30 Second Summary:
Ameresco Federal Solutions provides energy management services to the Department of Defense. A SCADA system is in place for local and remote management, to keep the plants operational and collect data. In late 2013 the system developed an unknown problem and would either reboot or shutdown — as often as every 20 minutes.
Ameresco worked with the installation company to resolve the problem, but after two months had made no progress. “We were basically just pouring money down the drain.” Then they hired DISSCADA. We helped Ameresco get operational — fast — by upgrading and migrating the system. Now we are making additional improvements to the system so it not only runs smoothly, but prevents future interruptions.
“We will have Patrick on speed dial, whether it’s at this plant or on another computer issue. He will be in my pocket for the foreseeable future!”
Full Case Study:
In December 2013 Ameresco contacted us with a problem: the SCADA system used to manage energy resources at an important client site was crashing with increasing frequency. The client was the United States Department of Defense, and there were two aggravating factors. First, because this was the first air force site developed with Ameresco’s technology, it was under scrutiny both at the base level and command level. Second, December is when the company does their annual review and reports to the client.
“The base command was very worried. When we don’t have information, we don’t have answers. And when we don’t have answers it makes us look bad to the base command and Department of Defense.”
When Ameresco built the energy production facilities for the air force, they had it up and running in 18 months instead of the industry standard of 36+. Now, one technical hiccup was threatening this high quality service and dedication to their client.
The Problem: “The shutdowns were happening every week, then every few days, then every 20 minutes.”
When Ameresco’s SCADA system started shutting down, they knew they had a problem. An Operations Engineer for the company said, “I wasn’t involved in the programming, but I knew we couldn’t just go to Best Buy and pick up a new computer, it’s a lot more complicated than that.”
The SCADA downtime was a serious disruption for their business: it prevented remote access, created hours and hours of data gaps, and made energy load management difficult. This disruption was a major headache in the $700,000 per year energy project.
The Solution: “I couldn’t have asked for a better relationship, I would call Patrick back in a heart beat.”
Ameresco’s first step was to contact the company that had installed the system. “We felt they should know the system, and we already had them on retainer for some other work.” But this proved to waste both time and money, “we’d send them emails and it might take them four or five days to respond to us. After two months we had nothing to show for it, we were basically just pouring money down the drain.”
At DISSCADA, we really do believe in putting the client first. We want to be your trusted advisors, which means reliable communication and solving the problem first.
“With Patrick, I’m talking with him on a daily basis. I usually get a response within an hour, not three days later. At first he bent over backwards to help us diagnose the problem and worked out a plan to move forward — before we even talked about money. I know Patrick has had other obligations, but he’s been right there resolving our issues. I know he has put in the hours.”
The Result: “It greatly reduces my headaches and my worries.”
We upgraded and migrated Ameresco’s SCADA system, getting their operation back on track. “We’ve had the new server in since March 7th. It was not an A to B transition, but Patrick got our system restored. It greatly reduces my headaches and my worries. Now I can be proactive, this isn’t going to happen on my watch again!” With their system restored, Ameresco is back to what they do best — attention to detail and quality client service.
We’re proud of how we helped Ameresco, and we’d love to help resolve your problem. Please call us at 1.806.281.4546. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan and timeline; or if we aren’t the right experts for your problem, we will put you in touch with an expert in our network.