How Far We've Come - Ignition Across the Enterprise

42 min video  /  35 minute read


Davin McDougall

Business Unit Leader

Brock Solutions

Joseph Donohue

Technical Lead

Brock Solutions

Ignition was always great for solving problems and beloved by Operations. But could it scale? Could it be deployed across an enterprise? Could it stand up to scrutiny in the boardroom while execs are aligning on their digital strategy? Absolutely. Over the past several years, Brock Solutions has been deploying Ignition across enterprises, helping customers accelerate their digital transformations. But don't take it from Brock; hear it from our customers' mouths about how and why Ignition has become the real deal in their enterprise landscape.


Arianna: And I will be your moderator for today. Today for our session, we have... How Far We've Come – Ignition Across the Enterprise. Today we have David McDougall and Joseph Donohue presenting for us. A little bit about them. Davon is the Lead Manufacturing Business Unit at Brock Solutions. Over the past 15+ years, he has worked with global customers in automotive, consumer products, complex assembly, and metals to plan, kickstart and execute their Digital Transformation initiatives across the enterprise. Joseph is the Technical Lead at Brock Solutions, and for the past six years, Joseph has focused on projects and highly regulated water and wastewater, semiconductors, consumer products, and food industries. He is one of Brock's top Ignition specialists with experience using the platform for its SCADA functionality as well as to accelerate the development of MES-lite functionality for many customers across the manufacturing sector. Please help me welcome, Davon and Joseph.

Davin McDougall: Okay, thanks Ariana. And it's nice to see everybody here today, again. Brock's always had a history of coming to these events, we really learn a lot from this community. Everything that was said in the keynote, we definitely echo. It's unique what happens here, and we're happy to be part of it, so thanks for the introductions. I think we can move right into a little bit about Brock. Before I do, no I'm not related to Blake Shelton. I've already heard that once today, so no. Brock Solutions, who we are. We focus on real-time engineering services, so that software that controls and automation, that's MES, and it's across a lot of different industries, so the reality is we work in water and wastewater, we work in aerospace and defense, we work in parcel and post, so really, at the end of the day, our stuff has to work. If it doesn't, there's serious implications in the supply chain, which we all know about the challenges there. What's unique about us, I think, is our size and scale. So we're about 700 people, so that's actually quite big for an integration company. All engineering professionals and all Brock employees, we've grown the company to this size organically over the last 30 years, and we're right around the $200 million revenue mark.

Davin McDougall: So it's quite exciting and probably the most unique piece is that we are privately held and employee-owned, so that really means that our folks are excited to share in the success of the company together. So as far as our strategy goes, we really focus on enterprise clients, which is why we're hosting this session here today. We have a presence all around North America, we do have a global reach, and we're really focused, laser-focused on enterprises that wanna go digital. Because of our size and scale, we feel well positioned to support these large enterprise organizations and help them get along with their journey and get on with it. So at the end of the day, I guess the question here is, “Where does Ignition fit into all this?” I guess what I'd like to say is, where things start, isn't where they end, and that's kind of how I'm gonna tell the story here. When we think of Ignition in the early days, it could be 10 years ago, but even as far as five years ago, it wasn't really reliant on the industry. Across all the industries that we played in, we saw the same pattern.

Davin McDougall: Our customers, could be a manufacturing operation, would have a problem on the plant floor and they would need a quick fix. Somebody in engineering or maybe ops, download Ignition, throw it on a desktop computer, maybe a laptop, spin up Ignition and very quickly solve problems that the plant floor is feeling the pains of. That could be highly visible problems, things like a new production line that's going live. “Why aren't we up yet?” There's a lot of pressure on operations to get new capital investments up and running and ringing the value out of it. So were things like bottleneck analysis screens. This is one, the first ones we saw that a customer just downloaded the tech, implemented it, said, "You know what, we can solve problems with this technology very quickly." And what we saw was kind of a pattern of, okay, project one, it was highly visible, everybody supported it. Obviously, quick results, the momentum started to grow, it was solving all sorts of problems at a grassroots level, that really was a trend that we saw a few years ago. And building on those successes, you got project two, project three, it just kept growing.

