EOH SAP co-innovates engineering solution for engineers
By 2050, almost 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas. Estimates suggest many cities will have over 10 million inhabitants in the next 35 years. In light of this, urban environments - already under strain - will face a growing demand for efficiency and resources.
In developing economies, this situation will be further exacerbated by the dual pressures of maintaining ageing infrastructure and prioritising the building and development of new infrastructure, often with limited funding. In light of this, public administrations will have to consider an evolution in the management models of cities.
To some extent, this has already started with the concept of smart cities, says Lesley-Anne Wilkinson, Customer Solutions Architect at EOH Smart Government. "Smart cities are those built on digital platforms, leveraging information and data to maximise cost-efficiency, innovation, and meaningful stakeholder engagement. Cities like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai are great examples of how a smart city can be built using the right technologies, creating intelligent and efficient service delivery."
These implementations are not just limited to first-world countries, she adds. Technologies like those offered by EOH divisional entity IMQS are being employed in Africa for future smart problem-solving and efficient operations.
Msunduzi Municipality in South Africa, for example, is using the technology for its water and sanitation operations, replacing the paper plans of the city with digital geospatial plans that allow detailed visualisations and plotting of current and future infrastructure. In addition, EOH's IMQS platform allows the municipality to manage and maintain its infrastructure, water velocity, pipeline pressure, material, average daily demand, zones and reservoirs in real-time.
"Today's municipalities have a challenge in integrating their many layers of infrastructure with the associated layers of information, such as physical properties, spatial and treasury data, maintenance plans and asset registers. This system not only allows for this data to be accessed and integrated in real-time, it allows for the manipulation of external data to provide knowledge at a glance by cutting across various types of assets and information. It gives a holistic view that is graphically represented in an integrated asset management, GIS-based system," explains Rob Knight, CEO of IMQS.
This, he says, not only makes maintenance easier, it allows for better planning. "In the past, the construction of new infrastructure required engineers poring over plans from fragmented departments, including water and sanitation, communications, and electricity. Now, all of these can be viewed in a single application, making it easy to distinguish the important points across all of them. Similarly, problem areas in existing infrastructure can be immediately identified and repaired."
In addition, EOH SAP solutions and its IMQS organisation have created an innovative solution that allows the system to manage the entire infrastructure life cycle. "Whether performing maintenance or building new infrastructure, each asset is managed through the integrated system. The procurement process for new assets, for example, is triggered in SAP, and the geospatial asset category is dynamically updated in SAP in real-time," says Masheke Mukwamataba, Head of Business Development at EOH's IMQS. "Through integrated systems, we are able to drive better failure prediction models and run simulations to derive optimal mix of capital and operational expenditure to meet a city's strategic objectives.
"This co-innovation between EOH SAP and IMQS not only allows for true digital transformation using the platform, it enables responsive service delivery. The creation of this engineering solution for engineers validates the importance of co-innovation - a core value of SAP's. As cities need to become more globally competitive, real-time business-critical platforms like this one will allow public sector organisations to do more with less."