Welcome to The Wire
An e-newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date on ArcFM™ solutions and GIS trends, issues, and ideas that are important to busy utility and telecom professionals.
- The Experts’ Plan: Getting to the Utility Network and the ArcFM XI Series
- Link 2018 Registration is Open!
- Introducing our New Professional Services Director, Nnamdi Agbakwu!
- Southern Company expects significant efficiencies with ArcFM Mobile
- The First Steps toward becoming a Digital Utility
- In the News: Maximizing your GIS and Preparing for the Utility Network
- Tips 'n' Tricks
In this issue...
We know you’ve heard it before: “New technology is coming!” or “Prepare for change!”
But this time it’s different because the Utility Network will transform not only your organization, but the entire industry; not just workflows, but your entire approach to GIS data.
The shift is so significant that even we at Schneider Electric can’t do it alone, and are relying on partners to add tremendous value.
On October 26, our own Danny Petrecca and Juul Dijkstra hosted a webinar discussing our detailed plan to help you get ready for your move to the Utility Network and ArcFM Editor XI. As part of the webinar they covered the following:
- A step-by-step plan and key considerations to help you prepare
- An update on ArcFM Editor XI functionality and capabilities
- How to get involved in the ArcFM Editor XI Alpha program
As the pioneers of the utility GIS market, we are committed to helping you assess and prepare to move to the Utility Network and the ArcFM XI Solution Series. View the webinar to learn more!
Link 2018 Registration is Open!
Link is a unique opportunity for you to connect with industry experts and expand valuable business opportunities among the entire spectrum of electric, gas, water utility and communication network operators!
It is THE event for learning how to maximize your Schneider Electric solutions!
- In-depth product roadmaps
- Valuable case histories told from the customers themselves
- Key insights from industry experts
- Hands-on training sessions
- Engaging networking events
We’ve also announced the Link 2018 Call for Papers. Do you have a story to tell? Share your knowledge, insight, and expertise with fellow utility and communication professionals! Go here to submit your proposal.
Feb. 26-March 2, 2018
Introducing our new Professional Services Director, Nnamdi Agbakwu!
We are thrilled to welcome Nnamdi Agbakwu back to Schneider Electric as director of professional services!
Nnamdi first joined the Geospatial division back in 2009. Throughout his time and positions here, he was instrumental in leading our solution architecture teams domestically and abroad, as well as standardizing processes, exploring new ways to better serve clients and driving quality.
In 2015, Nnamdi left us to join other organizations where he gained experience in the areas of operations, product management, services, technology and more. “Versatility and agility in an ever-changing technology space are requirements for success,” he remarked. “Understanding customers’ business drivers and problems are more important than the latest product feature. A culture driven by an underlying consistent framework for delivering professional services work is more scalable, efficient and less risky than rigid swim lanes, information silos and templates.”
Nnamdi is excited to be back with us as director of professional services, especially because of the big changes that the utility GIS space is experiencing and the aggressive evolution of Schneider Electric’s GIS product suite.
He is committed to deeply understanding customers’ business in order to deliver more meaningful solutions. He will strengthen the ability of each of our solutions to address clients’ needs and actively transform feedback into more effective services and consulting engagements.
Welcome back, Nnamdi!
When there’s a storm restoration event or simply a routine inspection in a remote area, the ability to complete your work regardless of connectivity is a game-changer for many utilities.
ArcFM Mobile provides just that ability: A means to stay functional and productive whether the connection signal is strong, weak, or non-existent. For Southern Company, this feature of ArcFM Mobile will result in significant efficiencies. “In Alabama and Georgia, for example, there are lots of areas with bad coverage or coverage isn’t available,” explained Glenn Taylor of Southern Company. “We needed something that could run in disconnected mode and it’s important to have a solution we can rely on.”
View the video to learn more about how Southern Company is benefitting from ArcFM Mobile!
It’s no secret that the utility industry is going through a major transformation. Organizations that are used to simple transitions (like adopting new tools but retaining the same workflows) will likely struggle with the scale of this transformation. But those that evolve their processes and workflows and undergo a fundamental business transformation will succeed.
