Case study | 12 minutes reading

Integration: The Foundation for New Experiences with Embasa 

A sanitation company innovated by optimizing digital processes and systems, resulting in greater personalization and agility for customers and employees.  
monthly savings because of integrations
increase in monthly requests processed
registered customers in just 2 months
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Key Takeaways

  • Integration is an essential pillar of the new customer self-service portal.
    The success of Embasa's new customer portal is because of key system integrations. The company was able to save R$100,000 (about $20,000/month) immediately on outsourced services. Additionally, Embasa optimized internal teams, making new services available and integrating 50 existing services into the new portal. And it doesn't stop there: Embasa  increased monthly processed requests by 750%, improving response times. 
  • A new age of customer experience.
    Previously, 50% of requests initiated in the virtual customer self-service portal were abandoned because the process wasn't seamless. Now, customers experience a faster, more intuitive, and responsive journey that includes accessibility features.
  • Increased efficiency.
    Business teams now have more autonomy to manage content in both the customer self-service portal and the institutional portal. Simply updating a text and/or image, which used to take 5-7 days, can now be done in minutes by the Communications and Relations teams themselves.


Embasa, Empresa Baiana de Águas e Saneamento S.A, supplies water and sewage services to 368 of Bahia's 417 municipalities. Other services include the collection, treatment, and distribution of water as well as the collection, transportation, treatment, and proper disposal of domestic sewage.

A New Age of Innovation

Embasa wanted to rethink the way they provided digital services to their customers. This was an opportunity to reimagine their branding and ensure brand consistency, opening up the possibility of creating new experiences for customers and employees. To implement their vision, Embasa needed to invest in innovation to digitize a range of physical and manual processes, empower non-technical users, and adopt technology capable of integrating existing systems with flexibility and agility. Embasa began by redesigning their two main digital channels: the virtual customer self-service portal and the institutional website.

Where Everything Began

Liferay and Pitang, a member of Liferay's Partner Network since 2014, were chosen to transform Embasa's digital channels. Internally, the company's IT and Communications teams reviewed all current processes and selected which ones to digitize.
Liferay provided the essential tools to drive the revolution in our digital channels. The improvements have had a positive impact, from our customers to our employees. We are undoubtedly prepared and more competitive for the new age of virtual service.
João Souza
Customer relations manager

Unprecedented Results

The company's two new portals have completely changed the user experience, impacting customers, employees, and stakeholders. Within just two months post launch, more than 330,000 customers registered on the new self-service portal. 

Here are some of the major updates Embasa has experienced:
  • Calls coming in through the digital service, which before were analyzed manually by an outsourced team, are now processed automatically, resulting in a monthly savings of approximately 100,000 reais (about $20,000) and the optimization of the customer service team's time.
  • Due to a lack of required documentation, 50% of requests initiated were either abandoned or canceled. Today, customers and employees can find information easily because of a much shorter and more intuitive journey that uses conditional rules for opening processes, ultimately saving users time.
  • The login, which previously used a residential registration number, is now unique by CPF (Individual Taxpayer Identification.) This gives customers a big-picture view, where they can manage property registrations in a single place, check their history of service requests and payments over the last 12 months, bill amounts, monthly water consumption, and more.
  • Both the institutional website and the virtual customer self-service portal depended 100% on IT to update any content, which could take up to a week. The Department of Communications now has more flexibility and autonomy to manage and change content in minutes on both sites, and IT only has to provide operational support.
These aren't the only results, however. Besides all these improvements, several new features have been implemented to create better experiences, living up to Embasa's digital transformation goals:
  1. Customized experiences based on the property location and real-time alerts on scheduled water shortages and estimated regularization.
  2. Development of more than 35 APIs that have made it possible to customize customer experiences.
  3. The new service portal is 100% integrated with other technologies and in compliance with the LGPD (Brazilian General Data Protection Act/Law), now offering more than 50 services digitally to customers that did not exist with the previous technology—and more security.
  4. A 750% increase in monthly service processing and a reduction in the time taken to resolve requests thanks to the newly-established integration programs.
  5. 100% responsive website with accessibility features and a pound reader, ensuring greater safety and ease of use for customers.

Next Steps

With customers successfully adopting the new digital solution, the expectation is that Embasa will go forward with their plan to reduce the number of physical branches, which will cut costs and allow them to allocate investments to other fronts, including investments in raising their level of customer service and improving satisfaction. Previously, digital services received less than 10% of total requests. Moving forward, Embasa wants to increase that number to 50%.

The company also plans to introduce three new services:
  1. Video appointment services: Embasa wants to make it possible to schedule appointments through the portal, offering convenience and direct communication for the user.
  2. Real-time service via chat and co-browsing: This will help customers who are seeking to understand how to use the portal better. 
  3. Virtual tour of the water path: Using virtual reality, customers will be able to understand the entire water path, from collection to consumption, granting a clear view of the water treatment process.