I attended the SAP Utilities conference for Asia Pacific in November in Singapore along with more than 250 others representing both global players and regional companies. Experts from all continents shared their knowledge in the area of power generation, transmission and distribution.
With the US still recovering from major outage scenarios caused by Superstorm Sandy, everyone wanted to learn more about how technology can help to rebuild the network as quickly as possible. What are the latest features in SAP product portfolio? Do you know the road map of SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)? And specifically, what will the next utilities solution look like?
Facing the aftermath of the storm, guests from the US demonstrated what impact the process of recovery has on the business. The challenges are enormous: bringing in hundreds of contractors, prioritizing and assigning work, locating crews, finding the most valuable assets, organizing the material, handling overtime work, day and night shifts, reassigning technicians to other teams, optimizing routes to name a few. And everything needs to be done right away because every day means loss in revenue and desperate customers. Operational efficiency is key and technology is the enabler.
Most recent developments at SAP support companies taking on these challenges. Smart Grid, Linear Asset Management, Graphical Information systems, Workforce Scheduling and Mobility applications are crucial. Assemble the right crew in the right area with the right equipment and dispatch to located power outage at the right time. Does not sound easy, but it can be, if you have the right system to support the crazy hours of handling the chaos. One attendee reported that the system that usually handles 3,000 notifications a month submitted by smart devices suddenly was overloaded with more than 100,000 outages in just 2 hours.
Planners and schedulers must rely on solutions that offer the best overview in critical situations, visualizing the incidents, proposing the resources and optimizing the schedule to always be able to re-prioritize the orders. But nothing gets accomplished if the communication to the field is broken. Sending the latest schedules and order data to the field personnel in real time is vital in managing the reconstruction of the network.
At the event, SAP presented solutions that can master such a situation: SAP EAM manages the work orders, operations and maintenance data, SAP Multiresource Scheduling determines the right resources and dispatching schedule, SAP Mobility apps by Syclo complete the all SAP solution by integrating the field technicians into the process in real time. Now the technician has the latest schedule with order details on his or her mobile device at any time anywhere when it is most critical to succeed in surviving the storm. Several conference presentations featured these solutions and at the SAP booth, visitors could also experience mobile apps. It was very well received that with SAP Work Manager by Syclo, SAP EAM and SAP Multiresource Scheduling, there is now a fully integrated end to end process covered by SAP standard products. With SAP Service Manager by Syclo it is also possible to build and complete the field service scenario based on SAP CRM and SAP Multiresource Scheduling.
Photo from left to right: SAP experts Kevin Morrow (SAP Solution Management Utilities), Joerg Brosowski (SAP Custom Development) and Len Harms (VP Vesta Partners) leading discussion on SAP EAM, SAP MRS and Mobility on the show floor.