The middle age crises
Kevin W. Miller
AM/FM Application Coordinator
253 White Pond Drive
Akron, Ohio 44320, USA
FirstEnergy (FE) Experiences in the Transition from Development to Production. As the
AM/FM project at FirstEnergy continues and the number of users and amount of data
increase, the focus of effort necessarily begins to shift from conversion and development
to support and maintenance. During this shift it is important to balance the resources of
the project to maintain the conversion effort while providing for support requirements of
the growing user population. Application development must also continue to provide the
tools necessary for the efficient maintenance of the rapidly expanding database. This
paper will discuss both the issues FE had planned for and the unforeseen issues FE
encountered while changing the way GIS is thought of from a development and
conversion effort to an enterprise solution. We will then generally discuss the solutions
we have implemented or plan to implement as well as alternate solutions.
FirstEnergy . is an electricity provider for more than 2.1 million customers over 13,500
square miles of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. This company is a result of the recent
merger of Centerior Energy and Ohio Edison Company. To streamline operations and
improve customer service, Ohio Edison started development of a fully integrated
AM/FM/GIS application in 1992. The intention of the project was to develop a system
that would capture the benefits of automation for the operations areas of the company.
The goal was to provide access to all pertinent company data within one system to
improve customer service and operations effectiveness.
Like all utilities in this climate of deregulation, FirstEnergy is under going intense
change. Their goal of becoming the best performing electric company in the region is
driving this change at an even greater pace. Development of any system in this
environment is a challenge. Developing a system like AM/FM/GIS, which affects many
operational areas and corporate departments over a period of several years, presents
challenges that require a very effective plan and hard work to overcome. FirstEnergy
began its project with a very solid plan and has worked to follow it while adapting to
changes from outside the project and unforeseen difficulties.