Davin McDougall: And this grassroots movement, sorry for the animation, is a little cheeky there, but it was really a lot more than HMI and SCADA. We were starting to see IT-type functionality get built into these applications, things like track-and-trace, order management, there's a lot of old access databases that were getting replaced with Ignition as the front end and SQL as the back end. So there's a lot going on and a lot of momentum building, but the reality was, as exciting as this was, we also saw a pattern of things slowing down a bit. Questions started to come up about scalability. “Did we build this thing so that it could scale across multiple plants, or is this a one-off solution for this plant? Did we put enough rigor into the design to make sure it's gonna accommodate future functionality?”

Davin McDougall: We had a lot of technology in our enterprise. “Is this thing gonna play nice?” And finally, the big question, which is quite common today, “Did somebody say cybersecurity?” So you put all those things together and all of a sudden you got a guy sweating, “What do we have here? Is this thing meant for this mission-critical application?”

Davin McDougall: And that's about the time that we here at Brock get the call. Oh, yeah. That's a fun one to answer. So we often get engaged at this point. There's a solution there, it's working, it's adding value but our clients typically aren't built to support these things in-house, not to mention scale it. So we'll get a call from a CIO, “Can this thing scale? Is it cyber secure? Is it designed for the future?” And obviously, we give them the assurance, absolutely it can. You gotta be thinking about the right things, but for sure can. And then the conversation turns to, “Okay, how do you help us go faster 'cause there's real value here, so we need some help.” So I'd say we haven't seen a time in our history, and it was mentioned this morning in the keynote, where there's more pressure on manufacturers, transportation and logistics providers and critical infrastructure to go digital than there is now. They don't wanna study the problem forever, they just wanna get on with it and they need some help. So yes, Covid had a lot to do with that, but the reality is, the technology has come so far and is matured to the point where it's ready for prime time and ready to help get our clients on the path and sustain it long term.

Davin McDougall: So our response, obviously, we gotta help them understand that, yes, it will scale, it's cyber-secure, it's designed for the future, and it can help you go faster. So that kind of brings us to today. I think Inductive Automation has come a long way, Ignition's come a long way in the enterprise. It's not always the same conversation with the leadership at our clients, but back in the good old days it was, “Who is Inductive Automation? Are they gonna be around?” I think we're beyond that now, clients need to get on with it, they don't wanna waste time, so what we thought we'd do today is share a perspective from three of our clients. Instead of listening to Joseph and I talk about this, we've got a series of videos that we're gonna share with the team and the audience here. So it's gonna be Mohawk Valley Water Authority, which Joseph can explain a little bit more then. Roseburg, who's actually been an active participant at the ICC for many years, and United Airlines. So with that, maybe Joseph, you can tee up these sessions and hit roll.

Joseph Donohue: Perfect, thanks Davin. Great, so as Davin mentioned, the enterprise clients that we chose to highlight as part of Ignition Across the Enterprise, in various industries as you can probably see, but also different types of ways that they scale across the industry. So some of the stories that you'll hear from, you're gonna hear about a rip-and-replace, so they had something old, rip it out, put in a new system.

Joseph Donohue: In another use case, what we're gonna hear about is a customer that at one of their sites, came up with a really unique solution that really solved some problems, and then taking that solution and rolling it back across their other sites. The third example is gonna be of a kind of home-grown system that one of our customers developed themselves, and then worked with us to help them go faster to deploy that across their enterprise. So, first up to tell this story is gonna be the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. They're a large municipality in upstate New York, but rather than me explain about them, let's hear it right from their mouths here.

Patrick Becher: Patrick Becher, I'm the Executive Director for the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. We're headquartered in Utica, New York. We serve drinking water to a population of about 130,000 people in the greater Utica area. Our topography is quite challenging. We have about 27 tanks and about 28 pump stations, so there's a lot of equipment in the field that's involved in distributing water and obviously needs to be kept a sharp eye on. In 2006, we began building a SCADA system to monitor and control remote portions of our system. It was done in-house by a gentleman that was actually very knowledgeable and skilled, but the system he built was aging out. And we also found in 2016 that it was highly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Patrick Becher: In 2016, in the State of New York required that all water systems and other sectors in New York state conduct a cybersecurity assessment. We hired IBM that went through our entire platform and found that our SCADA system, among other systems, were vulnerable, and so we planned for a complete SCADA replacement. We hired Brock Solutions because they were experts in the field, they had adequate staff and the latest technology, and began to plan out this project. Brock worked with our folks to mirror our work patterns as much as possible in the monitoring of the system. It also helped us build an asset registry to be able to import to work orders to be able to maintain and do preventative maintenance on a variety of pumps and sensors, etcetera. The Ignition software was populated in a way that mirrored our system to how we function all of our assets, and so far has done a great job in monitoring. Brock Solutions has kept this project on schedule. The Ignition software is working very well. And our folks, I think, find it to be a major improvement over what we've been doing before. We're able to respond very quickly to situations, we're able to have complete access and control over the assets that are connected to it, and so far the project has stayed on schedule and it's almost nearly complete.

