very quickly. FBS managed to consume the detail and get to the heart of the strategy and our customer value proposition.  They managed to coordinate and manage all aspects of the 600-page tender response as well as the formal presentation – FBS presented succinctly and professionally what is a very complex service in a simple way to time-poor consumers of the RFP. As importantly, they created a flow of key repeatable artefacts that have been re-utilised for other similar tender assignments and proposals. 

 

The engagement was professional in every respect and highly successful (SuperChoice was awarded the contract).    

 

We would have no hesitation recommending FBS providing service-based businesses like our own – with a strategic and professional presentation of any complex business or service"

- General Mgr., SUPERCHOICE

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