Companies in the energy sector are getting a lot of attention these days. New and innovative technologies are making more and more natural gas available to meet the needs of the power generation industry. Offshore oil and gas operations are reaching a new level of sophistication from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea. Nuclear power is seeing a renaissance as new projects are being planned and built worldwide.
One portion of the energy sector seems to be flying under the radar … but without it, all of these investments and efforts would be for naught. It is this sector that Gartner focuses on in its Magic Quadrant for Delivery Utility Asset Management. The report is available here on this handy analyst report page. IFS is proud to be categorized in the Visionary quadrant in this report. And we think this Magic Quadrant is of more importance than most people realize.
Why is that? In this report, Gartner takes a look at the demanding enterprise asset management (EAM) software needs of “utilities responsible for the delivery of services via pipes or wires.” Indeed, these are crucial and perhaps under-appreciated links in the energy infrastructure. It seems like power transmission and distribution or oil and gas pipelines primarily garner attention when there is a pipeline failure, or when there is a power outage. Pipeline-related mishaps have gotten more than their share of media coverage, but it is important to remember that pipelines, in the presence of a solid asset integrity management program, may sometimes be safer than other forms of transport.
This may be why more and more pipeline and transmission capacity is being built to serve the world’s burgeoning energy needs in the developed and developing worlds, and why pipelines are seen as strategic targets for those who seek to destabilize an economy.
Pipelines and transmission and distribution utilities are as mission critical as other energy assets, if not more so. That is why IFS is proud to have been named as a visionary in this quadrant. And it is why we are vocal advocates for the AIM discipline. Companies and utilities in this space absolutely need world-class EAM, real-time field service workforce scheduling and solid documentation so they can not only perform required maintenance work and inspections but prove to regulators that work has been done by qualified individuals. Transmission and distribution utilities are under pressure to maintain specific response times to outages and document to stakeholders that those commitments have been met. Both electricity and petroleum distribution require a cradle to grave approach to asset lifecycle management (ALM), so that information on constructed projects flows directly into the asset management system for seamless handover to operations and maintenance.
IFS Applications has historically been a strong software choice for the energy and utilities market, and we plan to become even stronger. The ability to handle linear assets, world-class field service management functionality and intelligent scheduling of field technicians are all features the sector can expect to find in IFS Applications. And that is why more and more companies like Atlas Pipelines and Trans Northern are joining the IFS family. And why IFS is the choice of grid operators such as Svenska Kraftnät (Sweden), Statnett (Norway) and TenneT (The Netherlands) as well as distributors such as Horizon Utilities (Canada), Vattenfall (Sweden), Fortum (Sweden), and Hafslund Energi (Norway).
Being named to this particular visionary quadrant is quite gratifying, particularly given the mission-critical work that we support here.