Phil Tangora: I'm Phil Tangora, Director of Water Quality at Mohawk Valley Water Authority. My primary responsibilities are the overall treatment of the water as well as distribution system water quality. So my involvement with the SCADA change over to Ignition is really from an end-user standpoint, but I was able to oversee that transition at the treatment plant as Brock worked with Veolia to update the SCADA and the alarm system at the treatment plant. They had the ability up there to make changes remotely to address alarms, even from cellular phone, it's a very unique feature for us, certainly a change, and it's been very adaptable. Brock was able to take a lot of the code that was written and incorporated in a relatively short manner into the Ignition system.

Phil Tangora: So we are now about 95% complete, I think maybe a little more than that, we still have a couple of bugs that we're working out. But the transition has really been smooth and the time to go through and make these subtle changes has been beneficial for the treatment plant operations as well as for staff here at the water authority. In the distribution system, we have a lot of water quality monitoring systems, and again, I have the ability to remotely log in from my cellular phone and to make changes either to a chemical dose or to monitor certain parameters, to make sure that we're providing the highest water quality to our customers. Thank you.

Joseph Donohue: Clearly unscripted. You heard maybe that we're still working out some bugs, I say kinks, but we're still mostly headed in the right direction there with the folks over at Mohawk. So really, when we hear about their story and what it really means to the enterprise there, they're managing about 70+ sites with various assets scattered around the municipality there. So, a big kind of technology driving factor for them is around obsolescence and supportability, so this is something that really is key to making some of these decisions. But really, you heard Pat at the beginning there, talk about cybersecurity being a real strong business driver for them to make some of these changes, so that's part of the technology and the business problem.

Joseph Donohue: But what it really helped them to do, in addition to that, is really helped them to streamline their operations. So, in addition to controlling pumps and having various access to different databases and things like that, we've integrated IoT sensors right into the platform. So, instead of having to look at your SCADA then look at the cloud solution for those IoT sensors, it's now fully integrated. So, you kind of have that single pane of glass where you're doing all of your work for the operation of the system, as well as having it brought up on a cell phone. So, the operators that are out there in the field, rather than needing a laptop with different types of connections or other means to access the system, they're pulling it up on their cell phone and knowing that it's secure in manner.

Joseph Donohue: Okay, so the next customer that we're going to highlight here is United Airlines. I'm not sure about yourselves, but for me, United Airlines is how I got to the conference. And something you may not have known is that from about the time you drop off your bag till about the time you pick it up, there's an Ignition system that's monitoring that solution. It wasn't always that way though, so at one point they were using a legacy system, it was more around that client, tag, screen-type model, and a lot of... In order to circumvent some of the access control to that, there was a lot of operator password to actually access parts of the system, so that really didn't align with their broader IT strategies to keep things secure. So, we went through an education process with them to gain the enterprise acceptance of switching over to an Ignition solution. That meant meeting with the operations, maintenance folks, as well as IT and really looking at a cost benefit analysis for why an Ignition solution would be more cost-effective in the end. So, that led to project one, which was about $50,000 in savings, largely just due to the tag and screen-type freedom that they had within the platform. Which led to another project with even more savings, even bigger. Ultimately though, it came down to now they have greater visibility into their operations so that they're able to see all of this information now in an Ignition system. So, what may not also be apparent too...

Joseph Donohue: For those not familiar with baggage handling, how these operations are typically conducted is there's usually a room with a bunch of monitors. There's about eight big TV-style monitors, we call it the “Wall of Glass,” that they interact with the system, seeing every aspect of it. In addition to that though, there's about 10-12 miles of conveyors underground that move your bag from drop-off to pick up. So, if you're an operator in that system, you're either knowing what's going on when you're in that room, in the operations room, or you're on the radio to somebody who's actually in the room. So, I'm sure you can kind of hear where this story is going, there's a greater need to be mobile, Ignition Perspective Module really made sense. But what we're gonna hear is the story of one terminal out in Houston that made that decision, and then how that kind of rippled back through the organization to make that solution part of the entire operation of what United is doing in the baggage handling system. So, let me get that.

