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Author's profile photo Miquel Carbo

Comoditization of Visual Enabled Business Processes

Geo-enablement of the information currently available at the business transactional and analytical systems is not only an improvement of usability, this is jumping from tabular lists of characters to a graphical map related environment, but it is much more:  this is to improve the understanding, the way we question, interpret, and visualize information revealing relationships, patterns and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts.  Geo-Enablement investments on top of Transactional Systems are enabling Utilities to update and refocus their business processes and people to realise new and innovative strategies.

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               1. The same ERP object, a pipe, in tabular view display and “geo-enabled”


Improving Asset  Management Proceeses

Such combination of information (someone would say that this is one of the “IT- OT integration use cases” ) enables in asset management the unification of data currently splited mainly among GIS and ERP system which has created lots of challenges to organizations pursing the improvement of construction and maintenance activities. Main Process afected and improved are:

  • Asset Risk Management
  • Asset Investment Planning
  • Project Planning & Execution
  • Maintenance Planning and Optimization
  • Inspections and Work Management
  • Compliance Reporting
  • Generation Operations
  • Situational Awareness
  • Knowledge Transfer and Retention
  • Management Reporting: KPIs and Metrics

As an example of these improvements here we highlight how this approach may impact one of the most fluent process, this is the Inspections and Workmanagement in its four main steps:  analytics of results and investigation (retrospective analysis) – Creation of Works – Scheduling and Dispatch – Field work.


From Tabular display of objects, where decision is based on the design of alerts based on the combination of several data (KPIs, alerts based on parameters) to a more visual interface where experts can take easily decisions and investigate on different hypothesis. It is not about replacement but to merge both concepts and make them complementary and improves the required pre-processing and analysis of huge amounts of  data.

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     2. Query on pipelines per type, location and proximity and relevant buildings “geo-enabled”  versus tabular view (simulated)

Workorder Management


The capability to display the work orders in the territory enables not only the mapping, managing, analyzing, and displaying of SAP workorders and other objects and records geographically, thereby enhancing SAP functionality in the administration of linear and non-linear assets. The effect of adopting such approach is the enablement of faster decision making with visual insight and the increase understanding of what, where, why, and how.

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          3. Capacity to display workorder list on its map including status and types

Significant advantages of this approach are the capabilities to see the history of the workorders (this is by time range) on a map while is was not possible with GIS systems, which only provide a “snapshot” of the current situation, and from the other side enable the creation of a notificaiton or a workoder with the mouse, by creating a polygon in the zone where is desired to act  without the need to point to an object as it is currently done in the “tabular” transactional system.


Our functionality in the ERP for Resource Scheduling and Dispatching, this is Multi Resource Scheduling, has included the integration with GIS I order to optimize the work assignments resulting an accelerated speed of complex scenario processing and analysis as well as ensuring the trust in decisions

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      4. Visual contextualization and prioritization of the Capacity and duties to perform using MRS

Field Execution

Additional productivity improvements with mobility are achieved not only by ensuring that every technician follows the same process when completing daily tasks but adapting and configuring the client version to workers needs, and GeoEnablement is  one of these configurations. Current version of Syclo Workmanager enables the conectivity with a GIS server of the SAP Mobile Middleware to bring Base Maps, Attributes and Feature layers and trasfer to the client version.

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                    5. Visual contextualization of the works to be performed in the filed available in Syclo Workmanager

Customer Case Study

The usage of Geo-enablement technologies and solutions is getting up to speed since some years ago. Some significant references exist from very visionary organisations, such as City of Cape Town (image 6) which presented their case studies at SAP Events and Forums have raised the interest of many peer companies which are triggering Proof of Concepts and projects mainly in Europe and the United Sates.

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           6. Example of City of Cape Town case study

The raising interest and the dramatic technological evolution experienced have enabled several approaches on Geo-Enablement being the main one the usage of the capabilities of HANA spatial. As a transition period, GeoExplorer is a service which  easily enables the view and update of the spatial representation of objects on a map by providing the ability to connect to online background maps ( ArcGIS Online and BingMaps) and Linear reference information converted to spatial representation automatically to Explore business data geographically.

Business benefits summary

By Integrating GIS technology into any enterprise information system framework the benefits grow exponentially.  There is a growing awareness of the economic and strategic value of this integration. The benefits of generally fall into five basic categories:

  • Cost Savings and Increased Efficiency: Optimize maintenance schedules and daily fleet movements. Implementations can result in a savings of 10 to 30 percent in operational expenses scheduling
  • Better Decision Making: Examples on decisions about location include real estate site selection,route/corridor selection, evacuation planning, conservation, natural resource  extraction, or Earthquake zone analysis for better pipeline route planning.
  • Improved understanding and Communication:  Greatly assist in understanding situations and in storytelling. Its usage improves communication between
    different teams, departments, disciplines, professional fields, organizations, and the public.
  • Better Record Keeping: Framework needed  by many organizations which  have a primary responsibility of maintaining authoritative records about the status and change of geography and/or assets within geographic bounds
  • Managing Geographically:  Integration among spatial and transactional informaiton  becoming essential to understanding what is happening—and what will happen—in geographic space. Once we understand, we can act.

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