I adjudicated Bentley Systems' Year in Infrastructure user awards this year. Annually, Bentley asks users to submit projects for consideration for awards in eighteen categories. As one of several juror we evaluate nearly 70 individual submissions in three of the 18 categories: Government, Waste Water Modeling and Utilities and Communication Networks. We narrow the selection to 3 in each but one huge factor stands out: the GIS Champion on the project is the linchpin to success.
Take Time Warner Cable. It's a huge company that controls a significant amount of the cable TV access to customers in the U.S. The objective of their project was to have a single, centralized, asset repository GIS. Problem was, they had no idea where their assets where located. Prior to the project there were 32 separate design sites most hosting entirely different operating environments … and this, as project manager Lucius Brooker (pictured at right) found out, was the easy part of the problem. Brooker faced enormous corporate head winds that included continuously constrained budgets and a CEO that kept wondering why they were undertaking such a huge endeavor and then threatening to fire him. It was only by his shear tenacity that the project continued to its successful conclusion.
TWC has now standardized on Bentley's communications products on virtualized servers in only six regional centers. IT operations, office space, power management and personnel expenses have all be greatly reduced leading to a total first year ROI of 40% with a three year ROI of 121%. Tax-related asset management questions are now more accurately reported. In addition, with the pending merger with Comcast, due diligence for integrating assets is more quickly assessed.
The Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) has been using GIS for cartographic tasks since the late 70's but ten years ago began to evaluate their long-term needs for spatial information management. Today, the OSi is in the final stage of a six-year project to create a new spatial data infrastructure that will eventually conform to OGC specifications and support the European Union's INSPIRE directive. Senior Operations Manager Andy McGill describes the new model, now called Prime2, as a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that will support both field and office operations.
The OSi began by converting their data using a 1Spatial solution with Bentley Map as the geospatial information system. The project entail converting 80 million cartographic objects to 50 million "real-world" 3D objects now stored in Oracle Spatial. Each object, including roads, buildings, land parcels and utility infrastructure, are uniquely identified by a Geographic Unique Identification codes or GUID. The project has realized a savings of E 600,000 to operations and staffing. The spatial data warehouse will also support the new postal code system being adopted by the country.
In both cases, the champions of TWC and OSi provided persistence, vision and leadership, qualities recognized time and again in GIS as the keys to successful project management. Both, however, also realize the job ahead of them will continue to require those same characteristics.
Disclosure: Bentley Systems supported travel to the event.
Photo courtesy of Bentley Systems.