Open Grid Europe Gains New Geospatial Capabilities with SAP HANA Cloud

Open Grid Europe (OGE) operates Germany’s largest natural gas pipeline network, totaling 12,000 kilometers. To future-proof their operations, OGE completely revamped their geospatial data capabilities to gain deep insights into the performance of their pipelines. They’re using SAP HANA Cloud to break down data silos and create a single integration environment in the cloud that brings together all their data sources.

3 types of databases united with SAP HANA Cloud (NIS, AIS, and SAP)

For Stefan Vancraeyenest, project manager for IT applications at OGE, this new setup with SAP HANA Cloud will be a “dramatic improvement that provides us with insights that were impossible to get before. We can go beyond mere maintenance data to include business and operational data.”

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Challenges: Defining the Data Problem

More than 30 compressor stations are part of OGE’s massive pipeline network. These stations pressurize gas so it can be transported further along the network. To optimize station maintenance, OGE used a non-SAP on-premise geospatial database to feed into Esri ArcGIS, a powerful mapping and analytics platform.

However, all this geospatial data was siloed and lacked context. For example, OGE works with a variety of partners, such as downstream network operators, but all their information remained separate from the important geospatial data. SAP, NIS, and AIS databases all operated separately with no connections. OGE needed a holistic understanding of all their data – including their geospatial data.

In addition to those missing geospatial capabilities, OGE’s SAP HANA on-premise deployment required large amounts of maintenance. Two employees were tasked with constantly monitoring databases. They also needed a third-party IT service provider to maintain updates. “From the operations side, there was a lot to do,” said Vancraeyenest.

 

Solutions

OGE needed a central integration layer to unite their databases and provide a complete overview of all their data. Whether data comes from SAP, non-SAP, cloud, or on-premise sources, SAP HANA Cloud makes connecting all these sources a painless process. With this solution, OGE gains flexibility to bring in data stored  on-premise or in the cloud either through virtualization or replication. These connections extend to Esri ArcGIS, which is certified to run on SAP HANA Cloud.

SAP HANA Cloud offered the high-processing performance that OGE needs. With the multi-model processing engine, OGE knew they would be able to analyze data transactions while simultaneously gaining real-time analytics. The powerful spatial engine was one reason that OGE chose SAP HANA Cloud. This built-in spatial engine offers the power to quickly process and analyze geospatial data.

OGE also sought self-service and simplified management capabilities. Maintaining on-premise databases was time-consuming, and so was managing updates. With SAP HANA Cloud, SAP takes care of all this. Organizations can also scale their compute or storage capabilities on demand, without upfront costs.

 

Results

With all these data sources finally united, OGE gains an all-new integrated view of their assets. They have a complete overview of all their data sources to give context to their operations. Now, OGE will be able to use 2D or 3D maps to monitor all the stations and pipelines. They can then zoom in to get more detailed information about operations and maintenance. Schematic views and profile views provide more insights that weren’t possible with their previous 2D and 3D views.

The two employees tasked with maintaining the SAP HANA on-premise database will be freed up to take on strategic tasks. Updates to SAP HANA Cloud are handled by SAP, saving additional resources that once required a third-party IT service provider.

When OGE needs to scale their compute or storage, they can do so separately through the SAP Cloud Platform Cockpit used by SAP HANA Cloud.

Best of all, this entire project was made easy by SAP’s Migration Factory team. OGE made the migration from SAP HANA Service on Neo to quickly gain the new benefits of SAP HANA Cloud, such as the improved data connections and simplified management capabilities. OGE and this team collaborated from the start to set the scope of the project. They then completed everything in just 12 weeks. With the successful migration, OGE gains the powerful features they needed to transform their data landscape.

With SAP HANA Cloud, we’re ready for the future. Our geospatial capabilities evolve dramatically with this solution. With all our data sources finally united and in the cloud, we can get the real-time insights needed to make fast decision insights and much-improved performance.

Stefan Vancraeyenest, Project Manager for IT applications

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