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GIS POV GIS POV Document Transcript

  • POINT OF VIEW SERIES- IGIS: Lifeline for UtilitiesImportance of GIS in “Best Managed Utilities”
  • CONTENTBackground ............................................................................................................................................................... 2GIS touch points in Business Processes ............................................................................................................. 3Guidelines for GIS Implementation ...................................................................................................................... 5
  • BackgroundMany the Power Transmission & Distribution companies in India has taken numerous strategicinitiatives aiming at providing reliable quality power supply to consumers at affordable rates andincrease level of availability. They are facing significant challenge in meeting the targets due to: 1. An aging workforce nearing retirement 2. Capex required to modernize the aging network assets 3. Energy sustainability, environmental concerns and regulatory pressureTo support the three challenges, utilities have shown positive thoughts to implement a robust ITsystem to reduce cost (both CapEx and OpEx); increase network reliability; meet regulatoryobligations; and improve customer service. Amongst all the component of the IT project EnterpriseGIS has shown positive adaptability amongst the Utilities employees. The main reason being thatGIS provides the underlying means to display manage and operate this vast array of spatiallydispersed equipment in a single Platform. Thus with Enterprise GIS being the core of the utility ITframework, it has enabled them to go ahead in bringing reforms to move towards the vision of“The Best Managed Utilities”. The most effective way to achieve this is through the development ofa robust and realistic implementation strategy, Value based business case and a benefits-deliveryroadmap. This document has been prepared keeping GIS users of various understanding level inmind and is intended to help them in the effort to create the best strategy for GIS implementation. View slide
  • GIS touch points in Business ProcessesOrganizations who leverage their geospatial network infrastructure data widely across theirorganization realize the most significant benefit. Although benefits are realized within theplanning, design and as-built functions through improved data management, the real upside is inexploiting the network infrastructure data within such business functions as sales & marketing,customer care and network operations.Organization GIS Touch pointsActivityNetwork Plan & The ability to plan and design well-engineered network upgrades is probablyDesign the key business process supported by network infrastructure management solutions. Through GIS one is able to: • Design cost-effective network upgrades • Account for existing network utilization • Enforce technical constraints to ensure accurate network designs • Ensure a standard approach to network planning • Enforce corporate wide business rules are followed • Reduce cycle time for planning new infrastructure • Manage planning jobs through the evaluation and approval process • Clearly document the network design for review and use by multiple stakeholders.Network Build Once the network upgrade has been designed, it still needs to be constructed and deployed. The process for managing the network build needs to be understood to ensure the network infrastructure management solution can support the complete end-to-end process. This could include: • Exchange of data (e.g. Bill of materials) with procurement systems used to purchase required equipment • Generation of job packs containing all the details (network designs, connectivity diagrams etc) needed by engineers responsible for building the network • Access to data in the field and the ability of field engineers to upload information on as-built changes to the original design.Network A key element of keeping a network healthy and able to provide reliable serviceMaintenance to customers is a well-organized pro-active monitor, maintenance and repair process. The ability of existing (and future) systems to support these processes needs to be evaluated. For instance, does the system support: • The planning and management of a program of pole inspections • Tracking of equipment health • Correlation of network faults to determine geographic problem areas. View slide
  • Organization GIS Touch pointsActivityNetwork Even with the best maintenance and repair operation, there will always beOperations faults in the network that require reactive response to alarms etc. The network infrastructure management solution should be an integral part of the network operations process in order to:  Locate the geographic position of the root cause of the problem  Provide network information on the location, equipment, connectivity etc to be repaired  Schedule and dispatch field crews to resolve the problem.Field Operations Availability of network information in the field is critical to the efficient running of the network. Applications (current and future) that support field engineers should be evaluated from a process point of view to assess their usability for field engineers performing their day-to-day tasks. Issues that need to be considered include: • Exchange of data between the central database and the end user device (e.g. Ruggedized laptop, handheld) • Usability of interface when performing tasks • Ease of use – you should strive for simple options that minimize the amount of data displayed, the number of options available etc.Customer Care The ability of the customer care team to keep customers informed of network issues is a key element for increasing customer satisfaction and hence reduce customer churn. The system could support customer care processes in the following areas: • Pro-actively informing customers of network problems when a fault occurs • Scheduling pro-active maintenance to reduce customer disruption • Providing customers with information on the range of services available in their geographic area • Improved qualification of service provisioning to specific end customers • Responding to customer queries about engineering work being done in their locality.Finance There are multiple financial business processes that need to be supported by network infrastructure management solution that can bring bottom-line rewards to the business. These could include: • Assessment of network asset status and depreciation • Analysis of network plant locations for tax reporting purposes • Capital cost calculations for planned network upgrades
  • Guidelines for GIS ImplementationEnterprise GIS provides numerous benefits such as effectively managing assets spread across inlarge geographic areas, improved access and reduced redundancy of GIS data across alldepartments, better utilization of resources reducing maintenance and support, and moreeffective decision-making. An enterprise GIS addresses departmental needs collectively instead ofindividually. Because an enterprise GIS must serve the enterprise and be integrated into itsoperations, there are several key considerations when implementing an enterprise GIS -organizational (i.e. organization vision and business process), technical (i.e. IT standards, systemarchitecture, and hardware and software configuration), and resource (i.e. GIS technicians,developers, and managers, and help desk supports).To ensure the enterprise GIS solution fits with the overall organization vision and goals, aStrategic Implementation Plan must be developed before actual development begins. Theimplementation plan must be developed in accordance with the results of the gap analysis andrisk assessment. Typically, a phased approach that consists of incremental milestones is preferred.The plan must be reviewed by all stakeholders and adjusted before final approval by allstakeholders. System Architecture The System Architecture of enterprise must fit the IT environment and operate within the standard and policy of the organization IT infrastructure. In addition, the architecture mustproduce performance levels that help end users meet their specific operational goals. A successfulsystem architecture should be based on organization IT standards, leverage existinginfrastructure, support future business workflow, and provide performance measures of allprocesses. The system architecture design should be developed after evaluating the latesttechnologies for benefit and risk. The system architecture should include network configuration, aswell as detailed hardware and software configuration. Data Model The Data Model is the heart of enterprise GIS and must meet the operational and functional requirements of an organization. The data model must also support therequirements of the GIS software and shall be extendable to integrate with other IS, such as theCustomer Information System (CIS) and Outage Management System (OMS). The data model shallalso support symbol display and the data maintenance process. Data Conversion/Migration The capture and migration of data is a key element of most initiatives to establish a consolidated, central network infrastructure management solution. As well as sourcing thebase data (e.g. landbase) it is critical that the network data is in an accurate and consistentformat. This data is often captured from a myriad of different sources including network surveys,paper records, existing GIS systems, network inventory databases, and network operationssystems. The data from each of these needs to be collected, cleansed (i.e. data inaccuracies andanomalies corrected) and reconciled (e.g. data in the network infrastructure management systemcould be different from the on-line view of the network held within the network operations team).When conflicts arise decisions need to be taken on what is the master data and how will theseconflicts be corrected – some of this reconciliation can be automated, but often a business processneeds to be established to get the required consensus and sign-off for alterations to the data.
