West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services go live with FireWatch Cloud v.7.8

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) deploy major release of latest Web and Mobile App-delivered FireWatch solution suite


Infographics have worked closely with WSFRS for several years, providing an integrated fire service management platform – FireWatch. The deployment covers Human Resources, Training and Development, Availability & Workforce Planning, Asset Management, and other areas. Following this successful first phase, the Service was looking to benefit from the latest FireWatch functionality in our major new v.7.8 release, including cloud and Azure Active Directory-based single-sign-on, our latest mobile app and redeveloped Web user experience and features.

The challenge

Even with a successful FireWatch implementation in place, there is always effort involved in such a major upgrade, including user acceptance testing, feedback, and approval cycles within West Sussex FRS user communities. The Service collaborated closely with Infographics and are committed to dedicating ongoing appropriate resource levels to the solution to ensure that they can support business as usual alongside a smooth transition to the latest platform updates and the deployment of new modules and features.

The solution

With this latest v.7.8 rollout, the Service have transformed employee interactions with FireWatch into a re-designed, modern, graphically, and KPI-driven User Experience (UX) where end users can see and action their integrated tasks and data in one place.

Plus, with access provided via the FireWatch Cloud, users have ‘anytime, anywhere’ access. FireWatch also includes single-sign-on via Azure Active Directory (AAD) integration, enabling end users to use their existing Office 365 credentials to automatically authenticate and access the system, further simplifying the UX.

The deployment involved user testing and close collaboration between Infographics and West Sussex to provide a smooth transition, access to significant new application functionality and updated Microsoft Azure Cloud hosting, via their Software as a Service (SaaS) provision.

Latest deployment – key features and benefits

The rollout of the new FireWatch v.7.8 Web Client UX alongside the FireWatch Mobile App has delivered several vital improvements, as identified by feedback and approval cycles within West Sussex FRS user communities.

Just some of the key areas of transformation are summarised as follows:

  • Ability to work from anywhere
  • Convenience of a secure, single sign-on
  • Modern look and feel
  • Ease of use and navigation
  • Efficiency of push notifications
  • Greater visibility through station and organisation status views
  • Self-service for maintenance of personal info and contact details
  • Simplicity of adding detachments and holidays
  • Improved visibility and management of qualifications

The results – ‘anytime, anywhere access’

Steve Buchanan-Lee, WSFRS’s Group Manager for Operational Training & Development, said:

“The upgrade to FireWatch 7.8 has now provided our staff with all the functionality of FireWatch wherever they are and whatever they are doing. The improved user-end experience now allows much easier access to live data and reports, in a format that is both technically and visually easier to process.

“Improvements have already been seen in the monitoring and management of maintaining our availability for Operational response, for our communities, and we are continuing to explore further functionality in the use of FireWatch 7.8 to improve our support of staff competence and the management of Operational appliances and equipment.”

Summing up

Their last move from their previous ‘on-premise’ architecture to FireWatch Microsoft Azure Cloud hosting with SaaS access also delivered clear benefits. The key ‘gains’ that the implementation teams identified at West Sussex FRS through their analysis included:

  • Greater scalability
  • Increased security
  • Improved accessibility
  • Easy, streamlined upgrades
  • Reduced equipment costs
  • Increased flexibility

Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said:

“It is gratifying to see all the hard work by Infographics and the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service team pay off with such a successful rollout.

“We are already learning about the positive impacts the v.7.8 FireWatch Web and App rollout is having, helping the West Sussex team to provide an integrated system and processes, modernise their user experience, deliver self-service capabilities and improve the security, flexibility and scalability of their deployed solutions via our Microsoft Azure Cloud with SaaS delivery.

“This is a major step forward not only for West Sussex but all our clients looking to emulate their success and complete their upgrades to FireWatch Cloud v7.8.”

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