Case study: Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg (WML)

Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg’s (WML) path to GDPR compliance

Industry: Utilities | Application: GDPR Compliance | Product: SAP ILM and SAP IQ

About WML

WML, the drinking water supplier for roughly 550,000 households and 16,000 companies in Limburg, Netherlands, operates on a non-profit basis. As a public company, WML has 500 shares that are divided between the Province of Limburg and the Limburg municipalities. Shares were allocated to municipalities based on their respective population size. However, each municipality is guaranteed a minimum of one share. For nearly a century, WML has provided top-quality drinking water around the clock, every day of the year. Standing as a dependable and proud entity for Limburg, WML not only ensures clean drinking water for the present but also for future generations.

Challenges to address: Overcoming data compliance obstacles

As a consumer-facing company, WML manages a substantial amount of personal data alongside employee records. Given their commitment to personal privacy, aligning with the EU’s GDPR law became a crucial requirement. WML required specialist assistance to address the technical components of compliance. During the project’s research phase, the appropriate application that met WML’s needs was yet to be identified. Different departments like data governance, HR, and IT often have varying requirements on how long the data is needed, making the compliance process more complex.

The solution: Finding the path to compliance

Guided by a recommendation from SAP Netherlands, WML engaged Proceed, a specialised service provider with the expertise to facilitate GDPR compliance. They assisted WML in deploying SAP ILM and SAP IQ to implement data blocking and set up data destruction of customer and HR data. The collaboration required detailed workshops to gain a thorough understanding of WML’s data access needs and define data retention rules. These efforts led to an efficient and legally-compliant framework for the controlled deletion of privacy-sensitive SAP data.

The business benefits: Streamlined data governance and efficiency

The implementation of SAP ILM and SAP IQ, facilitated by Proceed, has not only provided WML with the necessary SAP standard applications to achieve GDPR compliance but also brought about several distinct benefits:

  • The applications and insights derived from this process equip WML to make further strides in improving their data management.
  • The risk of non-compliance fines and the potential impact of a data breach are significantly reduced.
  • Prompt removal of personal data minimises the risk of reputational damage resulting from GDPR non-compliance and potential data breaches.
  • Streamlined data storage across connected systems, including those used for business reporting.

“Team Proceed includes real professionals. We learned much from them. In addition to the planned activities, reaction time to changes were impressive. The team was always available to meet our requirements. Escalations made in the context of rationality. Project management was well included in the support in an excellent manner. In addition to professional aspect, we built good social relationships.”

Engin Yüksel - Project Manager (Business & IT) WML

Future prospects: Data management as a stepping stone for digital transformation

Within the context of GDPR-focused data management, WML has enhanced its GDPR compliance by deleting up to 1,000 employee records, with further substantial cuts expected in the ongoing management of customer data. Looking forward, WML intends to leverage data archiving to significantly decrease its data load before its anticipated S/4HANA migration. This strategy forms a critical component of phase two of their data management initiative, underlining their commitment to efficient data governance and future readiness.

Contact us to find out more