Utilities face acute challenges - to say so is almost cliché. However, the industry is not known for rapid change and innovation. Seemingly everywhere, society is shifting with dazzling new technologies. In contrast, utility culture is rooted in stability, security, and safety. Leaders struggle to adapt, modernize, and move their networks forward in cost-effective ways.
New technologies are coming like a freight train. Augmented reality, drones, 3D, lidar, cloud native, and artificial intelligence all have utility applications. They hold splendid promise. Yet, it is not often clear how best to put them into everyday use.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." attributed to Albert Einstein
All utility activities originate with their network. Because of this, fresh ideas about managing the network are needed for technical advances that will deliver business value. Network management in ArcGIS pays off in business value.
Pay Offs of Improved Network Management
- Speed up common workflows. Increase consistency, quality, and timeliness.
- Optimize investments for desired outcomes.
- Streamline processes with improved communication.
- Improve decision making with real-time operational and customer data.
- Sharpen rule-of-thumb decisions with understanding, analytics, and powerful visualization.
Most new technologies create or consume data. That is where the problems begin. To be valuable, workflows must be tied to the network.
I like the term digital twin – it invokes a mental image of an electronic simulation that captures what is happening in the field. Ideally, it would extend beyond a few users in engineering. A modern solution deposits value into the field, accounting, customer service, logistics, community relations, and sustainability efforts. A fully functional central source for network information brings business value to every corner of the utility.
The network models in common use were developed as approximations. After all, simplified models reduced cost and complexity. They were designed for a specific purpose - often paper mapping. These models fall flat when asked to handle details and scope that did not even exist when they were built - like distributed generation or 3D. Contemporary issues and technologies demand an up-to-date robust model.
Esri was founded to help solve some of the world's most difficult problems. Utility experts around the world asked for help solving tomorrow's problems. Investing one-third of revenue into research and development, Esri designed ArcGIS Utility Network as the information model to specifically meet these requests.
ArcGIS Utility Network models detail, captures business logic, reduces effort, embeds analytics, operates at scale, and integrates well. It does this while respecting and enhancing corporate security and leveraging forward-looking system architectures. Over 250 organizations across the globe are currently in process with ArcGIS Utility Network. They are modernizing in cost-effective ways.
To learn more about how ArcGIS can help positively affect utility key performance indicators, download our free e-book "Design & Engineering for Modern Utility Networks".