Leading renewable energy company automates the transfer of operational data between ERP, document management and workforce management systems
Anesco, a leading UK renewable energy company, has selected and installed BPA Platform as the core integration tool in a major software upgrade project for its Operations and Maintenance Department (O&M). It is also using it to automate numerous business processes and the transfer of business operational data.
“We are implementing a suite of applications for our Operations and Maintenance department to enhance their day-to-day activities and improve the management of our employees on the ground and the sites and assets that they manage and maintain,” explained Nick Powell, Director of IT, Anesco.
“We already had an ERP system, Advanced OpenAccounts (running on Progress Open Edge databases), an in-house document management system, SharePoint, and were looking to procure a workforce management application. As a result, we knew we were going to have to tie all these together somehow. We were therefore keen to find a solution that could integrate all these systems as well as automate the movement of data between them seamlessly and effectively.”
In light of this, Anesco carried out an extensive RFP (request for proposal) process to select suppliers for various parts of the project, whether this was the wider project or a standalone solution for integration and business process automation. As Nick had previous experience of using BPA Platform, Codeless Platforms was invited to participate in that RFP.
“Having considered all the RFP responses it was very clear that a specific standalone application for the integration and automation was going to be a much better solution for us,” said Powell. “I was already aware of Codeless Platforms’ product from a previous job and knew its capabilities, how it worked and how flexible it could be, which is why I was quite keen to implement it here.”
One aim of the project was to improve the flow of data from Anesco’s ERP system to the new operational management system and vice versa – pushing and pulling financial data as well as asset and project information.
“We manage over 24,000 renewable energy assets, across 21,800 sites. These range from large ground mount and commercial rooftop solar PV and battery storage assets, through to solar panels on domestic properties as part of managed portfolios, with each asset containing multiple parts and components,” explained Powell.
“All of our data, together with project information (sites, installations etc.), is entered and managed in our ERP system and we need to push that out to the operational management system to allow us to the manage those sites. We also need to send data to our engineers instructing them to visit a site and evaluate an asset. The automation will therefore be a ‘push’ to the operational management system, which will then ‘push’ to the engineers’ mobile devices and then return data. When that information comes back, the information relating to the purchase orders and invoices for those jobs needs to flow back into OpenAccounts.”
Anesco also wanted to pull information from some of its bespoke systems that capture meter data from site assets and then automate the distribution of this data around the organisation.
“We have a bespoke application that captures electricity metering and irradiance data from sites that is stored in databases internally. We wanted to be able to move that information on a day-to-day, half hourly or even 10-minute basis into a new cloud-based portal that we have deployed,” said Powell. “We therefore needed to find a product that we could also use to interrogate our existing data sources and then use APIs to move that information into other destinations.”
The project is now complete, and BPA Platform has been installed with the web services connected and working on Anesco’s systems with tens of thousands of data points being processed daily. Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform provided a near immediate ROI as Nick used it to automate a number of tasks outside of the actual project, using functions including email triggering and web service connectors.
“We were able to get a number of processes up and running in a very short period which are querying publicly available APIs and bringing back National Grid balancing mechanism data. This is proving extremely helpful for our information analysts, all in about a week without having to lean on Codeless Platforms’ assistance as the application is so easy to use,” concluded Powell.
Anesco is a market leader in renewable energy, managing the development, design, construction, maintenance and market optimisation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The company has constructed in excess of 105 solar farms and 150MW of battery storage, while its O&M service is monitoring more than 24,000 sites. Anesco was the first company in the UK to achieve subsidy-free solar; first to introduce utility-scale energy storage and first to co-locate energy storage with existing solar sites. To date, the technologies the company has deployed and manage are generating over 1GW of renewable energy.
About Codeless Platforms
Founded in 1999, Codeless Platforms is at the forefront of business process automation and rapid application development. We have a proven track record of developing and delivering agile, flexible and robust next generation software solutions, empowering businesses to get the most from their data as well as the ability to respond to the rapidly changing business demands of today. Our knowledge of the marketplace and channel has grown in line with this development and established us as a highly experienced and reputable software company, working closely with partners and software vendors, such as Access, Epicor, Infor, Microsoft, Sage, SAP and SYSPRO. With over 450 global partners, more than 8500 customers use Codeless Platforms’ software solutions, ranging from diverse global organisations to the small local enterprise. The company is headquartered in Poole, UK, with representative offices throughout the world.