Australia’s largest water manager liberated by intuitive asset-management app empowering technicians and planners.
When it comes to implementing mobile apps for your business, sometimes it just ‘worx’ to do it yourself. This was the case for Hydro Tasmania’s device-agnostic asset-management application, deployed independently with minimal user training. It allows them to inspect assets offline, attach photos and videos and see work orders by geographic location.
Who is Hydro Tasmania?
Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s leading clean energy business and the largest generator of renewable energy. It employs more than 1200 people and manages a large asset footprint to produce approximately 9000-gigawatt hours of clean electricity from hydropower. That’s enough to sustainably power 900,000 Australian homes and businesses.
Hydro Tasmania owns, operates and maintains:
- 30 Hydropower stations
- 54 Major dams
- 188 Headwork gates and valves
- 22 Canals
- 19 Tunnels
- 43 Pipelines
- 63 Generators
- 1 Gas-fired power station
- Power generation and distribution on Bass Strait islands.
Evaluating cost per user
Hydro Tasmania implemented its previous mobile asset-management app in 2013. It took two full-time consultants approximately eight weeks, and three employees to roll out SAP Work Manager to 120 users on 120 devices.
Two years later, SAP Work Manager required an upgrade, costing the business a further eight weeks of investment in two full-time consultants and two employees. The business also opted for another four weeks of consulting to improve sync speed. Hydro Tasmania had around 20 regular users who were getting significant value from the app on a daily basis and another 100 infrequent users that were getting limited benefit from the app.
“Ultimately, upgrades were costing the business a lot for a relatively small user base,” explains Anthony Pierotti, SAP Functional Analyst (now Planning Supervisor) for Hydro Tasmania.
Seeking independence and scalability
In 2018, Hydro Tasmania reviewed the market for a new mobile asset-management application that connects harmoniously with its SAP ERP back-end and fits existing and required data structures. As a confident SAP house, it wanted to implement and maintain the new solution with internal resources and minimal vendor support.
Hydro Tasmania required new functionality including GIS Maps and add components as well as improved functionality for work orders, notifications and attaching documents and videos. They also wanted to increase the regular user base from 20 to about 50, which includes generation technicians, supervisors and administrators.
BlueWorx (previously known as MyPM) is Zag’s easy-to-use, comprehensive and affordable solution for mobilising SAP plant maintenance that works where users are.
Hydro Tasmania selected BlueWorx for the following reasons:
- “Faster sync times and more data transferred.”
BlueWorx synchronization with SAP is swift and painless and works in the background.
- “Ability to use both mobile devices and desktop with a consistent look and feel.”
BlueWorx is device agnostic working across iOS, Android, Windows 10 and desktop browsers.
- “Fiori look and feel with offline capability.”
Built using Neptune Software, BlueWorx has the latest SAPUI5 Fiori user experience (UX) and works completely offline which is perfect for remote areas of operation without connectivity.
- “It can be used by different workgroups with different requirements.”
BlueWorx is very adaptable to unique requirements, for example, asset-specific inspections can be easily configured in the administration and monitoring console.
- “It can easily be supported by Hydro Tasmania’s developers, greatly reducing the total cost of ownership.”
BlueWorx is fast and simple to deploy, enhance and support, and requires no middleware or additional infrastructure, delivered from within an SAP ERP or S/4HANA system.
Fast and simple deployment
Hydro Tasmania opted to install and configure BlueWorx themselves with minor assistance from Zag. This involved two days of initial consulting to familiarise themselves with the product and ongoing ad-hoc support from the Zag product development team when required.
“The BlueWorx team at Zag were readily available to provide support and guidance throughout our BlueWorx implementation. They understood what we wanted to achieve and helped us to make the right moves towards a swift, successful outcome.” – Anthony Pierotti, SAP Functional Analyst
The implementation took 60 days end-to-end using functional, development, basis and security personnel part time with involvement from business users. BlueWorx was rolled out to 49 users tasked with inspecting and maintaining hydropower assets across 2000 locations. Despite the larger scale, there was only one performance-related bug after the first month of use.
Vance Chinnery, IP and S – (Acting) Corporate Solutions Manager/ SAP Solution Architect said “BlueWorx was fast and easy to deploy with the initial setup taking our people only 30 days. The implementation costs were minimal too, despite us deploying the solution to a larger user base.”
Tactical scheduling on the fly
Hydro Tasmania was the first to implement both BlueWorx and Crew, a new optional component of BlueWorx that allows supervisors to schedule and monitor work orders, and their staff, on the fly.
With BlueWorx Crew, supervisors easily view tasks assigned to their team and can allocate, reallocate and manage them directly, in near real-time, via the console. Planners can juggle field workers’ schedules efficiently according to changes in priorities and resources.
After all, work that is allocated faster is work completed sooner. Fewer delays and less paperwork mean lower costs, well-maintained assets and better business outcomes.
Making the most of its SAP investment and internal talent
For Hydro Tasmania, “the low implementation cost, streamlined deployment and swift user uptake were driven by BlueWorx being a great match for the business’ existing skills, technology and data,” said Pierotti, as evidenced below.
- Amount of new technology implemented
- Match between existing skills and required skills
- Data changes required
Hydro Tasmania found that BlueWorx supported the data structures created for its previous solution, so they plan to gradually migrate this data to BlueWorx over time. New data creation aligns with BlueWorx data structures to fully gain the benefits of the solution.
- Number of enhancements needed
Only a few enhancements were executed, including a measurement-reading input screen and the ability for contractors to timesheet against purchase orders. “Zag completed these enhancements and kindly modified the timing and order of BlueWorx road map items to align with Hydro Tasmania’s needs,” said Pierotti.
- Number and duration of training courses
Training is broken into process and system training. Process training was very small due to this being a migration from an existing mobile solution to a new one. The simplicity of BlueWorx means minimal training time is required – only two hours per location.
“The team find the interface simple to navigate and very easy to use. They like using BlueWorx, which makes support of the software a breeze.” – Anthony Pierotti, SAP Functional Analyst
‘Worx’ now and in the future
BlueWorx Crew fits Hydro Tasmania’s requirements as it has the right balance between extensive functionality and simplicity of configuration and use. It has many features to streamline the support of a larger user base and has a rapid development cycle.
Now embedded in the business, Hydro Tasmania is rolling out BlueWorx Crew to other areas of the business, including engineering, facilities, land care and Bass Strait islands. Hydro Tasmania continues to benefit from the road map of BlueWorx Crew innovations as they are released.