BUSINESS CASES

Why is it necessary to continue investing in IT systems for infrastructure lines?

Pipelines, electricity, coax, twisted copper are no new technologies after all?

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The energy market and telecom markets are currently phasing several new challenges: The electrical grid needs major investments to be able to support the required shift to a greener world.   

 

New technologies for district heating and energy transport and storage systems are creating several new uses cases that need to be tackled.  

 

The high demand for high-speed internet and fiber connectivity will not slow down in the decade to come.  

A world full of changes

Many existing Geo Asset Management solutions are not ready for this challenge.  

Things are happening not only in the telecom world where fiber makes the big change.

Our electricity grid is increasingly becoming more complex, with more and diffuse power sources from solar panels and windmills. Higher reliability requirements demand more failovers.

Cities are investing in heat nets, which is yet another utility net with its own properties. Gas transporters like Fluxys and Gasunie are converting their nets to not only support natural gas, but also hydrogen transport. 

Security

Reinforced requirements on regulations on safety of both physical and digital infrastructure require focus. IT systems dating back a decade ago are not passing present day safety standards. IT security is not just about having longer passwords. Think network zones, firewall rules, X509 certificates, DMZ, VPN networking, encryption standards, but also security management and architecture. Who can deploy? Where to store sensitive information such as passwords? Security and authorization proxies. 

Trends in IT 

Our customers are evolving their IT landscapes, with focus on faster deployments (time-to-live), agile rather than slow waterfall planning, transferring server and database infrastructure into the cloud and replacing and splitting up fat clients and monolithic systems into web apps and microservices. 

Automation & cost reduction 

Bygone are the days of printed out plans. Fields teams are now relying on GIS enabled devices, with either online or offline maps, automatically synchronizing their input back to the back office. Network engineers designing physical network infrastructure (cables, pipes) want faster tooling, fewer clicks to have the same, often standardized designs done .

Business intelligence 

Make data driven decisions by combining vast amounts of data. Easy said, but complex to achieve. Collecting, sharing, and updating the information in full sync across an organization is perhaps the biggest hidden cost.  

Data migrations & data quality 

With many network inventory systems gradually shifting from a CAD world to a GIS word, we face two challenges. First, the data needs to be migrated, often into entirely different data models. Second, GIS systems tend to be less forgiving on data quality issues. Think: cables not being connected, having missing information like material type or install date. The rewards to reap are substantially more reliable data stores. The efforts to fix can be considerable. 

Portability

Speed up communication between back-office and field workers. Add apps, responsive design, and fine-grained authorization to enhance user experience. 

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Contact

You work at a telco or utility and you are interested to know more?

Jan Stuckens

Chief Operating Officer

Services GEO Utility

Jan.stuckens@merkator.com

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