SAP NetWeaver mobile solutions for the Energy Industry
Enabling operational efficiencies through the integration of multi-vendor technologies
AES Sul Distribuidora Gaúcha de Energia S/A is a Company member of the AES Corp one of the two world’s largest investors in the electric power sector, with presence in 25 countries in 5 continents, 129 power generation and 14 energy distribution plants covers practically all Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico) and over 30,000 AES employees all over the world.
AES Sul distributes electric energy in 118 municipalities of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul since 1997, and serves an area totalizing 99,512 square Kilometers, for approximately 1.07 million Clients delivering electric energy 24 hours a day to nearly 4 million people.
By the year 2006 AES Sul created the program CONTA COMIGO, with the purpose to comply with regulatory mandates from the Brazilian Government geared toward determining the adequate rate for the services provided by the Company.
An essential requirement of this process; the Inventory of Electric Assets in the Field required a solution capable of supporting a vast territory and facilitate the integration with the backoffice information systems: SAP R/3, the ERP platform which included PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and a Geographic Information System (GIS).
The main challenges for the project were:
- Geographic Dispersion: AES covers 99,512 square Kilometers in 118 municipalities in the Rio Grande do Sul state;
- Cultural Process: Migrate the Management Process of Electric Assets, a very important part of the Company’s patrimony;
- Different Systems, Different Realities: SAP R/3 and the GIS do not have any type of correlation between their data;
- Implementation Time: Adhere to the plan that demanded a 9 months project was fundamental;
- Innovative Technology: Probably this was the first project to ever integrate SAP R/3 and the GIS system in the country. Furthermore, the solution also involved the use of SAP Mobile and the use of a GPS solution;
The Solution by Softtek
The solution designed jointly with AES Sul had two components:
A)To develop a mobile system for the Inventory of Electric Assets, which needed to be
tightly integrated with the SAP R/3 and GIS systems. With this application, the technician
on the field uses PDAs to enter information into the catalog sending real time updates of
the works conducted in the field.
B)Adopt “SAP NetWeaver” as the integration platform. This tool would integrate the
backoffice systems (SAP PLM and the GIS) and the mobile solution through the use of
SAP eXchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) and the SAP Mobile Infrastructure (SAP Mobile)
The implementation of the solution was carried out by a team composed by professionalsof AES Sul, Softtek and two other consulting companies specialized in the GIS System. Softtek was the main partner, responsible for project management, the implementation of NetWeaver and implementation of SAP XI and SAP Mobile while also doing development in ABAP, JAVA and Basis.
- Agility in the Catalog Maintenance: Through the mobile applications, the catalog can be updated by the field technician during the service.
- Process Improvement: The integration between the systems eliminates re-work of data entry and improves data quality.
- Integration and Transparency between systems: Standard tool for field technicians offers a solution that allows easy navigation between catalogs with better speed and productivity.
- Geographical Location: Through the GPS installed in the PDA is possible to determine the location and positioning of every object of the electric network
- Data Integrity: Catalogs are updated directly by the technician performing the work, eliminating additional risk related to data entry.
- Validated Business Rules: Through the application the business rules of the GIS and SAP R/3 were implemented on the PDA in a way that it does not allow inconsistencies.
- Standardized Procedures: Process for Data entry and format were made standard.
- Average Time of Catalog Maintenance: Was reduced from 45 to 10 minutes per object.
- Operational Cost Reduction: Savings with tracking supplies. The economic impact is yet to be estimated, but it is anticipated to be of several million dollars.
- IT Assets Cost reduction: Economy of scale through maximized use of SAP and Netweaver at AES Sul.
Founded in 1982, Softtek is a global provider of IT and business process solutions with over 6,000 associates across 30 offices in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. With eight Global Delivery Centers in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and China, Softtek provides in-depth, high-quality and cost-effective solutions to top-tier corporations in over 20 countries through on-site, on-shore and its trademarked Near Shore® service delivery models. Creator and leader of the Near Shore® Industry, Softtek is the largest private IT service provider in Latin America. For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at www.softtek.com.
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