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Accenture Calgary | Capitalizing on New Technology | Global Energy Show
Accenture Calgary: How Embracing Technology Improves Workplace Safety and Communication
Technology moves fast. Adopting new technology can have a direct impact on productivity and safety for workers, as well as increased efficiency and revenue for shareholders and management.
Accenture Calgary’s Principal Director - Industry X division, Pete MacLeod sat down with Global Energy Show’s Digital Host Rachel Gregory to discuss the importance of embracing the promise of technology and how new tech has benefited Accenture Calgary and their clients.
The Value Accenture Offers
Rachel: Accenture provides technology solutions for a variety of industries. Could you give us a brief overview of some of the services that you provide?
Pete: Accenture is a global technology consulting firm, and we provide assistance to our clients to integrate all of the advanced technologies that are coming down the pipeline and help them to capitalize on those technologies. Particularly in the OT space: plants, mines, refineries, manufacturing plants, et cetera, which happens to be the area where I have deep expertise.
What is Your Role with Accenture?
Rachel: Pete you're based out of Calgary, AB and you’re supporting energy industries in remote field locations. Can you elaborate more on what you do?
Pete: I'm a Principal Director with Accenture's Industry X division. I primarily focus on my industrial clients, my experience is in wireless comms, communications, and field data capture. So I help develop, design, and train execution teams to actually go into the plants to build and deploy infrastructure based on the needs of clients.
How Accenture Helps Clients Adopt Advanced Technologies
Rachel: Technology and innovation are weaved throughout Accenture, how have partnerships with technology companies enhanced the customer experience?
Pete: The biggest thing, particularly in the energy industry is field data capture. How do you get that data from out in the field back to where you can actually consume it, use it, manipulate it, analyze it, and get the value out of it. That field data capture aspect combined with Cisco integration of their IWS Series Radios makes it a lot easier to pull data in hard to reach places.
Rachel: Accenture has partnered with Cisco for refinery and plant communications. Can you elaborate on some of the cases where you've required Cisco support?
Pete: One of the solutions that Accenture offers a number of our clients is called the SPS solution, for safety and productivity. You build a wireless mesh over an area and you use that wireless mesh to capture worker movement. If a worker goes down, they can press a panic button on a device that they carry with them. And we can actually use the Cisco radios that are installed in the plant to geo-locate that person when they go down and get emergency services to them.
Rachel: And how does this data help operators to make better business decisions?
Pete: All the additional data captured outside of safety incidents helps us look at how workers are moving through the plant and how they're actually accomplishing their tasks on a day-to-day basis.
Using RFID tags helps display the bottlenecks through your manufacturing process. As these tags start to cluster up in areas, you can optimize processes.
One of the big things that we found is permit offices are often a bottleneck where we get workers waiting for a permit authority to sign off on that work. So we analyze that and it allows us to ask questions like do we need more permit offices? Should we spread the workload out so we can have it flowing in multiple streams rather than all bottle-necking into this single open office?
Particularly with the new product lines, the Cisco OS enables us to add containers to end devices. So I can add compute power onto my radios that are actually installed in the plant and I can perform compute on that radio, sending the data back to a data center in Houston or Calgary. I can just perform the compute there and then store any analyzed data before I dump it back into the server.
Rachel: What benefit does Accenture’s unique ability provide to your clients, Accenture employees, and the communities they operate in?
Pete: When our clients adopt these advanced technologies, kind of that Industry 4.0/Industry X capability, they actually get in front of some of their cost drivers and are able to drive them down, potentially before their competitors get there. So they gain a competitive advantage by lowering their operation costs and improving their productivity by utilizing these advanced toolsets.
Using Accenture Technologies to Create 360 Degree Value
Rachel: Accenture applies human ingenuity to create what your company calls a 360 degree value for its clients. What role does technology play in delivering on this?
Pete: I'm actually going to use that asset performance management type of solution to demonstrate that. We're eliminating the requirement for somebody to actually put on their coveralls and go into the plants at client sites, eliminating that safety aspect.
We're not just gathering up data points, we're actually gathering a constant stream of data. That constant stream of data allows people back in the head office to look at that and go, “Hey, I'm getting not just a one-time dataset that says, yeah, it's in the band. I'm actually seeing spikes that go out of band now. I can do something with that because I only seem to get that data at certain times of the day or certain times during the workflow cycle. And I can actually start to analyze that and get value.”
Continue Learning about the Power of New Technology
To learn more about how the inclusion of new technology can deliver big wins, build trust with your employees, give your business a distinctive advantage and so much more, register for the next Global Energy Show.