However, along with the technological evolution, an array of mar- ket challenges also popped up. The increasing demands for compliance and cost-effective automation operations were the most significant ones. “The key problem was the need for an effective mobile solution to report &monitor field problems with an end-to-end support system,” says Krishnasamy, CEO, GISbiz Inc. To satisfactorily address the issue, GISbiz offers specialized mobile, web and desktop based geo- spatial applications to utilities, government agencies and commercial organizations.
Take the storm damage management as the prime example. “With the transformers, poles, lines and sub stations knocked down during an emergency situation, field workers have to inspect all these assets quickly, document the issues accurately and send them to right people so that the issues can be fixed in a timely manner and power is turned on for the customers. This effort involves lot of time and money,” ex- plains Krishnasamy. However, GISbiz’s robust GIS solutions enable users to capture all the basic information and save it as points on the map, which can be transferred to the technician immediately. “With the help of updates stored on the map, the system takes the technician directly to the pole. Unlike the traditional method, there is no need for the technicians to meet, they can do their job from anywhere, the sym- bol and color in the map will set the stage,” adds Krishnasamy.
geoORGANIZER suite of products, GisBiz’s Highlight
geoOrganizerFIT (geoFIT), a mobile field inspection software that is designed to work on iPads and iPhones is GISbiz’s flagship product that helps in accomplish measurable improvements in the field operations of Utility companies. geoFIT is used to stream- line the entire service order management process. With or without internet access, users can capture, update, and review data throughout the field inspection life-cycle, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced cost. “For ex- ample, recently our geoFIT tool was instrumental in bridging the communication gap, improving the efficiency and increasing the return of investment for a leading electric utility company in the U.S.,” Krishnasamy emphasizes.
To visualize critical business information in real-time, users can opt for geoDASH, a tool to manage operational data with maps, charts, list and other visualizations. It is used along with geoFIT to report, search and analyze data collected from field, and scheduling for field workforce. “The dashboard tools allow managers to quickly get a glimpse of real time field operations. They can choose a map with layers, search by address, filter data, view attached pictures and documents, print reports, analyze maintenance history and more,” adds Krishnasamy. With the increasing use of mobile devices, the company also introduced a geoMOBILE, to quickly and cost effectively migrate the web and desktop applications to mobile apps.
geoSLAM, a desktop- based service line automation mapping software is GISbiz’s solution to solve notoriously time-consuming service line mapping issue in gas utilities. A good number of gas utilities in North America do not have their service lines and related business information maintained in GIS.
Our mobile tools enable field workers to quickly locate field assets and report issues that can be transferred to the technician immediately through an easy to use map interface on iPads and iPhones
Without this, they are unable to perform risk analysis effectively as mandated by government regulations. Traditionally this information is maintained in paper based Gas Service Records. Migrating this info into GIS is an expensive and time- consuming process. geoSLAM helps accomplish this quickly and cost effectively by automatically mapping the gas service lines from scanned paper records to pro- duce a database table that can be queried and processed by other applications.“We have developed the tools and processes to transform the tabular service card information into representative service lines in GIS,” says Krishnasamy.
Krishnasamy also asserts that GIS- biz believes in innovating technologies to make GIS more productive and easier. One such attempt is the geoPEN, a map- sketching tool to collect information from field personal. “It is as easy as using a pen and paper. Field officials can simply make the marking on the paper using a digital pen, which is electronically captured and stored in the GIS database,” adds Krishnasamy.
Trouncing the GIS Challenges
With its ability to customize software applications catering to the client’s needs, the company has effectively engineered a string of successes in the GIS sector. “Our experienced team of software developers, system architects, business analysts, testers and project managers build custom applications for managing business workflows and asset information using technologies from Microsoft, Oracle, Esri, Google, Apple and open source community,” informs Krishnasamy. The company also offers data services such as data modeling and conversion, geocoding, data entry and migration, LIDAR data management, and photogrammetry data editing.
GISbiz’s ability to adapt to the changing GIS needs has earned them a long-list of clients, which includes Electric utilities, Gas Utilities, Pipe line companies, crude oil producers and federal/state/ local government agencies. In a recent scenario, a Kentucky based electric utility company with over 50,000 customers utilized geoOrganizerto prepare for their upcoming NASCAR event. With compliance as the key challenging factor, the client was looking for a proven solution. Within 4 weeks, GISbiz successfully in- stalled its GIS services, saving time and increasing efficiency. Another insightful example that reflects GISbiz’s efficiency is its stint with a leading gas distribution utility in Texas that completely moved from paper-based maps to GIS Maps using time-effective Geo service approach. “We successfully transferred all the in- formation on electronic map to create a single database, allowing the workers to visualize and analyze the data,” adds Krishnasamy.
The Future Mission
On its futuristic journey, GISbiz aims to be the market leader in providing Geospatial solutions with push button design approach for the Utilities industry. “We want to be the best location-based mobility software for field workforce management, saving them time and money,” states Krishnasamy. The company is also planning to develop new mobile software that can automatically track and assign works to the field officers based on their proximity and expertise among other things.