Logica, SAP, and Sybase's Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water

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Read the success story of Anglian Water mobile app, created by Logica, SAP, and Sybase.

Read the success story of Anglian Water mobile app, created by Logica, SAP, and Sybase.

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  • 1. ANALYST INSIGHTLogica, SAP, and SybasesInnovative Mobile Applicationsfor Anglian WaterToughbook 2 project is the first use of Sybase in the utilitiesindustry since SAP acquired it Reference Code: OI00182-009 Publication Date: May 2012 Author: Stuart RavensSUMMARYCatalyst For years, vendors and utilities have treated mobile applications as something of a problem child. Vendors have not developed applications with the usability and configurability that end users have been crying out for, while many utilities have been reluctant to invest in sophisticated, custom-built applications. In May 2010, SAP bought mobile application platform Sybase and rewrote its mobile strategy. This paper looks in more detail at Anglian Waters Toughbook 2 project, the first example of a mobile application developed on the Sybase platform since SAP acquired it.Ovum view It is no surprise that Anglian Water is the first utility to deliver a custom-built mobile application to its workforce. In recent years, asset management in the UK water industry has become much more complex, rendering Anglian Waters legacy mobile application (SAP MAU) obsolete. The utility has a very ambitious mobile strategy that is focused on maximizing usability. It is no surprise that SAP made the Toughbook 2 project one of its top mobile projects in 2011: Anglian Waters enterprise applications are virtually end-to-end SAP, making it an attractive demonstration of Sybase interfacing with SAPs back-end systems. The surprise of this project is the speed withLogica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 1This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 2. which systems integrator Logica delivered the first of six customer container-based applications that make up the Toughbook 2 project.Key messages  The mobile workforce and the technologies that support it are of growing strategic importance to utilities.  Anglian Waters Toughbook 2 project focused on improving the user experience through better interfaces, user-specific workflows, and push and pull technology.  Toughbook 2 is the first example of a utility using Sybase as a mobile application platform since SAP acquired it two years ago.  Toughbook 2 is an early example of SAPs wider mobile strategy that will rely on a number of development partners.  Logicas experience with Anglian Water places the systems integrator in a good position to work on more utility-specific mobility projects using the SAP mobile platform.MOBILE APPLICATIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLYIMPORTANT FOR UK WATER UTILITIESLegislation is a huge driver for mobility application investment The report SAPs Mobile Strategy for Utilities (May 2012) details a number of factors driving mobile applications up the agendas of many utilities. These factors include the requirement to become more efficient and the development of mobile technology to support more sophisticated applications. However, a number of other unique factors add to the pressure on UK water companies to improve their mobile applications. In 2011, English and Welsh water companies became responsible for many more sewerage and waste water pipes The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011 came into force on July 1, 2011. Under this law, existing private sewers and lateral drains (the waste water pipes from individual properties that feed into the main sewer) became the responsibility of water and sewerage undertakers in England and Wales on October 1, 2011. Previously, householders were – often unwittingly – responsible for the costs to repair private sewers and lateral drains, which often totaled thousands of pounds. These assets have historicallyLogica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 2This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 3. been expensive to maintain as they were not subject to a regular, planned maintenance regime, which is the case for other water company assets. Overnight, the pipeline assets of the water and sewerage companies in England and Wales increased by nearly 70%: the 10 water and sewerage companies were previously responsible for approximately 323,000km of public sewers in England and Wales; the legislation passes responsibility for a further 184,000km of private sewers and 36,000km of private lateral drains. Approximately 50% of properties in England and Wales were connected to a private sewer in one form or another; most of the remaining properties were connected to a private lateral drain. The water and sewerage companies have not responded to the transfer of sewers and drains by hiring large numbers of maintenance engineers. Instead, most of these companies use small, local subcontractors to help maintain damaged drains (although Anglian Water decided to handle the majority of this work itself). Most are now working out whether to supply these subcontractors with utility-owned devices or just applications that sit on the subcontractors own devices. Customer satisfaction directly impacts water