“With GIS, the focus is to bring spatial awareness to all aspects of the utility and particularly to help them answer the most important question of all: ‘Where?’,” adds Adam Dinges, COO, Futura Systems. In response to the evolving needs of utilities, Futura starts by capturing and displaying real-time information along the entire business workflow, from work orders to billing, mapping to staking, and outage responders to dispatchers.
Leading a new wave of technology, Futura recently released FieldPro, a native iOS app that allows utilities to view the entire operational infrastructure, regardless of their location, and irrespective of whether they are connected or disconnected from their network or working from inside or outside office perimeters. FieldPro is intuitive, and doesn’t have a steep learning curve, facilitating rapid delivery of geographical information. With the app on their iPad, users can quickly connect to the network to process outages, manage disaster recovery, and create inspection procedures. “Field crews can manage recurring system outages in real-time, by interacting with the system of record and updating the information on their iPad,” explains Dinges.
The desktop based version of FieldPro is CatalystIQ, which is a comprehensive application that acts as a system-wide web map with ubiquitous access for tracking and tracing. “For instance, a manager can track and supervise the progress of multiple projects across their service area through CatalystIQ,” Dinges illustrates.
Field crews can manage recurring system outages in real-time, by interacting with the system of record and updating the information on their iPad
Dinges paints a picture of how Futura enables its utility customers to produce transparent results by using Futura’s powerful GIS solution. “The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) mandates the utility inspect 20 percent of their pole infrastructure every year, and to do this efficiently without over-expending manpower raised practical complications,” he says. With FieldPro delivering accurate, portable GIS information, utilities are able to process hundreds of inspections per week, even utilizing an outsourced vendor.
Looking ahead, Troy Schake, Chief Business Development Officer for SEDC, says the future is bright for the company and its GIS strategy. “What is built into SEDC and Futura’s roadmap is a very strong focus toward caring what our members have to say, understanding it at a detailed level, and delivering the tools they need now, and for the future.”