  • Data Access & Maintenance An enterprise GIS is built for Data Access and sharing throughout an organization. GISdeployment issues need to be addressed in the early stages of implementation. In a utilitycompany, there are two typical groups of users: users with a stable LAN connection and mobileusers. Current GIS software allows many utilities to manage access to the GIS database throughLAN connections. Internet technology such as GIS web server or web services can be used torapidly deploy GIS data to the entire organization with relatively low cost.After building the GIS, Data Maintenance is another major issue to be addressed. The questionsthat need to be asked are who, when, and how to maintain the GIS data. As most legacy systemsonly allow single-user editing, one department in the organization normally handles all datamaintenance. Because GIS provides multi-user access and has complex relationship rules, it ismore efficient to decentralize the data maintenance responsibilities to multiple departments andmaintain a centralized approval process. System Integration System integration requires careful planning and active participation and coordination of stakeholders across departments within the organization. Discussions of systemintegration need to be conducted early in the project. Data model development and systemarchitecture design tasks offer two ideal forums to discuss system integration issues. The planningmay be time consuming and tedious as it requires detail inventory of database structures andidentifying common key fields to relate information across information systems. However, ifimplemented properly, system integration provides the largest return on investment (ROI) for anenterprise GIS.For utility companies, some of the common systems that GIS integrates with are WorkManagement System (WMS), Customer Information System (CIS), Financial Accounting Systemsuch as SAP or Oracle Financial, and Outage Management System (OMS).Lately, many organizations are taking advantage of information portal technology to build anenterprise information dashboard that integrates information published via web services fromvarious IS. Each portal is fully integrated with others presenting a well of information at thefingertip of each user. This type of architecture is also called Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).Organizations implementing web services in SOA environment will realize significant competitiveadvantages as they leverage the power of spatial information management.During enterprise GIS implementation, the GIS implementation team not only needs to providesolutions to meet end user business needs, it also must educate end users on overall GIScapabilities and promote spatial data analysis in GIS to solve business problems in a moreeffective manner. This is a very important task that provides significant benefits to an organizationand yet has often been overlooked in enterprise GIS implementation.
  • Technology Questions When determining the hardware environment needed for the network infrastructuremanagement solution many aspects need to be taken into account including: • What operating system(s) will need to be supported? • What hardware configuration is preferred (e.g. Traditional client-server, distributed or thin client (citrix) architecture)? • How flexible does the solution need to be in order to operate on a heterogeneous mix of platforms and architectures to suit individual departmental requirements? • What are the numbers and types of users, volumes and types of data, usage patterns, and distribution of office locations and network infrastructure that need to be supported? • What tasks will each of the elements of the hardware solution be used for (e.g. Database server, file server, application server, web server) • What is the appropriate sizing for each server and client machine in terms of processer, memory and disc size etc? • What is an effective backup strategy to ensure successful disaster recovery? • What mechanism will be used for high availability and failover? Manpower Planning Resource planning for post implementation phase should occur early in the project planning. Because providing a technical solutions and planning data conversion occupythe attention of an organization in the early phases of the project, resource planning for postimplementation has often been deemed lower priority.  One is a centralized approach establishing a GIS department/group staffed with a GIS manager, analysts, and mapping technicians.  Another approach is to decentralize the requirement of GIS operations to IT and business areas. The IT department provides support as individual business areas update GIS data layer(s) for which they are responsible and develop applications to meet their needs. While this approach may produce cost savings, it often leads to lack of standard and accuracy in the GIS database and duplicate efforts in developing custom solutions.  The third approach is a hybrid in which a GIS group (often within IT department) provides technical resources to control data quality and develop custom tools for business units that will update data layers relevant to their operations. IT helpdesk handles first-tier technical support and training. If managed properly, the hybrid approach can offer a more effective way to manage an enterprise GIS. Change Management An organization must select an approach based on best fit to the organizational vision and company culture. Regardless which structure is adopted, the GIS group shoulddevelop a transition plan assisting end users to embrace the enterprise GIS and use it in their dailywork process. A transition plan typically includes workshops with end users, training and feedbacksessions, and system and application rollout plan. Proactive communication with end users is thekey to a successful transition. While communication of project status should occur as early and asfrequent as possible, technical training should be scheduled shortly before release of theenterprise system. It is recommended that the transition plan be signed off by all stakeholders.