GIS Client Services: Our Stories

Version 17

    After more than thirty years of implementation and consulting services, we have a stockpile of customer success stories. The following stories are just a few of the many:


    Overcoming Obstacles to Deploying an Enterprise GIS Solution


    Details found in  Presentation - Link 2015 - Building Four Utilities in Two Years


    wreckingball.pngThe Utility Industry is a diverse and ever-changing environment driven by stakeholder, government, social, economic, global, environmental, and new technology requirements.  This necessitates that utilities act fast and implement solutions to manage these challenges, day-to-day operations, and track of technology assets. Along with these requirements comes the need to track, report, and provide more information than ever before.  This is a presentation of how one such utility successfully deployed an enterprise –wide GIS solution while leveraging project management best practices to meet these challenges.


    Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power, was presented with this challenge after purchasing four utilities in North America from National Grid, Atmos Energy, and Nevada Energy. Liberty Utilities had to integrate four geographically separate electrical and gas utilities (Georgia, Mid-States, New Hampshire Gas & Electric, and Cal Peco) under one GIS platform to manage all assets, engineering designs, and outage management events, all while meeting contractual and local-government deadlines for final deployment. Schneider Electric, a global leader in GIS and technology solutions, was selected by Liberty Utilities to provide their ArcFM Solutions Suite including ArcFM for GIS, ArcFM Design (Designer) and ArcFM Operations (Responder) for outage management.


    To meet these challenges, Liberty Utilities and Schneider Electric implemented an aligned project management model driven by several “key areas of success”: a consistent project management approach, project team communication, stakeholder engagement, and schedule and change management.



    City of Vero Beach Goes Mobile


    Original article in The Wire - August 2015


    mobile.pngLike many municipalities, the City of Vero Beach relied on outdated, costly and cumbersome paper maps and schematics. As a way to unify these disparate processes, allow for better exchange of information and support efficient operations, Vero Beach has implemented ArcFM Mobile on top of the ArcFM Solution for Electric Utilities that they have been using for 7 years. With this new mobile solution, they have extended the value of their existing Enterprise GIS investment adding  focused, intuitive tools that give field crews real-time access to geospatial data and work instruction in an easy to use digital interface so they know exactly what work to perform, where it’s located, and can easily communicate work status and results.


    The new system was up and running within days thanks to Schneider Electric’s Client Services team that helped with easy configuration, a hosted deployment model and use of existing GIS and security systems. “It was a seamless implementation. Schneider Electric’s team is very knowledgeable and always available if you have questions. It’s been a great experience,” said Weber. “In the future, we’re looking to continue to make ourselves more efficient, to increase the safety of our line crews, and mostly reduce our response time to outages by building a cohesive database that will benefit everyone in the T&D department.”

    Improving Workforce Efficiency Through Better Analysis


    Details found in Presentation - Link 2015 - PSE&G Appliance Service Supervisory Dashboard

    analysis.pngPublic Service Electric and Gas Company, headquartered in New Jersey, had all the technician and job data a utility could dream of but needed a way to put that data to use in real-time decision making and employee management.  This data spread across systems that would have to work together, including GIS, GPS, Business Objects, and SAP.  For an extra challenge, the dispatchers and supervisors had outgrown their original map interface and were looking for a sophisticated but user-friendly web-based map to help them assign and manage technicians more efficiently.  This map would require interaction with all four systems.

    Schneider Electric joined PSE&G in designing a solution that met both technical and human requirements.  Not only are all four systems now sharing data and supporting the new and more capable webmap in real-time, but the dispatchers are delighted to see the improvements they requested, including a new interactive beeping leak ticket alert.  The positive reception of this solution demonstrates once again that while technical know-how is essential, listening to clients is the key to project success.


    Improving Quantity and Quality of Services at a Sustainable Cost


    Details found in Presentation - Link 2015 - Customer Insights: Implementing Feeder Manager 2.0 from Concept to Reality


    goldbrickroad.pngWhat really happens when a utility implements Feeder Manager 2.0?  Minnesota's Connexus Energy recognized that over 60% of their IT costs were spent on business applications, and that they could gain substantial savings by migrating to the best applications on the market, including ArcFM with Feeder Manager 2.0, Geodatabase Manager, and ArcFM Server.  With help from Schneider Electric, they accomplished all this in less than ten months.  Connexus Energy even had time to start a Responder implementation before the year was done.


    At Link 2015 Connexus Energy shared what they learned, what they liked, and what further improvements they would like to see. They also shared the benefits they have found in upgrading to ArcFM 10.2.1a and their plans for the next year of software and business process overhauls.


    Achieving More Work with Fewer Resources Through Automation

    Details found in Presentation - Link 2015 - Design Work Process Automation at PHI


    board.pngTaking a job from idea to as-built is no simple process, especially when it involves multiple systems (GIS, WMIS, OMS, CYME, SAP), multiple people (design engineer, clerk, construction team leader, system maintenance team), and multiple paths (graphic vs. non-graphic).  Pepco Holdings, Inc. knew that each step of their clearly defined design process was essential, but that with the right customizations many of those steps could be automated.

    Working with Schneider Electric, PHI examined their entire workflow to find points where system integrations and new custom tools could speed the process.  The result included customizations across many products, including Integration Framework processors, Designer Workflow Manager subtasks, Geodatabase Manager action handlers, ArcFM autoupdaters, and Process Framework filters, along with a new web service, a specialized CU loader, and even a reconductoring tool.

    With these tools implemented, PHI moved further toward their goals of decreasing data entry time, eliminating duplication, and establishing clear ownership for each step of the workflow.