16 June, 2008
IFS and ESRI put asset management on the map
IFS, the global enterprise applications company and a global supplier of enterprise asset management solutions for utilities, announced today its established relationship with world-wide geographical information systems (GIS) specialist ESRI. By combining the capabilities of the two corporations, utility companies will be able to improve efficiency and reduce costs in asset management, while improving customer service levels.
By bringing GIS and enterprise asset management together, users are able to better visualize all aspects of their business operations, such as electricity grids. This ability to navigate from maps to IFS Applications and vice versa enables operational and customer issues to be resolved faster and more cost effectively. Geographical context makes it easier to understand the challenges faced by the field service teams. This ability translates to better decision making on personnel and equipment deployment; ensuring companies get assets back on-line faster.
“After several years of collaboration on a number of specific projects, we have now formalized our working relationship with IFS,” ESRI Marketing Manager of Utility Solutions Mitchell D. Garnett, PE said. “We view IFS as a premier solution provider for asset-intensive industries such as utilities and the oil & gas sectors. We now look to expand the work we are doing with IFS and deliver greater value to our joint customers.”
“Our research has shown that spatially enabled work and asset management applications are key building blocks for the intelligent grid,” Energy Insights and IDC Company Vice President of Research Rick Nicholson said. “Not only will more personnel need to view spatial information, but as less experienced people join the workforce, they will also need easier ways to visualize and think about the grid.”
One of the joint customers is Statnett, who owns and operates the main Norwegian power grid and the Norwegian section of power lines and subsea cables to other countries.
“Statnett integrated ESRI and IFS Applications some years ago,” Statnett Maintenance Department Director Einar Mørk said. “We have seen many benefits, such as reductions in manpower and materials costs, improvements in customer service levels, improved asset performance, and better environmental stewardship.”
Utilities, telecom and oil & gas companies have vast networks of widely distributed assets including transmission and distribution lines, substations, pipelines, and buried cables spreading across large numbers of locations and miles. Keeping these well-maintained and delivering top-quality customer services is vital. Safety with respect to assets, the public and personnel must be maintained, and availability demands are extremely high. Ease of access to maintenance history, asset specifications, drawings, maps, and other documentation enables utility managers and technicians to do a better job—faster and at a lower cost.
IFS targets the energy and utilities industry and has more than 130 customers involved in power generation, transmission and distribution and water and sewage. These include the world's largest hydropower plant, Three Gorges (P. R. China), nuclear power plants OKG (Sweden), PBMR (South Africa) and Qinshan (P. R. China), grid operators such as Svenska Kraftnät (Sweden), Statnett (Norway) and TenneT (The Netherlands) as well as distributors such as Vattenfall (Sweden), Fortum (Sweden), and Hafslund Energi (Norway). Reliable and safe Asset management and workforce management are critical processes in the energy and utility industry, to which IFS has provided solutions for more than 20 years.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a fully-integrated, component-based extended ERP suite of applications built on SOA technology. IFS has more than 2,000 customers in 54 countries in 7 focus industries: aerospace & defense, utilities & telecom, manufacturing, process industries, automotive, retail & wholesale distribution, and construction contracting & service management. The company has 2,600 employees; net revenue in 2007 was SKr 2.4 billion.