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SAP mobile infrastructure case study: Terasen Gas

For an aggressive field services project, utility company Terasen Gas looked to Syclo to mobilize SAP applications.

Industry: Utilities

Company: Terasen Gas, headquarters in British Columbia, Canada

Problem: Terasen needed a field services platform that would enable its workers to access and complete their work on mobile devices. SAP is the work management system and the system of record, and in doing the project, they wanted it to be the core application for everything that they do at the company. But SAP mobile infrastructure couldn't accomplish their goals.

Solution: Terasen used Syclo to mobilize SAP ERP and the third-party management scheduling system ClickSoftware. The work order is created in SAP, ClickSoftware schedules the order according to where and when the work should be done -- what skills are needed, what's the priority -- and Syclo pushes it through to the mobile devices, mainly Panasonic Toughbooks.

Challenges: Terasen struggled most with change management. To remedy this, Terasen CIO David Legge held a meeting to walk key stakeholders through the whole concept of the design over again, and the importance of adopting it.

"One of the challenges with something like this, when you try to get all work in one place, it is extremely difficult to replicate what goes on in production in any kind of test environment," he said. "It takes a lot of internal political will to mandate a single platform for everybody, to see the value proposition in coming up with one. Not that many companies are willing to do it."

Benefits: Now, workers can get almost everything they need to do a job -- from the work order, to the download history of everything that happened to a piece of equipment, to pending maintenance or pending activities.

What it brought to us was true visibility about what was going on in the field," Legge said. "It really opened up our eyes in terms of the tweaks we need to make in our business model -- now that we see everything going on."

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