Smart Analytics Solutions: An Asset for an Enterprise

Dan Kieny, CIO, Black & Veatch
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Dan Kieny, CIO, Black & Veatch

Expanding Solutions for Altering Collaboration Opportunity

In addition to the mainstay Microsoft software applications, the expanding set of solutions including Lync and Office365 are geared toward dramatically altering the communication and collaboration opportunity landscape. This is especially true when they are combined with enhanced identity services. These technologies, though possessing several productivity advantages, still lag consumer solutions and are somewhat countercultural to the traditional locked down enterprise. For employees who are comfortable with the traditional platform, this can challenge their ingrained habits.

Therefore, it is critical to establish a solid change management plan to help all affected professionals embrace the substantial benefits of these solutions while tackling the cultural and technological differences head-on in a “here’s how this benefits you” manner. Without effective change management you will, at best, end up with a reduced adoption of the solutions and, at worst, end up with a failed implementation.

Asset360 offers Secure Solutions Framework

Black & Veatch built a set of solutions for our clients using Microsoft technologies. They are called Smart Analytics and these solutions structure, analyze and enrich data to produce actionable insights that improve operational performance and reduce business risk. Our clients use this platform to gain operational intelligence and adaptive planning functionality. Central to Black & Veatch’s Smart Analytics solutions is our ASSET360 platform, a scalable data management and analytics framework and toolbox. It can address our clients’ current business goals while providing the foundation from which we address future needs. ASSET360 enables Black & Veatch to offer clients a secure solution framework for Big Data and Big Math to address the toughest asset management, planning and operational challenges.

  ‚ÄčIt's critical to establish a solid change management plan to help embrace the substantial benefits, while tackling the cultural and technological differences head-on in a “here’s how this benefits you” manner 

Leveraging Cloud and Virtualization to Overcome Challenges

The two things that keep me up at night are the foundation for some strategic technology prototypes that Microsoft has committed to leading for us. They are global application performance (especially client-server or transaction heavy), and frequency of system outages. Having a network as globally distributed as ours (150+ locations on 6 continents) and the volume of line-of-business and engineering design applications required (more than 3,000) it is daunting task to provide  acceptable application performance for all professionals.

Using traditional methods to attempt to overcome performance deficiencies leads to configuration complexities and network traffic which can create outages for some or all professionals. We are working with Microsoft and other key technology partners to leverage cloud services and virtualization technologies in a geosynchronous format which may help overcome both of these problems for a high percentage of our professionals. This requires these solutions to be used in a way that is different than most technology vendors are willing to offer in predefined solution offerings. We are leveraging a Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) for this prototype.

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