companies cost recovery In 2010, Ofwat devised the Service Incentive Mechanism (SIM) to reward utilities providing good customer service while punishing poor performers. Ofwat carries out a qualitative quarterly survey of water companies customers in England and Wales. The results are combined with annual quantitative customer satisfaction scores to create a league table of overall company performance. Crucially, Ofwat will take account of companies performance in the SIM when it next sets prices in 2014. In 2010–11, Anglian Waters performance was below average, coming 15th out of 21 companies in the league table. This year, its quarterly qualitative results have been much better, coming second overall for the year. This data has yet to be combined with its quantitative score for the full SIM ranking. However, Anglian Water must protect this position; otherwise it faces a very real risk of losing out in the 2014 price-setting round to better performers in the SIM. The BSI PAS 55 standard places a renewed emphasis on the quality of asset management The British Standards Institutes (BSI) Publicly Available Standard 55 (PAS 55) was originally published in 2004 and revised in 2008. Creation of the standard was driven by the demands of heavy industries such as energy, utilities, and upstream oil and gas, and their respective regulators. The standard has been largely successful, with widespread adoption by companies across the globe; the International Organization for Standards (ISO) is writing a new standard, ISO 55000, based on PAS 55.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 3This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 4. PAS 55 is becoming increasingly important to water utilities in England and Wales, as Ofwat increasingly requires that each water companys asset investment proposals demonstrate a commitment to monitoring and recording asset condition and performance. While utilities have historically been relatively good at managing work orders, asset information management has been more challenging. Utilities encounter a number of problems, including a largely remote workforce without the tools to update information from the field in realtime; a reliance on legacy, paper-based processes; multiple repositories for the same information; and, as a consequence of the previous problems, incomplete, inaccurate, and out-of-date information. To achieve PAS 55 or ISO 55000 accreditation, utilities have to remove a number of barriers for field engineers to more actively update information while still in the field. It is vital that utilities address all of the issues listed above. Utilities have long understood the importance of refining existing processes and data management; the importance of equipping the field force with relevant and sophisticated mobile technology has been less well understood.Anglian Waters legacy mobile application was no longer fit-for-purpose About six years ago, Anglian Water centralized its previously disparate asset operations division. Instead of local teams making decentralized decisions regarding maintenance and repair, all decision-making, scheduling, and work management was centralized. Business processes were automated to remove paper. Anglian Water began using SAPs Mobile Asset Management for Utilities (MAU), which was deployed on around 1,000 Panasonic Toughbooks in the field. However, Anglian Water decided that MAU was not adequate. It did not provide sufficient functionality and struggled to scale up to the original 1,000 mobile devices. Beyond that, it did not support the utilitys strategy to deploy even more mobile devices and to improve the functionality and number of mobile applications used in the field. SAP has stopped developing the system and will cease supporting it after 2017. MAU was essentially a push technology: it sent jobs to engineers mobile devices from the operations center using Click Scheduling; the job would be completed; the engineer would complete some basic information about the job; and then move on to his or her next assignment. But the system suffered from synchronization problems: the engineers had to initiate synchronization themselves, leading to delays in work scheduling. The new application removes this constraint by constantly polling for new jobs in the background. Another issue Anglian Water had with MAU was that it was designed as a one-size-fits-all application: all functionality was visible to all members of staff and it could not be configured for different parts of the business.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 4This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 5. ANGLIAN WATERS TOUGHBOOK 2 PROJECT INVOLVED ACOMPLEX ECOSYSTEM OF VENDORSAnglian Water preferred a custom-built application to off-the-shelf Because its legacy mobile application did not support the functionality Anglian Water wanted, the utility carried out an in-depth analysis of potential alternatives. It had three different types of vendors to choose from:  EAM vendors with mobile extensions such as IBM and Oracle (essentially rivals to SAPs MAU)  full-service mobile application vendors such as Syclo or Trimble  mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) vendors such as Sybase. Anglian Water had to strike a balance between off-the-shelf products, which are cheaper to upgrade and maintain, and custom applications, which