Openshark Coordinates Digging Streets

You may share my pet peeve — the waste and inconvenience, not to mention bumpy roads, when a street is cut open within months after being freshly repaved, because municipalities and numerous utilities have no way to coordinate projects.

A new product offers to solve that problem which enables such coordination, and thus saves capital budgets, saves time, reduces costs, and improves relationships–especially with customers.

A pilot project is underway in Southern California. It is currently up and running in one city and has plans to be expanded to two larger cities in California. A pilot is also planned for a larger suburban city in the eastern US, for later this year. All of the public and private utilities that serve these cities are involved in the respective pilots.

(The following is straight from the company’s website and other materials–addressing "you" the utility):

Openshark LF  provides a standardized information exchange platform for utilities and municipalities. LF prompts you to view below ground construction as a single process across utilities and municipalities rather than a series of separate processes conducted by a number of different organizations. LF is a collaborative solution and gives you the visibility, velocity and innovation you need to a foster interaction, communication, process alignment and cost savings. LF allows you to share your construction plans and planning documentation with your peers in a secure environment. You ‘upload’ your files in their native format. Openshark applications will seamlessly translate this information into a ‘platform independent’ format – or the original file can be shared with any authorized participant. LF provides you a cost efficient methodology to collaborate with other utility service providers and municipalities in your service territory.

Coordinating Construction Projects in the Public Right of Way

Openshark LF is a complete solution for managing the construction coordination interface between utilities and municipalities. It is a “Best-of-Class” solution that applies a consensus built, ANSI standard, project planning process to utility construction coordination. This internet-based tool provides a sophisticated document management system that enables you to securely share documents and allows your collaborators to view these documents in their internet browser (such as Explorer or Communicator) regardless of the original format of the file. Openshark LF automates the construction planning process, effortlessly interconnecting regional infrastructure management stakeholders. This new interconnectivity provides you advanced notice of ‘foreign’ construction, enabling you to either mitigate the impact of these activities on your infrastructure, or to relocate your infrastructure – often at a cost savings.

Right from the start, Openshark LF allows you to:

Identify construction partnership opportunities that can reduce below ground infrastructure construction costs by up to 50%;

Employ ANSI standard project management methodology to improve construction planning business processes – mitigating the risk inherent in interdependent projects;

Document compliance with the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 by adopting best practices in construction coordination;

Generate advanced notification of project opportunities to other regional infrastructure management stakeholders and, keep these subscribed stakeholders up -to-date with automated notification of changes in your current projects;

Dramatically reduce expenses associated with construction coordination – meeting attendance and travel. And, improve the content and operational benefits of the coordination meeting that your employees decide to attend.

Improve communication and increase security. Openshark LF’s access control and password protection ensures that documents will only be read by those that are intended to see them.

Enjoy greater efficiency. You will save time for every planning, engineering and construction team member in your organization, as well as leverage your team resources and put them to their best use.

Reduce delays and delay-related costs.
By streamlining and automating communications within and between organizations, Openshark LF reduces the delays normally associated with coordinating construction projects. From notification to engineering drawings, from proposed routes to project schedules, Openshark LF gets the right information to the right people at the right time. The result: more lead time, the ability to implement the most cost effective options, the ability to form cost-saving partnerships, concurrent engineering, faster project completion and reduced project costs.

An Ideal Document Management Solution
Openshark’s online document management features offer a fast and powerful way to mobilize cross-organizational project teams. Whether you’re working in the same town or in different regions, with Openshark LF you can setup and begin collaborating and sharing documents on new projects within minutes.

Mitigate the risk of a networked project.
Openshark LF’s built-in project management process, which is based on an ANSI standard, provide you with comprehensive set of communication features – overcoming the single largest threat to project success – poor communication. Project plans, documents, broadcasted or targeted communication can be routed to all team members, with automatic notification to those who need to respond quickly.

Establish best practices across the entire project team.
It’s not easy to get team members, who may be distributed across different organizations and in different locations, to cooperate. But Openshark LF provides a ready-to-use solution for managing networked and collaborative planning processes that lets you standardize on industry best practices across your entire team. When everyone follows the same rules about the distribution of information, you increase productivity and reduce project management costs.

Get all users up and running fast
Openshark LF offers a comfortable and familiar interface through a web browser for easy access anywhere, anytime. The result: users can be up and running with a minimum amount of training. Implementation consulting ensures rapid adoption across the entire network of organizations and a rapid recovery of your investment in business process management. Openshark Software is deployed as fully a managed web service and has been designed from the ground up using industry standards, and incorporates robust technology from Microsoft.

Openshark LF was developed at a company doing email software, so the utility business will spin off at some point.  They want to do more pilots, and eventually will be looking for capital and/or an appropriate firm to acquire them.

Robert Meade
San Jose, CA
408-392-0979 x107   

PS- Ever alert to new opportunities, I met Bob at my daughter’s sailing club– he is a fellow parent supporter.  You never know where new things will turn up.