Enhanced GIS Performance and IT Peace of Mind
Connecticut Water Company (CWC) is a regulated water utility under the holding company Connecticut Water Service, a New England subsidiary of SJW Group. CWC provides service to more than 450,000 people across 81 Connecticut and Maine towns. The CWC geographic information system (GIS) division has a distributed team across New England. CWC provides exceptional and reliable GIS services via the cloud.
CWC's GIS division faced challenges configuring ArcGIS Enterprise Portal to work effectively with the utility's internal network. Although ArcGIS performance was good, the Flex viewer used in the field was unreliable because of server security settings that would intermittently crash the viewer. Although mostly unrelated to GIS, the server settings effect on the internal enterprise GIS network was significant. The IT department was quick to support the GIS in urgent situations, but the ongoing issues were affecting staff's ability to serve all the other departments needing IT support.
To overcome these challenges, a large data development initiative was launched to modernize the GIS. Staff were looking for a solution that offered excellent performance from any location, a reliable platform to serve their GIS applications, and a way to reduce GIS demands on the company's internal network and the IT department.
ROK Technologies architects, deploys, and manages cloud, hybrid, and on-premises GIS solutions. As an AWS and Microsoft partner, ROK's certified professionals architect and manage the optimal environment to support customers' enterprise GIS. They can take advantage of the cloud to virtualize applications like ArcGIS Pro and work from anywhere.
Project Team – Connecticut Water Company GIS Division, ROK Technologies Managed Services, ROK IT Department
CWC staff met with ROK Technologies for an initial consultation to discuss the utility's needs. CWC provided a list of all the elements of the GIS infrastructure—files, workstations, servers, databases, and so forth—to be reviewed. ROK evaluated CWC's needs and infrastructure and proposed a solution: moving to the cloud. CWC's IT department did an internal review of what it would cost to maintain the GIS-based infrastructure and support GIS staff. The result was that it would cost more to maintain CWC's GIS internally than it would if the utility moved to the cloud. CWC decided to move forward with the solution provided by ROK.
An initial planning meeting was held with ROK to collaborate on the future state of the GIS; review current status, inventory current infrastructure, and decide what was truly needed in the new environment. ROK developed a three-step, cloud-based GIS plan:
- Relocate CWC's entire enterprise GIS infrastructure to the cloud, including ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Web Adaptor, License Manager, and SQL Database.
- Move the GIS to Amazon Web Services (AWS) workstations to effectively run programs and applications such as ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, and WaterGEMS without interruption.
- Ensure that GIS needs are continually supported and maintained properly with ROK's GIS managed services.
CWC is now able to deploy fast, reliable, and secure web maps to field crew and office staff. Technical-difficulty calls from the remote team ceased. The dependability of the GIS has improved due to ROK's 24/7 monitoring. The Web GIS has not gone down unexpectedly since the transition was completed. With better performance and without straining IT support, CWC yielded substantial savings in both dollars and working hours.
With ROK's managed services, the cloud, and AWS, CWC is now confidently sitting on the cutting edge of GIS software. CWC is able to provide an exceptional GIS to the company, support its staff, and ultimately serve the water company's customers better.
Our internal IT staff are incredibly skilled and I believe they are leaders in their area of expertise, but they weren't experts in the niche of GIS IT. With ROK's managed services, we now have IT experts who specialize in GIS. It makes life easier for our staff because now we can totally focus on GIS and leave the IT tasks to ROK.