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New Ideas Spark Hydro One Into Action

The second day of Sapphire has seen many fabulous testimonials from customers.  Companies are changing the way they do business by leveraging the latest SAP technologies including: HANA, BusinessObjects and Mobility.

Hydro One was one of those customers and I wanted to highlight what they’ve done.

Mike Winters and Laura Formusa represented Hydro One in the session, Transforming the Hydro One Customer Experience with SAP Solutions.  It was clear.  SAP is making a serious difference.

The more information you can put in the hands of
the people on the ground, the faster they can restore
power.  Mike Winters

Delivering The Goods

Utilities have a large number of competing priorities and limited dollars by which to execute on those priorities.  Aging infrastructure, economic downturn, regulations, aging workforce are just a few of the challenges faced at Hydro One.  In fact, Laura reminded us that some of their infrastructure is more than 100 yrs old and much of their infrastructure was added after WWII.

In 2007 Hydro One purchased SAP ERP and Supply Chain to run their core business.  They then added HR, Finance, Payroll and BI and achieved a number of important business benefits around business process management and standardizations.  SAP was not an IT Solution but rather a stimulus for changing the culture of the company.

One example Laura highlighted was strategic sourcing, which is now enabling Hydro One to streamline it’s procurement process and deliver something for less.  In fact, they have see over $100M is savings since their SAP implementation.

The more we can control costs, the better off we are.
Laura Formusa

Smart Meters

Technology has not only changed the back office at Hydro One.  Thanks to SAP, Hydro One was able to successfully deploy 1.3M smart meters with virtually no issues and uses SAP for Asset Management.

It wasn’t that long ago that Hydro One was managing outages by sticking a pin in the map every time a customer called.  Now with data from smart meters, they are able to pin point outages and map this data to systems that can do instant triangularization.  This means that crews are deployed faster to the right, prioritized locations so they can restore power more quickly and ultimately increase customer satisfaction… but that’s not all.

More precise Outage data also helps Hydro One increase safety as Laura pointed out.  During bad winter storms in Ontario, it’s not uncommon for roads to be closed and for conditions to be hazardous.  By pulling together more granular outage information, field service workers will know precisely where to go.  This saves them unnecessary trips down potentially unsafe roads looking for downed lines.

Outage Data Goes Mobile

Mike demonstrated a iPhone app that Hydro One is currently working on which customers will be able to download.  This application will tell the customer of all the existing outages, how many customers are affected and how soon the service will be restored.  This means that customers can proactively check from their cell phones and avoid calls into the operations center.  (Avoiding the opportunity to listen to 30 minutes of Vivaldi).

Outage Information on the iPhone

Field Service Enablement

Mike also demonstrated a concept iPad app which would transform how their field service teams receive work order assignments, perform preventative maintenance and log their time.

Technicians will be able to:

  • See the equipment via the iPad camera overlayed with status icons
  • View assigned work orders and associated work instructions
  • Identify historical issues with the equipment (temperature, oil pressure)
  • Access Schematics of the equipment
  • Enter Time Tracking Information
  • Complete and close Work Orders

View Transformer with Augmented Reality

Technical sees historical trends of Oil Pressure

It was amazing.  You had to see it to believe it.

Hydro One is mashing together GIS information, BusinessObjects Augmented Reality, Grid Analytics, Asset Management, Work Management.

Everything is there.  Just a finger swipe away.

Cost Justification

Cost is probably the only reason why these concepts haven’t yet been put into reality.  Hydro One is working to determine the true value of everything they are doing.  Cost pressures remain.  Mike Winters said that so far all their projects have shown a positive return on investment.

Fact Not Fiction

Much of what Hydro One demonstrated looked like something you see in the movies – but it’s not fiction.  Given the right business challenge, customers are looking to SAP to over come difficult obstacles.

Hydro One is an early adopter, but it’s exciting to see this type of eye popping innovation in the Utilities segment.

SapphireNow has been a great event to see some of the solutions that customers have come up with — much of it leveraging out of the box analytics technology that comes with BusinessObjects.

Enjoy the rest of the show.

UPDATE: Session Replay

«Good BI»

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