Each customer and component of our distribution network has geographical location and associated data. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a convenient and powerful way of managing and utilising this geospatial data. It is a critical enabler for a number of regulated business processes including Operations, Construction Programme Management, Asset Management and Investment Planning activities in order to efficiently manage our network.
Our previous GIS solutions had reached end-of-life, were losing vendor support and were beginning to pose a risk to the delivery of these core functions. The purpose of the GIS Upgrade project was to implement a single new, state-of-the-art, GIS solution and integrate it with the existing ESB Networks IT landscape.
The new GIS went live in June 2016 and required close partnership with external Irish, UK, European, American and Indian teams from Hexagon, IMGS, Oracle Utilities and Rolta. The new system improves safety for both the general public and ESB Networks staff. In particular, through the provision of an enhanced operational data model which is critical for centralised network control and safe operation of the network. It also allows for improved customer information in relation to Dial Before You Dig requests and the provision of electrical underground network information. Finally, the provision of an industry standard and expanded GIS data model (including the MPRN dataset) is essential to the development of a smart distribution network that economically supports the requirements of our customers in the future.