Leading digital tech services firm ARQ Group, part of Singtel Group’s innovation and digital services subsidiary NCS NEXT, has achieved the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Smart City Competency, recognising ARQ’s deep technical expertise and proven track record of delivering smart city use cases. ARQ is the first and only Australian company to achieve this status.
A ‘smart city’ refers to connecting a space or urban area with technology and leveraging the cloud to make cities more efficient by improving government services and citizen welfare.
ARQ is one of nine global AWS Launch Partners under the new AWS Smart City Competency program. The program recognises AWS Partners who have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in specialised solution areas. It is designed to connect AWS customers with world-class AWS Partners who offer smart city cloud solutions that run on AWS.
ARQ currently provides advanced data, analytics and problem-solving services to help build and manage urban data platforms. These include its digital twin approach including AWS IoT TwinMaker for North East Water in Victoria, work on the Melbourne Water Unified Data Store (UDS) Platform, and its NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Fires Near Me app, which were integral to ARQ achieving the AWS Smart City Competency. A summary of these case studies can be found below.
James Vincent, CTO at ARQ Group, says: “We are proud to be the first Australian company to achieve the AWS Smart City Competency and be recognised for our skills and expertise in creating innovative solutions for cities and urban spaces. This makes it easier for organisations such as city councils to find best-in-class partners and technology, to help provide better outcomes for the community.
“As cities evolve and populations continue to grow, it’s important to leverage technology to address challenges associated with improving efficiency and performance. We’ve applied innovative technology such as digital twin, data visualisaton and data science to create actionable outcomes for our clients. This is the way forward to addressing urban challenges and creating sustainable and smarter cities.”
Case study 1: North East Water
ARQ delivered an accelerated digital twin approach for Victorian water utility company North East Water to enable front-line engineers to check the status and health of sewer pumps from mobile devices, allow sensitive data to be stored more securely, and to predict when pumps may need to be maintained or replaced prior to an issue occurring. Using an AWS-based hybrid digital twin platform, data was able to be viewed in real-time online and gathered from remote locations, letting users access the system from outside the office and on any device.
Case study 2: Melbourne Water UDS Platform
ARQ worked with Victorian Government body Melbourne Water over the past year to create a digital strategy leveraging AWS cloud technology to deliver reliable provisioning of essential water services. The solution was a scalable, state-of-the-art data lake and analytics platform called UDS (Unified Data Store) to transform Melbourne Water into a data-driven enterprise. The platform helped Melbourne Water overcome constraints in operational resilience, disaster recovery, and business continuity of their technology assets and accelerate key outcomes such as critical water utility asset management and predictive machine maintenance.
Case study 3: NSW RFS Fires Near Me app
ARQ worked with the NSW RFS to re-architecture its Fires Near Me solution as a web and mobile app, which warns Australians of the catastrophic fire conditions and hazards near them. It was one of the most critical apps used in 2020, sending a total of 12 million push notifications during 2020, and potentially saving lives. However, ARQ’s key challenge was creating an infrastructure that could cost effectively sustain 10 million active users at a single time. ARQ was able to create an agile and scalable solution by leveraging the cloud to adapt to the high traffic volumes during a critical time.