Many of you who visit the SSP Innovations website and keep up with our publications know how passionate we are about GIS. Not simply because looking at information on a map is far cooler than a wall of text or numbers (it really is), but because we believe in the power of Esri GIS to enhance the efficiency of our customers’ business processes, and help them highlight the value their work can bring to rest of their organization through integration and sharing of information.
To ensure we continue to add value for our customers, over time we’ve expanded our solutions and tools around the GIS from managing the performance and quality of daily GIS-related tasks, to supporting major initiatives such as conflation and migration of entire databases worth of data. Additionally, we’ve built GIS-focused solutions around the margins of the GIS. Two of our most successful and impactful solutions have been SSP Workforce Management (WFM) and SSP AssetLife. WFM and AssetLife each focus on two critical functions for a utility.
WFM, as its name suggests, focuses on the creation and management of work, and enabling efficiency around what can be complex processes related to large (and small) capital improvement projects, service requests and ongoing operation and management activities – each of which can involve multiple stages of approval, communication and alternative paths to completion. A true work management lifecycle.
AssetLife supports the management of critical assets within a utility – facilities such as Transformers and other cost-intensive infrastructure components – that can be taken out of the field (and in turn, the GIS), for inspection and repair, and eventually returned to another, new location. GIS will always be the ‘System of record’ for the spatial location of an asset and its impact on a utility network, whether it be transmission/distribution or supporting electric/gas/water/communications customer – but Assetlife keeps track of the status of assets which may exist outside the GIS, and enables true cradle-to-grave management tracking and reporting throughout an Asset lifecycle (have you spotted a trend?).
As we continue to listen to both our customer needs and the direction Esri is moving with powerful, fast, and flexible tools, we realized that these two solutions working together form a benefit to a utility greater than the sum of their parts – a true “1 + 1 = 3” situation. Both are founded on the same web-based, scalable, flexible and secure architecture – and both provide focused efficiency around core GIS-related processes (even though some users of each don’t actually get to use GIS – what a shame!).
As a result – we’re integrating and rebranding SSP WFM and SSP AssetLife under an offering we are calling “SSP Lifecycle”. We feel that name effectively conveys both the nature of “Work” (which has beginning and end, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way) and “Assets” – which exist through various stages or ‘statuses’ within a utility. This provides a much more holistic approach to managing your assets, connecting to them to their location in GIS and the related work performed on them.
We recognize that many utilities have either a Work management system and/or an Asset Management system – and as such, SSP Lifecycle can be implemented in its component parts if only one is required (we’re referring to them as “SSP Lifecycle Work” and “SSP Lifecycle Assets”). We’ve only scratched the surface of SSP Lifecycle – click here for a comprehensive look.
SSP Lifecycle will be one of the solutions we are highlighting at the upcoming GeoConX 2017 conference – along with some of our other focus areas:
SSP Productivity: An ArcGIS Pro Extension (in the form of a Toolbar) that we’ve been developing with a lot of input, guidance and direction from Esri and key customers- that leverages some of the advanced capabilities of the upcoming Utility Network. SSP Productivity also includes a ‘light’ implementation of SSP Lifecycle – termed Work for Productivity. Using Work for Productivity, users can create and view work, submit for approval, post/reconcile and other tasks all within ArcGIS Pro.
Graphic work design integration with SSP Lifecycle: We heard a lot of feedback at the Esri UC on utilities searching for the “Silver bullet” Design tool. A key challenge around the Design process is a streamlined workflow, and at GeoConX we’ll be showcasing an integration of SSP Lifecycle with one of our design partners, Epoch Solutions Group.
SSP Sync: We also heard loud and clear from utilities at the Esri UC who are eagerly awaiting the Utility Network that their excitement around the benefits it will bring conflicts with their apprehension over the upgrade process, in particular how prepared their data is to support the powerful capability Utility Network brings. SSP Sync is a tool we’ve developed to not only migrate your 10.2.1 environment into Utility Network, but keep your data synchronized, enabling you to choose when to migrate users, integrations and other critical functions to the Utility Network platform after careful analysis of how your own data can support them.
This is my first blog post after joining SSP Innovations – I first worked alongside Skye almost 20 years ago – and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the subject. It’s an exciting time for the industry and all of us who work with GIS! I look forward to posting more about our solutions and other changes next month – stay tuned!!