can offer greater flexibility and usability and be better fit for purpose. After analyzing total cost of ownership, device operating system flexibility, architectural agility, functionality, and future proofing of the different providers, Anglian decided on a custom-built application.SAP had to allay Anglian Waters concerns over the Sybase acquisition In May 2010, SAP acquired Sybase for $5.8bn. Originally, Sybase was a database specialist, but decided in the late 1990s to bet its future on the mobile enterprise. In the ensuing years it developed one of the leading platforms for managing mobile devices, applications, and messages. At the time of the acquisition, Ovum expressed concerns that SAPs ecosystem was not particularly mobile-savvy. While we recognized the complementary fit of the two businesses, it was certainly a concern that to be successful the two companies would need time to settle down together. Anglian Water had similar concerns: the integration of Sybase into the SAP business could slow the delivery of its mobile project. There were also questions about SAPs strategy for Sybase in the long term, particularly regarding the advanced functionality that initially attracted Anglian Water to Sybase. Anglian Waters concerns were allayed by a strong commitment from senior SAP executives. It is much to SAPs credit that this commitment was maintained throughout the lifecycle of the Toughbook 2 project. SAP recognized the importance of a mobility application that interfaces with so many SAP applications for an industry where it is a market leader. The Anglian Water projectLogica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 5This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 6. was one of SAPs top mobile projects last year; Anglian Water called on SAP support from across the globe and was not let down.Logica was appointed systems integrator for the project There was an additional issue facing Anglian Water during the Toughbook 2 project: it was undergoing an IT outsourcing transition from CSC to Capgemini and introduced a panel of partners for project work. Capgemini will manage Anglian Waters entire IT infrastructure as well as all of its core business applications for the period 2011–15. Although Capgemini has strong credentials in the utilities industry and is the incumbent service provider, there were numerous reasons why Anglian Water selected Logica as systems integrator: Logica demonstrated a strong desire to work on the project, by offering some of its best resources. Logica also proposed an innovative, tailored approach to the design of the interface and user dialogue and the development process. Although Logica was lead systems integrator, once the project is completed, the mobile applications will be passed over to Capgemini who will be responsible for the support. Therefore, Capgemini was also part of the team.SAP, Open Text, Intergraph, and O2 completed the delivery team SAP obviously has a huge interest in the Toughbook 2 project. It owns the Sybase platform and provides Anglian Water with a number of enterprise applications to support finance, HR, asset management, and billing. The Toughbook 2 applications will, to some degree or another, interface with all of these applications. The applications will also integrate with Anglian Waters GIS vendor Intergraph and Open Texts enterprise content management solution. Finally, O2 is Anglian Waters mobile network provider and also contributed to the program.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 6This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 7. Figure 1: The vendor ecosystem for the Toughbook 2 project was complex Source: Ovum OVUMWITHIN A YEAR, LOGICA DELIVERED ANGLIAN WATERSFIRST CUSTOMER APPLICATIONToughbook 2 will deliver six different applications to 1,400 engineers Anglian Water wanted to ensure that its field engineers used mobile applications specific to their area, without any extraneous functionality or content. Seven functional areas were identified:  Wastewater Collection  Metering  Water Networks  Wastewater Treatment  Wastewater Mechanical & Electrical  Water SupplyLogica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 7This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 8.  Debt Recovery. These six areas employ around 1,400 engineers in the field (approximately 30% are contractors), all of whom will access the Toughbook 2 applications. Wastewater Collection was selected as the first pilot group. Initially, 12 users tested the application, with the aim to deploy the application on the mobile devices of 100 engineers. Subcontractors will also have access to Anglian Waters applications. All of Anglian Waters contractors are given a corporate Toughbook and will access the Anglian network via the mobile network. However, Anglian Water intends to let contractors use their own devices in the future and to download smaller applications such as mobile incident and accident reporting.The customized applications focused heavily on usability User interface design was critical Representatives of Logica and Anglian Water both highlighted the huge effort put into the design of the application user interface. The goal was to provide staff with an interface with which they were immediately comfortable: something intuitive for users of web-based applications. Anglian Water wanted the application to look like a consumer app, not a corporate one. Logica provided Anglian Water with an interface design specialist who ran a number of workshops with Anglian Water staff. The workshops allowed Anglian Waters staff to help design graphics and advise on usability and the different ways data could be presented. Logica drew on the experience of its user-centric design center in Sweden, which helped design the interface.