Mahatransco transforms electricity transmission uptime to reach 99 percent with IBM and SAP

Published on 08-Oct-2012

"The combined IBM and SAP solution has built integration into every level of the business...providing the organizational coherence that will enable us to continue offering efficient transmission services to the state of Maharashtra and to meet our objective of becoming the best state transmission utility in India." - Sanjay Shinde, Chief Engineer, Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited

Customer:
Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited

Industry:
Energy & Utilities

Deployment country:
India

Solution:
Business Continuity, BA - Business Intelligence, Business Resiliency, Enterprise Resource Planning, High Availability , Information Integration, Information Management Foundation

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Mahatransco) is the largest electricity transmission company in the state of Maharashtra, India, and is one of the largest state utilities in India. Mahatransco owns and operates a vast network, comprising 536 electricity substations and covering some 38,000 circuit kilometers. The company plays a vital role in meeting Maharashtra’s daily energy demand of over 18,000 MW by transmitting electricity to three distribution companies across seven state zones.

Business need:
Mahatransco’s extensive geographical breadth meant that it was impossible to provide efficient monitoring or to ensure rapid identification and resolution of problems. This situation was exacerbated by an IT infrastructure that was outdated or non-existent in places, with key business divisions suffering from low IT usage. There was no integration or standardization of company processes, and Mahatransco’s subdivisions were all operating in a highly localized environment.

Solution:
Mahatransco implemented a comprehensive suite of SAP ERP applications, SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP NetWeaver Document Management System, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse. The company also introduced IBM WebSphere Portal Express, and Microsoft Exchange Server to digitize its old, paper-based communication processes. IBM DB2 version 9.0 handles company-wide data management and storage. IBM Power Systems and System x servers support the software landscape. The implementation included the setup of a new data center and a disaster recovery center.

Benefits:
Delivers high levels of integration, and has enhanced process efficiency by 30 percent. Improves monitoring significantly: while it previously took up to two months to check and analyze information from remote sites, this can now be accessed instantly. Provides vital information on breakdowns and outages, allowing workers to quickly identify and resolve problems and maintain a system availability of more than 99 percent.

Case Study

Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Mahatransco) is the largest electricity transmission company in the state of Maharashtra, India, and is one of the largest state utilities in India. Mahatransco owns and operates a vast network, comprising 536 electricity substations and covering some 38,000 circuit kilometers. The company plays a vital role in meeting Maharashtra’s daily energy demand of over 18,000 MW by transmitting electricity to three distribution companies across seven state zones.

In 2005, Mahatransco began an ambitious infrastructure development project, so that it could successfully meet strict benchmarks set by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission for system availability and transmission improvements.

Identifying the transformation strategy
Mahatransco’s operations are dispersed over a vast geographical area, making it difficult to monitor business activities, with a lack of information integration between company divisions.

As Sanjay Shinde, Chief Engineer at Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited remarks, “Mahatransco has some 275 subdivisions across seven different zones, and all of these were operating in a completely localized environment, with their own independent systems.”

“We were experiencing a great deal of problems around our technical software as there was no integration or standardization across our operations, nor a centralized storage facility for all our data. It was critical for us to create a homogeneous environment across our entire operational area.”

In many areas, such as project management, asset management, and substation maintenance and planning, paper-based processes meant that data could not easily be extracted, analyzed and shared.

“It is essential for us to take quick action when issues arise, but this was almost impossible with our limited and outdated infrastructure,” notes Sanjay Shinde. “There was a great need for tracking and monitoring across all areas of the business: we needed to see the numbers and the data, so that we could then improve them.”

Mahatransco wanted to provide centralized management for the electricity transmission network, and enforce standardization across its operations. This would help the company to better identify interruptions in its transmission system and carry out timely rectification of any issues, allowing it to improve system availability beyond 99.5 percent.

System integration and project management
Mahatransco started an open tendering process, and invited vendors to present proposals. The IBM® Global Business Services® team outlined a broad strategy for meeting Mahatransco’s needs, and demonstrated that it had the necessary experience to successfully manage the project implementation.

“We were highly impressed by the presentation from IBM Global Business Services and IBM’s proven expertise in handling large-scale projects,” says Sanjay Shinde. “The close working relationship with SAP was a deciding factor, as the solution we were looking to develop was strongly based on SAP® ERP applications.”

IBM Global Business Services collaborated with SAP to draw up a set of solutions that would help to resolve Mahatransco’s key business challenges. The objective was to integrate the operational components of the business, present a hierarchical view of information, and enable drill down from top-level data to individual substations. Additionally, operational components were to be integrated with company financials on a real time basis, to deliver more sound decision making.

