Ukuvuma Solutions, an established South African provider of ICT solutions and support to the engineering, mining and construction market, has overseen the implementation of a large-scale ICT overhaul project for a large engineering firm in the power engineering industry. The result has been an enhancement of key areas of operation within South Africa’s largest high-voltage construction company and listed member of the Consolidated Infrastructure Group Limited.
Ukuvuma Solutions was called in to provide a range of technologies and services designed to optimise mission-critical areas of the engineering firm’s operation. These areas included the Intranet, Extranet, business process flow and automation for engineering document management and business intelligence.
The strategy formulated and implemented centred on a collaboration platform for internal and external parties.
“We also embarked on simplifying business processes with workflows and content deployments,” says Jason Smit, Director – Microsoft Techologies, Ukuvuma Solutions.
Being a company with extensive national coverage, including established presence in rural areas, the engineering firm has prioritised connectivity and collaboration across its entire network. This placed substantial pressure on the company’s infrastructure and systems. Furthermore, document control was previously done on file servers which presented challenges around versioning, duplication and naming conventions, for example.
Information security and data protection also posed a challenge because of a lack of control.
One of the more pressing issues was engineering document management. This was because large engineering drawings have typically been saved locally on laptops or file servers making collaboration a difficult undertaking.
At the same time a lack of business process automation required more manual task management, a time and resource-intensive process. Disparate systems posed a challenge to reporting on business critical data.
Before tabling a solution, Ukuvuma Solutions had to bear in mind a number of unique aspects of associated with integration and key to the success of the project.
These unique aspects covered a myriad of technical provisions and conditions, including automation of content deployment between site collections, web applications and farms; site collection provisioning for project sites; engineering document management and automated document numbering, amongst others.
Additionally, custom reporting and dashboards with quick data slices.
“We also embarked on simplifying business processes with workflows and content deployments,” said Smit. “With additional functionality for engineering document management and automated transmittals, toping this all off for the executive committee with comprehensive BI centre to graphically represent date from the Data Warehouse systems.”
To fulfil its role as trusted services and solution provider, Ukuvuma Solutions management implemented a range of technology and products.
This technology bundle included SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, Nintex Workflow Enterprise and Cadac Organice Explorer & Transmit.
The company is a Cadac Organice partner and this technology is the preferred platform for the engineering market. This platform is based on Microsoft SharePoint and has been since 2004, and is available as an on-premise, hosted and/or hybrid solution.
It has a depth of functionality that adds immediate and automatic value within specific industries including oil & gas, mining, process & power, equipment manufacturing as well as building & construction.
“Customers require an engineering document management and control solution that is easy to use and instantly accepted by all users. The technology must help them to do better business by improved document availability, accessibility and distribution. These industries rely on accurate documentation and where knowledge and intellectual property is kept and distributed in documents,” says Smit.
Enhanced functionality derived from technology and the ability to truly enhance the document management process is what differentiates operators in these industries.
Cadac Organice incorporates several features that sets it apart from other offerings available in the market.
These include CAD drawing management with SharePoint, integration into most CAD applications, automation of document control processes, workflow management, as well as a publishing feature to control and publish documentation and drawings for external collaboration, amongst others.
The combination of this technology with Ukuvuma’s expertise and experience has resulted in the automation of a number of business processes, which, in turn, has saved end users a lot of time and eliminated many errors. The engineering firm continues to benefit from a full audit to help with the tracking of documents, as well as the ease of finding information and documentation in a centralised location.
With support from Ukuvuma, they addressed critical requirements around their intranet and extranet functionality, and their ability to manage and share large engineering files between locations.