Earlier, I had blogged about how the investments and efforts we’d made into our GIS integration. And, these investments are beginning to pay dividends for many of our customers.
At our recent IFS World Conference in Sweden, one of our regulated water companies presented, “Integrating with Geospatial Tools,” about the improvements and progress they have made. In an enterprise solution that includes finance, human resources, payroll, supply chain, document management and full asset management, the benefits achieved by the company have been impressive.
The screenshot below shows the Esri ArcGIS visualization that is directly embedded within IFS Applications, allowing the user to navigate seamlessly between the two systems. Data is synchronized between the systems and the open architecture of both applications ensures that this is a simple, reliable and repeatable process.
In the operations world, the IFS Mobile Work Order (MWO) solution is used together with a complementary mobile GIS solution using ArcGIS for Windows Mobile 10.2. This has been configured, designed and built for the customer and includes integration with IFS MWO.
The implementation project originated as a pure work and asset management solution. However, as the project progressed, functional areas such as finance, HR/payroll and projects were implemented together with the inventory and spares requirements of a typically regulated utility.
Another area of IFS Applications that is due to go live is the use of ‘Compatible Units’ to create estimates for new services. This is a unique solution, utilizing survey questionnaires on the mobile device to automatically define the requirements.
This type of integration between an enterprise suite that is used to manage distributed or linear assets and GIS is obviously essential to delivering streamlined work management, supply chain control and real-time visibility of the state of the assets. The system will not only facilitate day-to-day maintenance work executed by technicians using the mobile work order app, but will provide a clear visualization of these linear and distributed assets, locations where work orders must be or have been executed, asset integrity issues to be addressed and more. And, it is accomplished through a simple, standard integration thanks to the open nature of the two systems and a long-standing partnership.
Expanding the solution even further
Currently, the geospatial element of the implementation is restricted to both above and below ground assets. However, it is my expectation that it will be extended to other areas. For example:
- Resource location and scheduling
- Vehicle tracking
- Zonal reporting and regulatory filing of data
- Business planning including strategic asset surveys
- Integration with capabilities for taking possession of highways
- New development requests for connections and access
- Overlay with other utilities for complete local, regional and national infrastructure planning
In addition to incorporating the GIS solution into an asset management offer, we have developed the integration in such a way that it can be used with any (business) object within IFS Applications. For example, incident reports, supplier or customer locations, inventory parts and thus deep spatial analytics are made possible.
Should you need any help in defining how you can best utilize your enterprise and GIS investments, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
IFS COMPATIBLE UNITS
Lets you manage a set of operations, parts, standard jobs, tools/facilities etc. to do a specific task, e.g. install a transformer in the field. You can also do project and asset estimations complete with revision handling and to work with parallel revisions/estimates throughout the lifecycle, from idea through realization to redesign or decommissioning. Also, a configurator allows you to manage template structures to generate compatible unit and execution item structures based on actual characteristics.
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