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 8This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 9. Figure 2: The Toughbook 2 landing page Source: Ovum OVUM The applications are workflow- and profile-oriented The applications developed by Logica are profile- and workflow-oriented, so that only permitted users can see data, access tools, or file specific reports. For instance, the application links to SAPs HR module can identify whether an engineer is an Anglian Water employee or a contractor. To make the application fit for purpose, Logica had to deal with some relatively complex workflows. It used a number of SAP/Sybase tools, including Sybases Mobility Enterprise Application Platform and Afaria device management.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 9This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 10. Data from multiple sources has to be served quickly and simultaneously The applications rely on a complex mash-up of data from across Anglian Waters back-office applications. Logica identified 30 mobile business (data transfer) objects – the information channels between fields in the mobile application interface and Anglian Waters enterprise applications. These data transfer objects include:  simple job information – such as prioritization of work orders, health and safety issues, and maintenance history of the location  customer data from IS-U and CRM  asset data from EAM  mapping data from Intergraph  procedural documentation, drawings of site, and technical manuals from Open Texts document management system  staff data from SAPs HR module to dictate each users permissions within the applications  supply chain data from the Materials Management module. These data transfer objects had to be built from scratch. However, SAP provided a number of pre- integration points from its Mobile Asset Management product, which made the process easier. Logica encountered some initial problems with Sybases mobile business objects (MBOs), which brings together business logic and data for use by a number of different clients. However, the complexity was reduced when the number of MBOs was consolidated from hundreds to just 30. Critical to the applications success is the ability to serve data from a number of other applications so that they arrive at the engineers mobile device in a timely fashion. The application architecture was designed to support the optimal delivery of information. The project team identified the most time-critical data and prioritized this data over others. For instance, a documents header information is sent immediately; the rest is sent later.The project is innovative in a number of ways The first of the Toughbook 2 applications was released for small-scale user testing on March 12, 2012. It is the first utility-specific mobile application to be developed using the Sybase platform since it was acquired by SAP. The applications are all developed using .NET and so run exclusively on the Windows operating system, as Anglian Waters device strategy is centered on Panasonic Toughbooks. It does not currently support multiple mobile operating systems and is unlikely to do so in the near future.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 10This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 11. Logica used a number of technologies to gain richer functionality for the application, including the Windows Presentation Foundation to develop the interface and the Windows Communication Foundation to develop the SOA-based application interfaces. One of the reasons Anglian Water wanted to develop its own mobile applications was to incorporate more "pull" functionality. This was largely missing from off-the-shelf mobile products. This pull functionality will greatly improve the efficiency of Anglian Waters operations. For instance, field engineers who notice errors in GIS diagrams can remotely enter red- and black-line corrections, which are automatically submitted to Anglian Waters GIS team for approval. Many utilities still rely on paper-based processes to update errors in GIS (which means that many errors do not get updated). Engineers can also submit flood-risk assessments from the field.Anglian Waters long-term MEAP strategy extends beyond engineeringservices The six engineering applications that Logica is building for Anglian Water are only the first phase of a wider mobile strategy for the utility. Anglian Water has identified three domains:  Anglian Water Services – This is the domain in which the Toughbook 2 project sits. Toughbook 2 focused purely on applications for Anglian Waters engineering team. However, there is demand from the corporate side of the business for mobile applications.  Contractor – As mentioned previously, Anglian Water would like to develop applications that contractors can download onto their own mobile devices. These applications will allow engineers to file simple reports such as those covering incidents and accidents. Contractor management processes will become more efficient, while Anglian Water can save money by not deploying Toughbooks to every contractor.  