|Digital Energy Geospatial Systems Field Force Automation|
FFA delivers significant efficiencies and cost savings to technical field service teams within large and small organizations. It can meet the most elaborate needs of infrastructure companies and helps ensure that these companies will met their challenges.
Key Benefits of GE's Field Force Automation
Field Force Automation Overview
Accessibility: FFA offers device flexibility with browser based or native apps for iOS and Android®. FFA mobile apps support the user who works online or offline, in the office or in the field, or directly for the company or one of its subcontractors. FFA is supported on various mobile platforms and plays especially well on Smart Phones, Tablets and Laptops.
Flexibility: FFA allows users to freely define unique fields, screens, workflows and business processes, in most cases without vendor involvement, and to scale as the business grows and changes. GE's customers have stated that only FFA offered them the opportunity to configure the present state and enable the future.
Completeness: FFA is a complete solution that does not impose any limits on how far a customer can grow or change its functionality, automation, or what work order types he wants to support gradually. This especially relates to FFA's possibility to handle inventory management.
Low integration costs: FFA comes with out of the box integrations for MapFrame FieldSmart, PowerOn Classic OMS, Smallworld, and other GIS solutions as it is GIS neutral.
Proven change management: Offers pre-defined business processes and pre-defined domain specific configurations, like a meter services package, that are derived from the best practices of existing customers.
Best-in-class optimizer: FFA includes an auto-calibrating optimizer, driven by "Business Objectives" that can easily be tailored to business rules and priorities of a specific customer. It can deliver robust results day-by-day in an ever changing environment.
FFA is officially "ecomagination approved" by GE, meaning it is proven to deliver significant operational and environmental benefits. Learn more about the FFA ecomagination certification by clicking here.
Moreover, FFA is certified compliant with the SAP NetWeaver platform and the SAP Process Infrastructure (PI) solution.
The scope of the certification included:
Functional Correctness (External scheduling of service orders)
SAP Solution Manager Ready Functionality
Smart Meters represent a significant increase in complexity, necessary know-how and asset value in comparison to traditional metering. Utilities around the world are trying to determine how to most effectively meet the challenges of Smart Meter roll-outs:
GE's "FFA for Meter Services" package can provide quick yet comprehensive customer-specific implementations, and can also be offered in a "Software as a Service" model. The result is a web-based application suite that applies the benefits of proper workforce management to both Smart Meter roll-outs and regular metering. In most cases, only customer specific data needs to be loaded and the FFA solution is ready to go.
Pre-configured integration between FFA and Meter Data Management systems helps ensure that after installation, a Smart Meter is immediately connected to supervisory control and remote management, further accelerating the overall meter roll-out. In addition, the FFA mobile application supports the direct on-site configuration and reading of meters through an optical probe and protocols such as ANSI, IEC 1107 and DLMS.
Productized interoperability to provide a single mobile solution for all utility work orders
Traditionally, due to limitations in technology and the lack of appropriate solutions, utilities were forced to adopt a "stovepipe" approach in order to handle different types of field work, such as planned inspections or unplanned outages. IT and mobility systems were "procured and developed to solve a specific problem, characterized by a limited focus and functionality, and containing data that cannot be easily shared with other systems." (Quotation from DOE in 1999)
In contrast, GE’s Field Force Automation handles different types of field work including unplanned activities, such as outage validation and restoration, in one integrated solution, leveraging general functionality like mobile maps, routing directions and timesheets. GE provides a productized integration between FFA and the PowerOn™ Outage Management System version 4.2, which allows you to:
Seamlessly communicate all outage and investigation orders as they are managed by OMS dispatch centers into the field
Dynamically update the predicted outage location, crew and workflow status, estimated restoration times, and other key operational data
Electronically receive and process critical information from field crews regarding the outage confirmation, location (move-up or move-down), restoration time, cause codes, damage and repair data, and triggering the immediate generation of follow-up orders
The productized integration can result in significant operational benefits including:
Reduced OMS voice dispatching time, delays and errors
Elimination of crew dependency on centralized dispatchers to apply order updates
Ability to leverage all available field resources for planned and unplanned work
Increased worker safety through better information and validated location information
Reduced outage duration through improved communication, better information and less travel
Improved customer satisfaction and data accuracy through timely, direct updates by field crews to outage and restoration work orders