Steve Halligan: My name Steve Halligan, I'm the manager here for facility maintenance at Houston Bush Intercontinental for United Airlines. My daily responsibilities primarily are baggage handling system and area of operation, facility maintenance. So on a daily basis, I'm in charge of anywhere between 70-120 guys, making sure they're out there, getting stuff fixed, getting their preventative maintenance and corrective maintenance done, and maintaining their KPIs or key performance indicators. So one of the biggest challenges we have at Houston specifically, is it's a large airport. We have a broad area to cover, not only in the baggage handling system, which is large and almost 12 miles of belting, but the AOA as well.

Steve Halligan: So the challenge specifically for the bag system we were trying to get to is, right now or the previously, the way we were doing it is we had a central location that saw all the alarms and any issues going on in the system, they would call via radio or cell phone down to the field, wait for the guys in the field to get there. They would fix it, we would then call it to clear. So we were trying to cut out that time lapse between when we actually see an issue and when we could have somebody respond to the issue.

Steve Halligan: So looking at it, we were looking at ways for the guys in the field to see what our guys here in the control center are seeing and reduce the amount of time to get to the incident or the issue. So in order to solve this issue, we reached out to Brock Solutions. We have a great partnership with them, they've done a lot of really good stuff with innovation and improving processes. And they suggested going to the Perspective app to actually get a mobile application that we could have out there in the field utilizing mobile tablets that the team already had.

Steve Halligan: So we could cut down on that communication time and they could see what's going on in the field. Yeah, so we've been seeing a lot of improvements in our KPIs, our key performance indicators. The guys out there in the field are able to see things and get ahead of it for the first time. And in a long time, I hear guys in the field calling in on the radio saying, "Hey, we already know about this. We're to it," before we can even call it here in the control center, which is pretty brilliant.

Steve Halligan: But it's twofold. 'Cause not only are we seeing that, but as the guys are out there working on stuff, the corrective maintenance, they're seeing what impact they have on the rest of the system, whereas previously they never knew that. So it's been pretty brilliant working with Brock in this, and getting that not only improving upon our response time but improving our guys out in the field's knowledge and understanding of how they impact the bottom line and the actual product out there.

Steve Halligan: Through the process, in the past we had tried developing and looking for mobile apps. So when Brock brought Perspective to the table and showed us what it was capable of, it was impressive. And we were able to just flow into a very, very good product that really fit our needs without having to do too much changes or too much requests on it. Throughout the whole process, we've had a lot of success. I've been very impressed with Brock and with Ignition and the Vision app, you're on the wall of glass.

Steve Halligan: Any challenges we saw as we were designing it for Houston as this first station to roll it out for, they were very quick to respond. We were able to get a good product that we pushed out to our team. We're seeing that subsequently with the other stations we're rolling out. A lot of lessons learned in Houston have already been solved for the rest of the stations, and very excited to roll it out. Everybody that has seen it and doesn't have it, wants it.

Joseph Donohue: Perfect. Okay. So yeah, in very much the way that this solution worked with United, really it stemmed from leveraging an existing technology stack. So not looking outside to solve a different problem, to look internal and find, really, really looking at, again, that grassroots, there's an operational problem that this technology stack can solve. But in concert with that, there's a lot of innovative thinking that had to happen between the United crew as well as the Brock team that delivered that solution.

Joseph Donohue: So really looking at it from the technology stack and then having that operator feedback, and as you heard Steven say, the operators are now embracing that and they're responding to issues before the op center even is aware of them. In many ways, this solution, the ideal aspect of it is that it's built in a way to scale to these other sites. So starting out in Houston and then kind of working its way across all of the United hubs.

Joseph Donohue: Okay, so in our last use case, we're gonna hear from Roseburg Forest Products. So Roseburg makes a lot of wood products. And if you've been to a hardware store in the last few years, you've seen the price of wood essentially go parabolic. And that meant that they needed a system to meet the demands of this rapidly growing business and have them implemented in short order. And as Davin had mentioned earlier, I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see some folks from Roseburg around the halls at the ICC here, because these folks love Ignition, right?