Customer – Finally, Anglian Water is investigating the potential to deploy applications to customers mobile devices so they can report leaks, provide meter readings, or pay bills.RECOMMENDATIONSRecommendations for enterprises Anglian Water did a great deal of research while developing its mobile applications strategy. There will always be a trade-off between usability and cost of ownership; Anglian Waters decision to opt for a custom application will not necessarily be the right decision for all utilities.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 11This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 12. For utilities seeking a custom-built application, selecting the right partners will be critical. Ease of integration with existing enterprise applications will be central to the selection of MEAP vendors, which is something SAP is committing to in its mobile strategy. However, utilities using enterprise applications from vendors other than SAP should seek assurances from SAP that its Mobile Application Management platform provides the same levels of support for non-SAP products as it will for SAP products. Utilities adopting an off-the-shelf mobile application strategy should demand more from their mobile application vendors. Poor usability, configurability, and relevance are common complaints from utilities using the current suite of off-the-shelf products. Utilities should demand that their vendors invest in developing these functionalities. Finally, this very complex project was delivered in what Anglian Water describes as "record time." It involved new technology and a complex ecosystem of partners. The milestones and deadlines Anglian Water set for itself and its partners are not for the fainthearted. Utilities need to be convinced that they can achieve such rapid timescales within their organizations or build appropriate contingency into their plans.Recommendations for vendors In addition to SAPs recent acquisitions of Sybase and Syclo, it will also release SAP Mobile Application Management, alongside long-term development partner Prologa. SAP Mobile Application Management will improve the speed with which developers can get their applications to market. SAP estimates that only 30% of development time is spent creating the applications; 20% is spent preparing the mobile platform, while 50% is spent integrating the application with back-end systems. Mobile Application Management will come with preconfigured application interfaces for all major back-end systems. While the primary focus is to integrate with SAPs Business Suite, the company is quick to point out that this is intended to be an open platform: SAP recognizes it is not the only vendor of back-end systems and wants to provide quick integration to other vendors back-end solutions. This report discussed the growing trend in the utilities industry for wider deployment of more sophisticated, user-friendly mobile applications. SAP will likely be one of the most commonly used platforms for mobile application development in asset-intensive industries. Vendors active in mobile application development should investigate the potential to partner with SAP to deliver applications on SAPs Mobile Application Management platform.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 12This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 13. Vendors with products that compete directly with the Mobile Application Management platform will have to demonstrate similar flexibility and ease of use of their technologies, particularly preconfigured integration with enterprise applications and a strong partnership ecosystem.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 13This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 14. APPENDIXFurther reading SAPs Mobile Strategy for Utilities, May 2012. 2012 Trends to Watch: Utilities Technology, October 2011.Definitions CRM – customer relationship management EAM – enterprise asset management GIS – geographic information system MAU – Mobile Asset Management for Utilities MBO – mobile business objects MEAP – mobile enterprise application platform SIM – Service Incentive Mechanism SOA – service-oriented architectureMethodology  Interviews with Logica, SAP, and Anglian Water  Desk researchAuthor Stuart Ravens, Principal Analyst, Energy & Utilities Technology stuart.ravens@ovum.comOvum Consulting We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum’s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum’s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at consulting@ovum.com.Disclaimer All Rights Reserved.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 14This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 15. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business). The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the findings, conclusions and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based on information gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we are not always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect.Logica, SAP, and Sybases Innovative Mobile Applications for Anglian Water (OI00182-009)© Ovum (Published 05/2012) Page 15This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied