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Severn Trent Water Case Study

Severn Trent Water Engineer fixing pipes

Customer Profile

Severn Trent Water is an international utility services and environmental solutions company. Severn Trent was formed in 1974 as a regional, state-owned water authority responsible for water management and supply and wastewater treatment and disposal in the catchment areas of two of Britain’s largest rivers - the Severn and the Trent. After the privatization of the water industry, Severn Trent Water passed into private ownership in 1989.

The company invested heavily in replacing and repairing its assets and infrastructure. It set standards on public health, reduction of leakage, and the cleanliness of rivers and other water sources in its catchment region.

Severn Trent Water owned many desktop printers, which they replaced with more cost-effective multi-functional devices and pull printing. Their primary goal was significantly decreasing printing costs and ensuring high printing, copying, and scanning security. During the first 12 months, cost savings compared to their previous print environment reached 48%.


Severn Trent Water moved from several regional offices into a new purpose-built seven-story Head Office called Severn Trent Centre.

Severn Trent Water identified that as part of the IT Solutions provision, there was a need to provide a printing solution that aligned with the new workplace vision. This included the provision of a solution that provided secure, on-demand print roaming whilst minimizing the carbon footprint of the solution through significant consolidation of the number of printing devices.

Severn Trent Water had a high number of desktop printers comprised of many different makes and models. The aim was to remove these low-quality and expensive printers and replace them with more cost-effective multi-functional devices.

The solution was designed to address printing, scanning, copying, and faxing to provide a full solution delivered through a consolidated fleet of MFDs.

  • Print driver maintenance was time-consuming, particularly due to their Citrix environment.
  • Fleet management and utilization of devices were insufficient and ineffective.
  • There was no clear visibility of print costs. For example, it was very difficult to identify how much Severn Trent Water was spending on printing, and this was spread across 3–4 different cost centers.


Following a demo, IS Procurement opted for the YSoft SAFEQ 6 Enterprise edition, including the support of application-level cluster technology (without needing a clustered OS or a database). This system is secured against a server failure and ensures automatic load balancing between servers/nodes within the application cluster. The solution has a high level of stability and, overall, manages 3 locations with 62 networked printing devices.

Each device is equipped with a YSoft SAFEQ Embedded Terminal, an inherent part of the multi-functional equipment, and subsequently, users can easily administrate their print jobs (cancel or mark as favorite) directly from the device panel.

YSoft SAFEQ 6 ensures accurate accounting for all output (prints, copies, scans), and administration of the entire print environment is managed from a single location (SAFEQ 6 Web Interface). YSoft SAFEQ 6 reports are tailored to Severn Trent Water’s needs so that they can be used for automatic internal cost accounting or for importing into their Management Information Systems.

The system is also integrated with Severn Trent’s Active Directory, existing Proxlite and Mifare door access card systems, and RightFax and also supports printing from all of their internal applications.



Once deployed, YSoft SAFEQ 6 centrally controls and manages the entire printing environment, providing an accurate overview of who is printing, copying, and scanning and when. Thanks to the YSoft SAFEQ 6 application cluster, printing is available under all conditions (high resistance to server failure). 

Severn Trent enhances device utilization and improves the “print: user” ratio from 1:6 to 1:43. Now that users are aware that their prints are monitored, they have changed their behavior resulting in a noticeable reduction in printing and copying costs. In particular, Severn Trent was able to identify the high-volume users and question why their need for printing was so high. YSoft SAFEQ 6 has also helped to prevent unwanted print.

YSoft SAFEQ 6 has changed the printing culture within our company. Users print just what they need with fewer color prints. Thanks to YSoft SAFEQ 6 reporting, we have identified and managed users with a history of high-volume printing.

David Field, Senior Category Specialist, Severn Trent Water

In addition, Severn Trent can reduce costs even further by redirecting high-volume print jobs from low-volume to more efficient and cost-effective high-volume print devices. In comparison to their existing print environment and conjunction with YSoft SAFEQ 6, cost savings for the first year reached 48%.

All concerns surrounding document security laid out in the RFP were met. YSoft SAFEQ 6 ensures that all printed documents are only accessible by authorized users (thanks to secure release technology via user authentication at the printer), and thanks to YSoft SAFEQ 6, Severn Trent Water is now able to lock down printing and scanning from within their Contract Centre where document output consists of customer information and credit card data.

"YSoft SAFEQ 6 will be soon rolled out to all Severn Trent sites, thus helping to reduce our wasted print even more," concludes David.

Furthermore, the customer required the ability to incorporate user identity into scanned jobs; all documents scanned within the company now include information on who scanned them in. This means that no document can appear with an unknown owner, whereas previously, scans were distributed without any audit trail, leading to risks of data leakage.