Joseph Donohue: They're the kind of enthusiastic developers that I think only real, true Ignition enthusiasts really adapt. And it's that they think Ignition can do everything. So they ended up building their own solution. But what they needed help with was keeping pace with their business demands. So what we're gonna hear from Derek and his team at Roseburg is how partnering with Brock helped them to accelerate changes across their enterprise.

Derek Randall: My name is Derek Randall. I work for Roseburg Forest Products. I am the Data Engineering Manager for the OT group. Roseburg Forest Products is a timber products company. We own a lot of timber. We log the timber, we turn that timber into dimensional lumber like two by fours, four by fours. We also make plywood, particle board, MDF, and engineered wood. My team has currently been working on a MES project to get data from the shop floor, from machine, from HMI, PLCs, also operator input, and turned that into information for supervisors and operators and managers to make decisions off of.

Derek Randall: We started using Ignition seven or eight years ago. We started using it because... Well, the thing that was most attractive about it was the price point. Currently I was working at a particle board plant and we had, I was using Excel to create reports, which was super cumbersome, super painful, and it really wasn't scalable. So I was looking around for other solutions. We had recently hired another engine... An engineering director and he had mentioned Ignition. So I went and downloaded. Within 30 minutes, I had, from just downloading it, having never heard about it, 30 minutes later, I was connected to a PLC and connected to a database.

Derek Randall: I was able to build a bunch of reports and show that to my manager without spending a dime and saying, "Hey, if we wanna do this, then here's what it would cost." So we started using Ignition to do that. We were looking for something that was easy to use, that was scalable, that was good for an enterprise application. And then about a year ago we embarked on this homegrown MES project, and we looked around at a bunch of different MES systems from different companies, and they were, all of them were massive, expensive and complicated, and not that configurable.

Derek Randall: So they were kind of canned. You got what you got. If you didn't like it or didn't work for you, that just wasn't it. So we were really hesitant to embark down that path and we decided just to build our own using Ignition. So we kind of planned it out a little bit and decided that, really, the scope and scale of this project is pretty big. If we were gonna do this in any kind of timely fashion, we were gonna need some outside help. So, we looked around and we met with Brock and we went over kind of what we wanted.

Derek Randall: And what we wanted was, we just wanted help. We kind of knew, we knew the vision, we knew what we wanted, we kind of knew how we wanted to do it. We just needed help with the actual nuts and bolts of it, and we weren't interested in having an integrator come in and just build it and then leave. We wanted to help with the design phase because after the integrator's gone, we're gonna own that. We need to be able to maintain it, we need to be able to troubleshoot it, we need to be able to modify it. And we wanted to have a say in how that got designed and deployed. So we've been working with Brock for about a year. It's been working out really well.

Derek Randall: We've gotten a lot further down the road on this project than we would've by ourselves. So we have 14 facilities scattered across the US and one plant in Canada. And our goal is to make this MES system as homogeneous as possible, even though the plants make different products, and even the plants within the same product family may have different versions of equipment and built at different times. So that was a challenge but we were able to build something that was flexible enough to be the same, but have the nuanced differences.

Derek Randall: And then using the EAM Module, we're able to roll that out to all the different plants. So whenever we make changes to our code, within a couple days, we can roll that out those new code changes, those new upgrades to all 14 facilities within a matter of days. There are a lot of benefits to Ignition. First of all, the price point obviously is a huge selling point for us. It's a fraction of the cost of other softwares that we've looked into. The Ignition tech support is always great. The Ignition community is great.

Derek Randall: They have the Ignition Exchange where you can go and basically steal other people's projects, and kind of tweak them and make them your own. It's kind of like an open-source community kind of vibe which is really nice. Going to the ICC conference and connecting with other customers, it's always a wealth of knowledge and you always come away with a ton of ideas.

Joseph Donohue: Yeah, as I said, unscripted. So not stealing, using inspiration, I would say. We had to spin that. But yeah, really, what did we hear in that story? So we heard about this grassroots initiative. So it's everything we heard in the keynote, why people are excited about Ignition is it's solving problems, it's using it to solve problems, and it's doing so in a way that can be tailored to what the demands were for this specific customer. So it really, really helped them drive a unique solution. It didn't need this bloated system or this legacy kind of MES-style application to solve those problems. They used it right within the platform.

