Reflections from the Asian Utility Week, Malaysia
How TNB redefined the way utilities work
By Joel Pinto | 4 minute read | September 10, 2019
Last week saw a flurry of activities at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Companies in the energy and utilities space geared up for interaction, knowledge sharing and client meetings across the ecosystem at the Asian Utility Week. It was on 3-4 September 2019. In its 20th year, this leading digital utility exhibition and conference put its entire focus on digital utility transformation and customer centricity. Business visitors experienced the full value-chain of the utility sector – from power generation to transmission and distribution (T&D) networks and grid edge customers. Besides the ASEAN region, the conference saw representation from an estimated 11,000 business visitors across ANZ, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, Middle East and Japan.
Three days of intense learning and discovery
Covering every aspect of the power industry, Asian Utility Week, alongside POWERGEN Asia, included more than 60 conference sessions, panel discussions, a comprehensive exhibition and multiple networking events. Targeted B2B Matchmaking brought together CIOs, CDOs, CTOs and Directors/Heads/VP’s of Digital Transformation, Innovation and Strategy. They provided insights, techniques and tools required to implement a seamless digital transformation strategy that drives profitability and customer centricity across the utility sector.
IBM Maximo helps revolutionize TNB
IBM’s key highlight at the event was at our booth, featuring Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the largest publicly-listed power company in Southeast Asia. It’s also the only electric utility company in Peninsular Malaysia.
TNB featured the Mobile Field Force Automation (MFFA ) project that uses IBM Maximo. This project helps streamline the planning and scheduling of work orders to the available field crews so that the service requests can be addressed in the fastest time and with the least operating cost. It achieves this while providing customers with timely and accurate information and stakeholders with the required service delivery reports. This solution helped significantly improve the reliability KPI’s for the company.
MFFA is currently being used in Peninsular Malaysia by around 30 supervisors to manage 400 field crews. MFFA 2.0, an enhanced version of MFFA, has been utilized for Negeri Sembilan, and it is in the process of being rolled out nationwide. It is noteworthy that this project won TNB recognition at the Asian Power & Energy Innovation Awards in the category of Best Transmission Distribution Network and Field Operation, amongst numerous other nominations. The award is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, and the winners are selected by a panel of 30 experts from across the power and energy industry.
Informative sessions highlight IBM technology
The MFFA project also resurfaced in a knowledge hub session entitled, “The role of mobility in creating a smarter field workforce.”
IBM also had an opportunity to co-present a keynote entitled, “Pushing Limits: TNB’s digital transformed workforce leveraging IBM Technology.” This presentation covered the Mobility Meter Management System (3Ms) a pioneering project by TNB, Malaysia that has revolutionized its overall work procedures and operations. Powered by IBM Maximo, it’s used for the development of mobile dashboard modules, mobile work management and mobile field force for TNB’s overall assets, performance, risk and expenditure management. This is by far the largest implementation of Maximo Anywhere in the world, covering over 4000 users, and first of its kind in Asia.
By implementing a holistic digital initiative, TNB was able to drive significant productivity and profitability gains. This session explored TNB’s paradigm shift to a mobile workforce, consequently setting the pace for the way utilities work.
IBM also featured a demonstration about Asset Performance Management for the Energy and Utilities Industry. This presentation illustrated the utilisation of data analytics from the field force. It also presented devices to enable a data driven, informed strategy for maintenance and asset upkeep, thus maximizing investments for critical and expensive assets.
So how does all this augur for the future?
Successful implementations by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in the APAC region have reaffirmed the energy major’s trust and confidence in IBM products, and the longevity of the relationship. Being the major player in the region and a pioneer with IBM on projects, TNB sends out a positive vibe about the trust our clients have placed in our capabilities time and again. We surely look forward for many such projects with TNB as well as other energy and utility players across the globe.
At IBM we constantly work with large amounts of data, challenging our teams to unlock the value of that data by leveraging technology to put smart to work. Over the past five years, we’ve been at work with leading utilities in the space of work and asset management. We’re helping them address challenges for resiliency amidst societal, political, and environmental stressors in an environment of rapidly changing technology.
Through the optimization of algorithms, application of AI, and development of supporting business applications, these utilities are achieving results such as minimized unplanned repair work, increased asset availability, decreased costs, and decreased risks of equipment failure.
Learn more about Maximo Asset Performance Management solutions
If you missed the excitement and wish to explore how you can work together with IBM, we encourage you to please visit our Energy and Utilities page for Watson IoT.