A new generation of remote monitoring and service management
Rather than outsourcing the development, Sopra Steria worked within the symmedia working group, adding an additional 18 people to the symmedia team, with expertise in full stack development, UX design, solution architecture, operations engineering and project management.
The project leveraged agile methodology and was delivered in a series of two-week scrum cycles. From launch to go-live took only 18 months – remarkable considering the complexity of the new solution.
The result was the Secure Service Hub (SSH), a secure, web-based service solution enabling companies to not only monitor and maintain their machines securely and remotely, but also act as a central hub for asset documentation storage, communication and information sharing.
The solution is hosted on the Microsoft Azure Cloud providing customers with a versatile, reliable and secure service, accessible 24/7. As it is web-based, there is no private server to set up and no software to deploy, meaning barriers to entry are enormously reduced as are licence fees.
The SSH represents a new generation of remote maintenance interface for industrial machinery.
In addition to allowing device-independent access, SSH also facilitates digital collaboration with internal and external partners. For example, one key new feature is the Service Case Management tool. When problems arise, a repair ticket can be created and information shared with internal and external partners within the SSH platform.
This means managers can launch secure cross-organisational chat rooms with repair technicians using tools such as video conferencing, screen and file sharing and interactive whiteboards. The manager retains complete control keeps full authority while allowing remote access to the HMI or directly controlling the unit by the 2nd & 3rd level technicians from the respective machine manufacturer. This dramatically supports the reduction of downtimes & proactive optimization potential at the machines.
The SSH becomes the central secure repository for asset data, maintenance and repair logs.
Faster, cheaper, greener while prioritising security
The new SSH has turbocharged symmedia’s business. In just over six months, symmedia has seen a 50% surge in new customers signing up for the new solution.
Partly due to the fact client-side initial investment costs have dropped by a factor of 10, the sales cycle has reduced from around 12 months to just a few weeks.
The SSH’s streamlined web interface means faster client onboarding. With the previous SP/1 client-server tool, onboarding could take up to nine months. Now, with the SSH, the solution can go live in as little as a week.
Remote maintenance, such as that offered by the SSH, is also driving key efficiency improvements and cost savings. One client, wet processing manufacturer Rena Systems, reported that thanks to symmedia’s tech its machinery service business was now five times faster than the previous solution. Shorter downtimes mean better productivity.
Another key cost saving comes from the fact that the SSH allows for the integration of third-party apps so machine operators have much greater margin to negotiate with service suppliers on price.
It is also having a noticeable improvement in reducing a company’s carbon footprint. The SSH’s remote monitoring means earlier problem detection while remote maintenance means more margin to resolve issues at distance without the need for a physical call out by a technician, meaning lower costs and lower transportation carbon emissions.
Now, the SSH is up and running, symmedia is focused on refining and boosting the customer interface ahead of a rollout into the world’s manufacturing capital – China – which is slated for early 2024.