Joseph Donohue: And then something that was unique about this aspect here in how we rolled this out is, they utilized a partner to actually help them go faster. And to dig in a little bit more about this, it's really, it's truly an iterative type of deployment. So we work with the developers from the Roseburg team to kind of co-develop or use citizen developers from their staff to not only augment the technical needs for the project, but also to help drive some of that domain knowledge into our teams.

Joseph Donohue: And ultimately, at the end of the day, it's gonna be their teams that run the system and are responsible for supporting it. So, having them lockstep with us throughout the development and the design process has been really beneficial for everybody involved here. So, I guess to summarize here, what did we hear as we looked at different Ignition installations across the enterprise? We heard from three different industries, three very different clients and three very different stories of what it means to roll Ignition out across the enterprise.

Joseph Donohue: So the first one comes down to really the technology aspect of it. So, the server requirements, the different firewall things that need to be open to be able to move data. Is it easy to patch, maintain? Can we support it? Is there different IT-friendly policies we can put on there? And then a large thing that we kept hearing about through each of the different talks here was, the phrase scale. So, Mohawk, when they got about 70 plus sites, Roseburg with their 14 sites, and they're rolling out changes across all of these sites in a matter of days. And then United Airlines, which has a number of different sites across North America. So yes, we can say, yes, it can scale and the technology works.

Joseph Donohue: But technology alone won't support a business case. And we really see Ignition as a key enabler to drive real business value. Whether that's just simply from being cost effective in what you're gonna save on licensing or consolidating a technology stack into one platform. So instead of continuously looking for different tools to solve similar problems, leveraging the one platform to actually create those solutions. And I think, really, at the end of the day, what really means a lot to enterprise is to think still small, so still think local and really embrace those grassroots movements where the folks on the ground are seeing problems, are bringing it up and having a platform where they can rapidly deploy some of these solutions.

Joseph Donohue: Certainly standards and other concepts of what makes a technology scale are important, but when we think of trying to solve a problem first, I think that's where you really make the use case for using Ignition across the enterprise. So I guess that's the end of my notes here. And I'd like to thank the Ignition and the folks at Inductive Automation for inviting us to present, as well as the opportunity here to present in front of you folks. And we welcome any questions or any comments on your own experience of deploying Ignition across the enterprise. So thank you very much.

Arianna: Thank you Davin and Joseph. I'd like to open the floor now for any questions that you may have. Please come forward to the mic and you can ask your question.

Audience Member 1: I just got my notes here, I wanna make sure I get it straight. Is this on? Yeah, all right. Okay. It was a question about what Phil Tangora had said at Mohawk Valley. He mentioned, you talked about the cybersecurity aspects of Ignition and he talked about remotely dialing to even handle water treatments remotely. And I know historically that has been a big issue with cybersecurity, not just monitoring, but actually changing controls. Can you address how those cybersecurity aspects were addressed so that they were comfortable, especially as a municipal facility to get approval for that?

Joseph Donohue: Absolutely. No, that's a great question and very relevant too, right? I think, even a few years back, it was front page headlines when different water treatment plants were getting hacked, and this is right in the middle as we're deploying these solutions and saying, "Hey, you're gonna be able to do that from your cell phone." And they're kind of like, "Whoa, hold on. Is that really what we should be doing here?" So yes, definitely there's different elements to that solution that really were tailored to address that specifically.

Joseph Donohue: So, obviously the use of VPN connections and other tools that we actually have different partners and different tool sets that help them monitor and scan their environment for who's active in the system, as well as different automated tools and network policies that we're using to actually route traffic within these different subnets. 'Cause again, these are 70 different sites, some of them communicating strictly over cellular data. So really having that peace of mind to how they can actually keep that infrastructure secure was front of mind for them.

Arianna: Excellent. Thank you. Do we have any other questions?

Audience Member 2: Got one real quick. Earlier you'd mentioned, in terms of learning how to scale and being cybersecurity, you'd mentioned several things that you have to be thinking about. What are some of those things that you encourage people to be thinking about to plan that roadmap?

