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Infosys - Social Media Mining & Mobility Solutions


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Social media is all the more powerful when combined with advances in mobility and positioning. Business collaboration tools such as mobile devices enable smart miners to use an internal, secure social media site from any remote location across the globe in real time, providing immediate access to critical operational information.

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Infosys - Social Media Mining & Mobility Solutions

  1. 1. Mining&TechnologyA U S T R A L I A> Issue 3/2011l e a d I n g t h e w a y I n m I n I n g I n n o v at I o nw w w . m I n I n g t e c h n o l o g y a u s t r a l I a . c o m . a u2ndAnnuAlMining&TechnologySummit25&26/08/2011DetailsPage00>Mining&>Issue3/2011
  2. 2. 92 MINING & TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALIA 2011 | ISSUE 3TECHNOLOGY & RESEARCH | IT & COMMUNICATIONSYOU NO LONGER NEED TO BE Atechnology geek to be dependent on variousforms of electronic communication andcollaboration tools in your personal life. Weshare and consume information through blogs,use social networking to reach out to our friendsand families, and participate in professionalnetworks to broaden our knowledge andconnections. Sensis reports that 62 per centof Australian internet users use social mediaplatforms in some form; for many people, theseplatforms have become the accepted means ofinterpersonal communication and informationsharing.What are the implications for the miningindustry?Massive talent and skills gaps, workforceattrition and extraordinary growth in the miningindustry have created a sustained demand fornew people in the sector. An estimated 62,000people will be required to fill new mining jobs by2015. Engaging and skilling new employees andconnecting them to the rest of the enterprise arecritical for meeting ongoing production demands.Managing the workforce knowledge base isa key challenge, given the high rate of employeeturnover and limited pool of experiencedworkers. The future workforce needs to bemanaged to ensure the right knowledge andinformation is available and accessible. Employersmust also create accessible avenues to ensure thatenterprise knowledge is recorded and retainedfor the future.Knowledge and information managementchallenges faced by mining companies include:zz collaboration and co-creation in ageographically distributed and diversifiedwork environmentzz connecting information siloszz meeting the mobility and real-time expectationsof the next generation of workers.Social networking offers a common solution tothese challenges. It will allow industry to:zz identify and leverage employee skills –search and locate employees with the rightskills in real time across all boundaries anddeploy them effectively to solve immediateproduction issues across the enterprise;zz manage enterprise knowledge – engagethe skills of employees more effectively, asmining enterprises are vulnerable to a drainor gap in ongoing knowledge which mustbe captured and made accessible to all newemployees;zz connect the value chain – enhance the waypeople in the value chain work together, andbuild better integration between people bybuilding integrated value chain processes, notjust processes built on functional silos; andThesmartMINERMining enterprises must capitalise ondevelopments in information and communicationstechnology to build a new breed of “smart miners”,write Gerard Siromani and Rob Ritchie.“Engaging andskilling newemployees andconnectingthem to therest of theenterprise arecritical issuesin meetingongoingproductiondemands”
  3. 3. MINING & TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALIA 2011 | ISSUE 3 93zz drive innovation – open discussion anddebate to drive rapid development of ideasfor innovation – without this, these ideaswould be lost before they could be actedupon.Mining enterprises need to look beyondtraditional collaborative forums and intranetportals to address the shortage of experiencedstaff and enable direct engagement with theiremployees. There is great potential within theexisting workforce; enabling more effectivecollaboration will unleash a new breed of ‘smartminer’.Facebook, for example, is widely criticisedand blocked by many organisations, but it isstill the largest social media site on the internet,with over 500 million users worldwide. Peoplecontribute 30 billion pieces of content to the siteto share with their peers.A secure internal Facebook-like facilitycould use familiar social media tools to form acommunity within a mining company whereengineers, mechanics, operators and other groupsacross the globe and the organisation can join toexchange ideas, ask questions, share experiences,share documents and collaborate in real time.Such communities within a companyhave been shown to improve efficiency andproductivity in several energy and miningcompanies, including Shell and Rio Tinto, where“communities of practice” have become criticalto their operations. Rio Tinto head of technologyand innovation, Preston Chiaro, says communitiesof practice represent a significant shift in thecompany’s culture. Miners are becoming moreinterdependent, and relish finding solutions fromamong their peers.Social media is all the more powerfulwhen combined with advances in mobility andpositioning. Mobile devices enable miners touse an internal, secure social media site on theiriPhones, iPads or other mobile devices from anyremote location across the globe in real time,providing immediate access to critical operationalinformation, such as safety hazards, dangerzones, emissions limits and asset performance.With geographic positioning technology, thisinformation can be tailored to a specific location,prioritising the relevant information whileenabling others within the community to providelocation-based assistance, no matter where theyare. This technology can be used to enhancerisk management and safety, which are criticalto every mining enterprise. Relevant data in theform of procedures and location-based guidelinescan be extracted and assessed using mobiledevices and social media applications.A commitment to the use of mobile devicesto access real-time data at remote locations,along with the application of enterprise socialnetworking technology, will not only improveefficiency and productivity but also connectminers to their colleagues located around theglobe. They will become smarter miners; theirconnection will facilitate innovation within theorganisation and help to alleviate feelings ofisolation experienced by many people working inremote locations. nGerard Siromani is the National Manager for the ResourcesSector for Infosys Technologies Australia. Rob Ritchie adviseson business systems and global collaboration within themining sector.A recurring problem in the brakes of a bulldozer in Rio Tinto’s Bengalacoal mine was resolved through social collaboration with maintenanceengineers in another Rio Tinto operation in California. They had spentalmost a year finding a solution for exactly the same problem theengineers in Australia were experiencing, and were able to offer a quicksolution – a clear demonstration of the value of collaboration across theglobe and within the organisation.SOCIAL NETWORKING AT WORK“Employersmust createaccessibleavenues toensure thatenterpriseknowledge isrecorded andretained for thefuture”