The big question is whether your utility – especially your current IT landscape – is primed for the digital transformation. There are three key elements to this:
- Technology: In GIS, we’re going from desktop GIS to Web-GIS and services on a platform. It’s transforming how a utility shares, collaborates and interacts with its data.
- Workflows: More and more customizations are being abandoned in favor of changing workflows to match the technology.
- Business models: Utility revenue models are being challenged by the onset of renewables as well as the promises of “Smart Grid.” This will change the way utilities collect and spend money.
Esri’s new Utility Network will bring great benefits but requires many changes, and utilities will need to work with an experienced organization to help navigate them through these changes. At Schneider Electric, we’ve done this countless time in the past and are providing the tools and expertise to do it again. Plus, our ArcFM Series XI allows you to work with existing technology while preparing for Esri’s Utility Network and other changes. Its focused design, construction and as-built apps allow work to get done faster. The apps are tailored to a specific role or persona within your organization and allow GIS information to be shared throughout a platform – even offline – to drive more possibilities for efficiency.
Successfully navigating change management will mean moving at your own pace and adopting changes as you are ready, while still taking advantage of the powerful new apps available today.
Check out just a few of the topics we’ve been thinking and writing about!
Five Ways a Utility can make the Most of its GIS Investment
In Utility Products, our own Matt Crooks notes that too many utilities compartmentalize their GIS and miss the full application benefits it can provide. From easier maintenance to meeting regulatory requirements and better integration, this article lays out five underused aspects of GIS. Read more and learn how your organization can increase efficiency and ease with GIS!
Considerations in Preparation for the Utility Network
To prepare for the transition to the Utility Network, utilities need to address several questions regarding their current operations and system. Questions surrounding integrations, personalized processes and the user experience are a few of the most important ones to consider. In this article for Directions Magazine, Matt Crooks walks through considerations like customizations, familiarity with Esri’s new desktop experience, the need for new apps and more. Read the full article to learn why improving your operations today – while preparing for the future – can help you maximize benefits.
In this month’s Tips and Tricks, we cover fast and easy stored display changes that will make your work easier. Here’s just one of them:
Copy all the Best Bookmarks
If you have several useful bookmarks scattered across numerous Stored Displays, you can gather them all into one file of core bookmarks which you can then import into as many Stored Displays as you wish. Best of all, the import of these core bookmarks will not overwrite the other bookmarks already in those Stored Displays.
- Start by opening a Stored Display that contains one or more of the bookmarks you want to gather.
- From the Bookmarks menu, choose Manage Bookmarks.
- In the Bookmarks Manager window, select (use Ctrl + click) only the bookmarks you want to include in the core file, then from the Save button choose Save Selected.
Repeat the process of applying a Stored Display, selecting its most useful bookmarks, and saving those selected bookmarks to a new .dat file until all the bookmarks you want are now saved in .dat files.
Now you need to combine all these .dat files into one file.
- Open a new blank map in ArcMap.
- From the Bookmarks menu, choose Manage Bookmarks. Because this is a blank map, the Bookmarks Manager window has no bookmarks yet.
- Click the Load button, then browse to one of the .dat files.
- Once you have opened that file, repeat the Load process until you have brought all the bookmarks from all the .dat files into the Bookmarks Manager window.
At this point, you can adjust the order of the bookmarks using the arrow buttons located between the Create and Remove buttons. Once your bookmark list looks the way you want it to, choose Save All from the Save button.
Save this .dat file in a convenient location, and be sure to give it a name that makes it clear that this file contains all the core bookmarks.
Now you can open any Stored Display and load the core bookmark file into the Manage Bookmarks window. Remember to save your Stored Display afterward, so that these new bookmarks become a permanent part of that Stored Display.
Want more quick improvements? Check out all of our Stored Display tips and tricks!
Give us your feedback
Please let us know how we can make this newsletter more helpful. Email your comments to Chris Friede.
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The Wire •October 2017• Schneider Electric