Joseph Donohue: Yeah. So when we're thinking about, we're looking at one site and we're trying to make that project from one to two to 10 to every site has the same project. A lot of the techniques that we're really thinking of is it's not a one and done. So when we're building out templates and things like that, or we're building in theme engines or we're styling the thing, the way we're really trying to create those solutions isn't to just, have it so that every time we have to do this, we have to manipulate the screens again and again and again and create rework.

Joseph Donohue: Really what we like to see ideally is a diminishing level of effort to roll out that same solution across the enterprise. So certainly templating standards and things like that are really the tools that we use to drive and go faster.

Davin McDougall: And I think the... Sorry, is this on? Yeah. The other thing that I'd add is when you reflect on those videos, we had a mix of executive leadership, maintenance, engineering, citizen developers. I think stakeholder engagement across the enterprise is extremely important for a Digital Transformation like this. So we've all gotta be in the boat, driving towards the same mission. It's just not a technology solution to make these things successful.

Arianna: Excellent. Anything else?

Audience Member 3: I have a question.

Arianna: Go ahead.

Audience Member 3: It seems like you're dealing with a very diverse client base. How do you find the domain knowledge for new resources, like working on that and getting them spun up with that base domain knowledge?

Arianna: Just so I can repeat that question so everyone heard, he asked that, there's a diverse base and how do we get that knowledge?

Joseph Donohue: Well, people, I would defer to the person who staffs these jobs, perhaps.

Davin McDougall: Yeah. I think the important thing and what the bread and butter at Brock is, is really that diverse domain knowledge. We actually have our hands in so many different industries and we kind of pride ourselves in moving people around all these different industries and getting exposure to a lot of different technologies. So no one person knows it all, but having the breadth of 700 people to support the organization, I think, is really key to success here in bringing domain knowledge to the table versus relying on our customers to bring that to us to make the solution successful.

Joseph Donohue: Very good.

Arianna: Any other questions? Yes.

Audience Member 4: You mentioned, one of your customers that has 14 installations or something along those lines, and they issue updates to them. Are you able to talk a little bit about the process used to update them?

Joseph Donohue: Yeah, just for I think recording the virtual recording, the question was, one of the customers has 14 sites, and how are we pushing out updates to all 14 of them? So again, we're really leveraging the technology stack that Inductive provides. So we're using the enterprise module to... The EAM Module to actually push those changes down through the different applications, through the different sites.

Arianna: Cool. So we have time for about one or two more questions.

Audience Member 5: Piggybacking that question and embracing the grassroots movement. So MES obviously, uber complex, many different players from site to site providing input. Can you give some insight on how you prioritize a backlog of requests to work and then push those out from a development perspective?

Joseph Donohue: That is a very, very good question. So, I'll take my first step and if you want to jump in after, yeah. So that, I think that's a really brilliant question, right? So we're saying embrace the grassroots, but maybe that's not aligned with other initiatives that they have, or maybe that's high priority to somebody but low business value to other folks. I think the way that the Roseburg team really kind of embodies that is, when they're doing the agile type of development, so, at the beginning of a two-week sprint, they're setting those priorities. They're assigning tasks, burndown rates, who's gonna do what, and they're identifying that to us.

Joseph Donohue: And sometimes we're wrong, right? So sometimes we chase the wrong thing, but the way that that model works is we see that we're wrong fast, so we see we're wrong pretty quick, like within the week or at the end of the sprint, we see that, "You know what, that's really not valuable right now. So reshuffle priorities." So it kind of allows us, it kind of branches our efforts so that, maybe we're not singularly focused, but we identify that faster and we can see it up front in that engagement where we say, "Oh, nope, we gotta pivot so we gotta do something different." So, I don't know, Davin if you have a...

Davin McDougall: Yeah, the only thing I'd add is most of our clients have an organization around making sure the end users have a voice. So whether that's business analysts that live within the IT organization that are out there engaging with the stakeholders on a daily basis and relaying that back to the development team gets logged in Azure, DevOps, or some sort of tool that prioritizes a backlog. But enterprise clients that we work with typically have a whole team and their focus is making sure we understand what the end users need, making sure there's value attached to that, and then with that information they can help prioritize a backlog for our team and their own team to knock off those items. Good question.

Arianna: So that's gonna close out our Q&A session. Thank you Davin and Joseph for taking the time to present to us today. Can I get another round of applause?

Arianna: Thank you for coming to this session and you guys are dismissed.

Posted on October 18, 2022