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From the Control Room to the Bedroom

How we went from “going to work” to “being at work” overnight

As part of their daily operations, executives, managers and operators in industrial businesses are used to working with data and information from systems like:

  • DCS (Distributed Control System)
  • SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition)
  • MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems)
  • EAM (Enterprise Asset Management)
  • APM (Asset Performance Management)
  • PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)

Many of these systems have been around for a long time and operate on legacy platforms that require complex IT infrastructure.

Executives and operators use information from these systems in reports, BI dashboards and graphs to make critical operational decisions that impact their production, safety, cost, and supply chain to mention a few. They also collaborate on the information through secure corporate networks and IT infrastructure that house all of these systems and information.

Morning meetings and production planning meetings are critical coordination points for these businesses, and everyone has the real-time information at hand on corporate laptops, tablets and even mobile devices. It is all nicely ring-fenced in closed corporate networks in systems that were designed for people to work from plants, factories and sites. It was perfect for the “factory worker” style of work where managers and operators where on-site, in close proximity of the DCS or control room.

But that all changed with the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic with “stay at home” orders that forced executives and managers across most industries to run operations from their bedrooms now. Office blocks at factories, mines, and oil fields are suddenly empty with small numbers of operational staff rotating on shifts to keep operations going.

The impact of delayed Digital Transformation initiatives 

Control Rooms are suddenly empty and Distributed Control Systems or DCSs were suddenly not so distributed. Managers needed to make decisions without access to all the systems they had inside the firewall of the corporate network before. Virtual meetings helped with collaboration, but access to real-time operational intelligence remains a challenge for the many organizations that didn’t invest in developing real-time digital twins for their operations.

They now suddenly find that they don’t have remote access to data about key events happening in their business and they don’t have the remote data acquisition capabilities to direct their operations, maintenance and 3rd party personnel the way they could do from their traditional control room. Moving from the control room to the bedroom exposed those organizations that were slow to adopt Event Intelligence, Digital Twins and other IoT-style capabilities.

These organizations find themselves with greater operational, safety and financial risk than before and executives are blindsided by business events because they don’t have any insight (or foresight) to make good decisions fast.

Smart businesses invested in “Work from Wherever” Event Intelligence

But there are those organizations that implemented remote event intelligence solutions that give them access to real-time operational and business data, alerts on business events that may impact their operations, the recommendations to address those events, and the feedback on the effectiveness of the business actions.

They didn’t invest in it as a result of COVID-19, but they did it strategically beforehand. It just turns out that their decisionmakers now have access to event digital twins of their operations that give them the “digital eyes” not to fly blind while working from their bedrooms.

These organizations understood early on that their businesses are exposed to more and more internal and external events that need to be responded to in real-time. They also know that these business events can come from:

  • the actions of people in their business;
  • the actions of their competitors, customers, legislators or suppliers;
  • equipment breakdown, process failures, weather events;
  • the Operational Intelligence that they gather from their business applications, data sources and web services; and
  • more recently, the influx of information from the Internet of Things (IoT) with sensor-based or smart device machine-born data (IoT Platforms).

They know their businesses are forced to operate in real-time to remain relevant, compliant and competitive as every(thing) is becoming more connected in digital business. They are also aware that the value of real-time, event knowledge loses its value (depreciates) quickly with a small window to exploit it. They found that traditional request-driven applications, integration and architectures don’t support their event-driven business requirements.

Their business users (subject matter experts) want solutions to easily create complex real-time applications with analytics that provide situational awareness, are always on, and prescribe and orchestrate appropriate actions. Their managers and executives want to know that these business events are responded to and want to monitor the effectiveness of their decisions and actions.

These organizations invested in Event Intelligence capabilities that give their executives, managers and operators remote access to critical business and event data to make good decisions fast that increase revenue or throughput, reduce risk and cost, and keep workers safe.

XMPRO’s Event Intelligence platform connects to most of the traditional systems and combines the data to create new event intelligence that didn’t exist before. XMPRO brings data and information from traditional legacy systems and well as new IoT solutions together in a secure, resilient and reliable way. Eventboards (event dashboards) provide critical real-time insights into key events that are happening or likely to happen. And XMPRO Recommendations and Workflows ensure that the appropriate action gets taken in a timely manner.

Watch this demo to see how we take the Control Room to the Bedroom and contact us at info@xmpro.com to find out how your team can create the event intelligence that you need when you “Work From Wherever”.