ProStar Geocorp, Inc.: Improved Asset Management through GaaS® 'Geospatial Intelligence Software as a Service'
Carl Lashua, COOThe utilities industry has always relied on some form of mapping to manage assets and facilities. As the world shifts into the modern technology era, capturing, managing and sharing digital data is becoming an essential part of the industry. However office and field workers do not always have easy access to asset information and even when they do they cannot always trust the precision or pedigree of the data. To address this problem, ProStar developed a cloud and mobile solution designed to improve existing business practices for collecting, qualifying, storing, managing and sharing critical information of both surface and sub-surface assets. ProStar’s flagship services are a desktop app called Transparent Earth® and PointMan® Mobile, which are offered as a Geospatial Intelligence Software as a Service ‘GaaS®.’ Transparent Earth and PointMan connect seamlessly to allow easy access and secure sharing of information throughout the enterprise in real time, empowering both office and field personnel with access to qualified asset data including the precise geospatial location.
ProStar’s solution is designed as a hybrid cloud running on Microsoft Azure and leverages web-services and open data standards to enable the integration of multiple business systems. This approach eliminates data silos, creates a fully integrated enterprise system and makes access to critical information easier, faster and more precise. The hybrid cloud enables seamless connectivity and conflation of data from multiple systems of record. This means that any enterprise data from ERP, GIS and CAD, as well as external data sources including; environmental, weather, geological, and landowners, can be displayed and visualized in a single system and from a single map view.
“We focused on system interoperability, data aggregation, and data provenance in order to improve the entire asset management lifecycle,” says Peter Forster, CIO ProStar. Using ProStar’s solution, office workers and field personnel can easily access, share and qualify asset data as well as identify and rectify any discrepancies.
This improves the availability, timeliness, and quality of data which leads to better decisions and better outcomes
“Our mobile app is designed to capture an asset’s precise location in the field, then binds it to a transaction record and submits the data to the cloud. This improves the availability, timeliness, and quality of data which leads to better decisions and better outcomes,” states Forster.
Transparent Earth’s dashboard contains powerful business tools, like PowerGI™ that provide improved notifications, reporting and analytics. Recently, a midstream client recognized significant business value using ProStar’s solution on a construction project to digitally document the end-to-end workflow process from offloading the pipe to stringing, bending, welding and inspecting. “Using ProStar’s Solution for new construction we were able to commission the project in just a few days as opposed to several months,” says Cheryl Janicek, GIS/Engineering/Pipeline Integrity, SemGroup.
“When I was with the bank, adopting cloud and mobile technology was a game changer for us,” says Carl Lashua, ProStar’s COO and formerly CIO, HSBC Bank, Canada and Europe. He envisions ProStar’s cloud and mobile geospatial solution being the de facto standard for the utility industry. ProStar is exploring other markets including agriculture and the public sector. “Our GaaS solution allows us to quickly expand as other industries begin to embrace cloud, mobile and geospatial solutions,” concludes Lashua. ProStar recently delivered a project to monitor and measure agricultural subsidies that was a major success, and is now leading a smart city initiative to develop innovative geospatial technologies including 3D imagery and Augmented Reality (AR) to improve local government services and more effectively address public safety and environmental concerns.