The project was managed in three distinct stages: Phase One covered implementation at the corporate headquarters in Mumbai and the largest of the company’s seven operational zones. Phase Two incorporated implementation at the second largest zone, and Phase Three included adoption by the entire organization.

Working towards a comprehensive solution
IBM Global Business Services and SAP teams worked together to implement a comprehensive project, based on a range of SAP software, and hosted on IBM Power Systems™ and System x® servers.

An extensive suite of SAP solutions was introduced, including SAP ERP 6.0 with modules for Finance and Controlling, Materials Management, Plant Maintenance, Quality Management, and Project System. SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP NetWeaver® Business Warehouse and SAP NetWeaver Document Management System were also installed.

The SAP ERP platform was further integrated with existing business applications at Mahatransco, in order to enable more cost-effective information integration.

Mahatransco has tasked IBM Global Business Services with the supply of SAP licenses with support for three years and support for the overall implementation for an additional period of four years.

The IBM Global Business Services team also helped develop a new corporate website, for which it used IBM WebSphere® Portal Express. The software offers a single access point to the company’s internet and intranet sites, supporting better communication with external sources for information publication and recruitment purposes.

IBM DB2® was chosen as the company’s information management platform, as it provides proven scalability and offers rock-solid reliability.

“IBM proposed DB2 as part of its solution tender, based on the fact that the system has such tight integration with SAP applications,” explains Sanjay Shinde. “We are also looking into using DB2 High Availability Disaster Recovery [HADR] to help protect our systems from data loss in the event of system failure, which will further ensure that we can maintain the high availability of our transmission network, no matter what.”

Mahatransco deployed IBM Power Systems and System x servers, running IBM AIX® and Microsoft Windows respectively, to provide the hardware backbone for the company’s new SAP systems. The Power Systems servers support the company’s SAP ERP software and SAP NetWeaver Portal. The IBM System x servers run SAP NetWeaver Document Management System, IBM WebSphere Portal and Microsoft Exchange Server. The IBM Global Business Services team has also managed the implementation of a company data center and disaster recovery center, both of which conform to Tier III standards, maintaining more than 99 percent availability for company operations.

Improving operational efficiency
The company’s extensive SAP ERP suite provides a centralized management platform that fulfills the core business needs of standardization and integration, while IBM Power and System x servers provide a high-performance, robust backbone for the new software landscape.

Using SAP applications as the company core business management solution has introduced order and integration to business processes. For example, the SAP NetWeaver Document Management System enables more efficient communication and collaboration between users, supporting faster and traceable processing across the organization and facilitating the move towards a paperless office.

The new solution has already resulted in considerable time and cost savings at Mahatransco. While it used to take up to two months to obtain information from remote sites regarding the operational status of machinery and transmission statistics, this data can now be accessed immediately.

Mahatransco can now instantly analyze information on breakdowns and outages at its substations and take the necessary action to bring the system back into operation. Thanks in part to this improved capability delivered by SAP, the company aims to ensure 99.5 percent availability across its transmission system.

The implementation has also enabled a high level of financial discipline in the company. Finalization and auditing of company balance sheets can now be completed much more quickly. Additionally, improved visibility of company inventory has reduced the time taken for estimates to be prepared for company projects, delivering a 30 percent increase in process efficiency.

Becoming the best with SAP and IBM
In recognition of the business transformation that Mahatransco has achieved, the company won the award for the “Best Run in Utilities - Transmission and Distribution” in the SAP ACE Awards for Public Services 2012. Mahatransco has also set itself a target of improving its net profit by more than 20 percent and its capitalization by approximately 10 percent over the 2012-13 financial year.

Sanjay Shinde concludes, “By working with IBM Global Business Services, Mahatransco has been able to move to a standardized system with SAP ERP supported by IBM technology. Previously, our operational procedures were not unified, and there were gaps in almost all sections of the business.

“The combined SAP and IBM solution has built integration into every level of the business, unifying what were once diverse and hard-to-monitor processes and providing the organizational coherence that will enable us to continue offering efficient transmission services to the state of Maharashtra and to meet our objective of becoming the best state transmission utility in India.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Power 560 Express, Power Systems, Power Systems running AIX 5, Power: System p5, System x, System x: System x3550 M3, System x: System x3650 M3

Software:
DB2 for AIX, WebSphere Portal Express

Operating system:
AIX

Service:
GBS ISV Community: SAP, IBM-SAP Alliance, IBM Global Business Services

Legal Information

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