Supporting and Building Communities for Utilities Across Canada

May 1, 2018 Brian Bell

It’s now officially spring, and that means the Esri Canada User Conference season is officially upon us. Each year I end up hearing from people that I work with every day, specifically in the electric, gas, telecom and water utilities industries, that they would really like to attend these events, but fear that there just isn’t enough industry-specific content to justify taking a day or two away from the office to attend. My response is to ask: “are you aware that we also run a cross-Canada spring event series based on similar concepts and information that connect directly to the workflows and business needs of our Utilities customers?”

Usually, the answer is ‘No, I had no idea! When are they, and where?’ Then I offer to send them this link, which describes our three Utility Leadership Forums, which this year are taking place in Calgary (May 17), Toronto (May 23) and Newfoundland (Jun 5-7).

This year’s theme “Transforming your business with GIS” will incorporate Esri, partner and customer-led conversations and presentations. We have a great line-up of speakers from across the country to ensure there is value for everyone that attends.

Some of the companies that will be sharing their experiences include Newfoundland Power, Nova Scotia Power, Toronto Water, Fortis Alberta, Veridian Connections and Altalink. Our key technology partner, Schneider Electric, will be speaking about how its technology is transitioning alongside ArcGIS to support modern requirements for Utilities, including operational systems integration, integrated design workflows and true utility-grade mobile workforce enablement.

In addition to these exciting and interesting talks, I (with the support of our Utility technical and support teams) will be delivering two different sessions at each event. The first will explore some of the massive changes being experienced by utilities today (think IoT and the emerging Prosumer) and how utilities can use technology, like ArcGIS, to effectively manage the emerging associated workflows and get ahead of the challenges these trends might present instead of chasing them.

The ArcGIS Utility Network Management extension for ArcGIS Enterprise is designed for utilities and telecoms. It provides location-based data and asset management, plus network modeling, editing and analysis. You will be able to model your entire utility network in ArcGIS at a level of detail that was never before possible.

The second session will focus on our new Utility Network Management Extension. We will take a deep dive into the Utility Network through a mix of presentations and demonstrations.  We will explain what needs to be considered before transitioning, share some potential benefits to your business and identify tangible, tactical suggestions on how you can start exploring the progression today; regardless of whether you plan to implement the Utility Network now, in two years or even in six years.

In addition to the compelling content, these events are particularly successful because of the growing and dedicated community behind them.  Our two ‘eastern’ events have been successfully running for well over a decade and although our Western Canada event is a little newer; they all represent a great opportunity to network with your peers.

There is something for everyone; whether you work directly with, or oversee, GIS in your utility or are simply interested to learn about market trends and new technologies. If you have an interest to attend but still aren’t sure of the fit, please drop me an email and we can discuss your requirements. I look forward to seeing you there!

About the Author

Brian Bell

Brian Bell is the Director for the Utilities sector at Esri Canada. He is responsible for providing strategic leadership and vision for advancing the use of Esri technology, as well as maintaining and developing relationships with customers and business partners, in the utilities and telecommunications markets. He advises utilities across Canada on GIS & enterprise system implementation planning strategies. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen's University and a post-graduate GIS Applications Specialist certificate from Sir Sandford Fleming College. He is an accredited member of the Project Management Institute (PMP) and is Esri Canada’s representative for various industry associations including the Ontario Electricity Distributors Association and the Canadian Electricity Association.

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