Thursday, April 25, 2013

Locating a competitive advantage in the energy sector

Energy and utility companies have come to make up a significant portion of our Visual Command Center and Visual Fusion clients, and when we look into it, it’s clear that companies in this sector are particularly well-positioned to benefit from geographic data visualizations. 

That’s because:  1) they typically need to monitor vulnerable, high-value assets that are tied to fixed locations (think mines, wells, pipelines, transmission lines), and 2) many of them have already made a substantial investment in geospatial data and geographic information systems (GIS).
In many cases, that location data was buried in GIS departments until Visual Command Center and Visual Fusion made it available to users and departments across the enterprise.
You can visualize pipelines, transmission lines, and other energy assets in Visual Command Center
What’s striking are the many ways these organizations have gained value from the software to work. For example:
  • Atlas Pipeline, a midstream natural gas company, visualizes all of its pipelines and processing facilities along with more than 40 other data layers, like weather and wildfire reports, hydrology, gas volumes, well performance, budgets, and growth projections.  All of the company’s departments—from production to legal—use the software to find operating efficiencies and improve the bottom line.
  • The construction engineering firm Steele & Company (formerly a unit of Englobal Corp.) uses Visual Fusion to track land acquisitions and right-of-way agreements and manage the large quantity of documents associated with pipeline projects.
  • Energy giant BP created a solution to identify drilling platforms and other assets at risk during hurricanes. 
  • Australian renewable energy company Pacific Hydro used Visual Fusion to link its store of documents—including occupational health and safety reports—to its GIS data, to improve efficiency and decision making, and create safer outcomes for personnel.
  • Canada’s Newfoundland Power cataloged more than 300,000 utility poles, to facilitate cost-sharing with local telephone and cable companies.
Of course, energy companies also have the same needs as other enterprises: to detect threats (from weather, civil disorder, etc.) to their people and infrastructure, to evaluate these dangers, and to communicate potential risks to employees—all of the areas where Visual Command Center shines.

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