By leveraging our previous investment with Critigen to develop the Esri-SAP synchronization framework, we were able to quickly update the tool to synchronize additional work order data with GIS and build a user-friendly Esri map our employees can use to manage work order geometry.
Marin Water Spatially Enables SAP to Improve Utility Operations
Marin Water is a publicly owned and managed water utility serving over 190,000 customers in central and south Marin County, California. Working with Critigen, the Marin Water GIS team updated its Esri-SAP synchronization tool to support creating and mapping of SAP work orders in its Esri geographic information system (GIS).
User - Marin Water
Challenge - Spatially enable SAP work orders and notifications.
Partner – Critigen, a global leader in delivering geospatial consulting, design, integration, and support services.
Solution – Development of an Esri-SAP synchronization tool.
Result – Maps enable staff to view and coordinate work more efficiently and provide information that is easily digestible.
Like many utilities, Marin Water manages its work and inspections in an enterprise asset management (EAM) system that is separate from its GIS, in this case SAP ECC. In 2018 Marin Water, with Critigen's assistance, implemented a tool that synchronized the water network assets between its Esri geodatabase and SAP ECC. This allowed Marin Water to ensure that edits made to its assets in ArcMap were reflected in SAP and vice versa, but district staff were still unable to view the location of planned or performed work (SAP work orders and notifications) on a map. This limited the district's ability to spatially plan work or recognize trends in previous work or inspection history. Several years ago, the district began work on an asset management program, and it became clear that better tracking of assets and their maintenance was the key to more efficient planning and decision-making. An integral part of that information is the link between the work and the asset(s) receiving that work. Without the spatial abilities of GIS to more easily fine-tune work locations, especially with underground assets, linking the work to the proper asset often became difficult or an afterthought. There was also a need to better communicate work between departments, and not all departments were familiar with the work orders of the others or how to search for that work in SAP. The GIS maps were the logical repository to find this information.
Critigen is a global leader in delivering geospatial consulting, design, integration, and support services and specializes in integrating Esri with SAP. Critigen works with clients across the globe to spatially enable enterprise systems. Critigen harnesses the power of spatial technology by leveraging over 30 years of comprehensive knowledge and management expertise from its global team of GIS experts.
Project Team—Marin Water's team included its GIS and SAP organizations. Critigen's team included Esri architects and developers.
In 2018 Critigen and Marin Water codeveloped an Esri-SAP synchronization tool that used Python and a .NET add-in to keep assets synchronized between Esri and SAP for the entire water network. To spatially enable SAP work orders and notifications, Critigen updated the existing synchronization tools to include historic work orders from SAP, assigning an initial geometry in the GIS wherever they have an associated Esri feature. The tool also monitors changes made to the work order data in SAP and communicates them to ArcGIS via automated data synchronization and reporting processes. Synchronizing work order data with ArcGIS has allowed Marin Water to build a user-friendly Esri map-based interface, permitting users to manage work order geometry changes going forward, with synchronization maintaining data integrity. This is accomplished using a custom button within SAP that calls to a web map workflow, walking users through the process of easily creating, changing, or viewing the geometry for their work on the map with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Having the ability to view SAP work orders and notifications across the Esri enterprise GIS provides significant benefits to Marin Water. For annual maintenance and inspection programs like valve turning, supervisors and managers can now view the program's progress on a map. Viewing historic repair history by asset type and geography also provides insight into suspected problem areas and types of equipment. In the future, Marin Water expects to use the location of existing work and inspections to better plan, schedule, and assign work to its field crews. With the work order location data migrated into GIS and properly synchronized, staff were able to add this new information into their various desktop, mobile, and web maps for general consumption by the workforce. This helps all staff more easily see all the work done in their area of interest and is far faster than tabular searches in SAP. In the future, if the conservation and leak detection teams both get a call from different customers for the same leak investigation, they can now more easily coordinate any efforts for the area. When staff have questions about types and costs of work in various areas, such as city or other political boundaries, the answers are now a spatial query away!
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