T&D World Magazine

Oregon Utility in Production with ArcFM, Responder OMS

Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB), a customer-owned utility in Oregon, has recently gone into production with ArcFM for map maintenance and viewing, and Responder to support its outage management operations.

In 2004, EWEB began searching for an ESRI-based mapping solution that would serve both water and electric GIS needs in addition to OMS. Due to increased utility costs for licensing, maintenance and use of its two legacy GIS applications, and absent any unifying vision, the convergence of technologies was a central goal for the new system. In addition, several major outages from 2002 to 2004 highlighted the limitations of the legacy OMS and EWEB's elected board wanted to see improvements. The new OMS required the ability to make predictions and use enhanced reporting functionality. In June of 2005, EWEB selected ArcFM and Responder and began to bring together the disparate legacy applications into one unified system.

Today, EWEB is up and running with four ArcFM/ArcGIS editors maintaining the electric and water networks using one common GIS system, nine dispatchers and electric operations coordinators using Responder to predict outages and dispatch crews, and 60+ mobile and desktop viewers. Responder was also integrated with EWEB's IVR from Twenty First Century Communications and Banner Advantage CIS from Indus.

While our legacy OMS worked well for us on a day-to-day basis, its performance faltered during major events. We are confident Responder's predictive analysis will provide us with the ability to proactively disseminate information about the state of our network to those whose lives and livelihoods are most dependent on electricity.” stated Curt Miller, information analyst at EWEB. “Miner & Miner has been very responsive in incorporating industry standard functionality into the base product. Responder is quickly becoming a powerful, versatile, and effective tool for processing and documenting outages. The project staff provided outstanding support during installation and configuration and they developed an easy and effective interface to our IVR. Whenever we have a question, they are quick to provide us with an answer. I am looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial business relationship with them.”

Aside from the obvious benefit of having all our GIS work performed with the same tools, we also expect to see huge advances in ease of internal customization, field deployment, and in integrating with other enterprise applications,” said Kevin Biersdorff, EWEB’s GeoGraphics supervisor. “Our project has unleashed a good deal of pent-up demand in the organization for more and better data as well as integrations that we couldn’t even consider before. Integrations now in progress or on the drawing table include hydraulic modeling, fiber management, SCADA, asset management, and engineering design.”

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