Cityworks User Conference 2018 Recap

It’s already been a little over a month since we wrapped up 2018 Cityworks UC and we would like to share our observations from the show. We’ve organized our feedback into two sections; (1) Our Work Smarter solution and feedback and (2) Our Top 4 Cityworks tech tidbits.

"Work Smarter" has Landed

The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a technology that supports our daily lives and has even become “mainstream” with several technologies available for your home. Garage door openers and thermostats can detect when you’re home or away and that triggers an action. Doorbells are coming equipped with cameras that provide a real-time visual of who is at your front door. Sensors are literally multiplying by the hundreds of thousands and doing so at a rapid pace. At GISinc we’re working on capturing information from these sensors to trigger “work” to be done. The key with all of this is to trigger work to be done, when it needs to be done. We call it "Work Smarter" sensor-based work.

Our vision is simple. Sensors in the field detect event(s) and based on the logic, trigger work to be assigned and executed, all within Cityworks. I know what you’re thinking, “Haven’t we been doing this with our SCADA systems for years?” Yes, kind of. The sensors and assets we’re talking about here are non-traditional SCADA sensors and the solution is open architecture Esri/Cityworks centric.

Let’s walk through a catch basin workflow as an example. Think about the work that happens when a catch basin fills up with debris. Some organizations have 2-3 men crews that operate vacuum trucks. These crews and trucks get dispatched after the basin has filled with debris or to inspect during a routine check. This is either too late if the basin is full of debris, or not necessary if there is not any debris to clean out. This workflow is perfect for this concept of sensor-based work. The catch basins could contain capacity sensors that signal “clean out” when a certain capacity is met adding operational efficiency immediately as the crews would only perform the work when it is required. The potential use cases here are infinite.

GISinc showcased this concept at the Cityworks UC through the plethora of paper presentations, lighting talks, and several demonstrations in our booth. The concept quickly turned into conversations about how to get started. Over the last 4-5 years, GISinc has developed an IoT platform we call “GeoIoTTM” that connects sensors to real-time visualization with the ArcGIS platform. Our "Work Smarter" solution is a culmination, of sorts. We believe this initiative is a game changer in the work maintenance and management industry.

Top 4 Cityworks Tech Tidbits brought to you by GISinc's Cityworks Tech Team 

  1. Seamlessness between Esri & Cityworks: As GIS professionals, one of the exciting updates each year is the continued expansion of Cityworks' platform and various integration options with ESRI applications. This list continues to grow and we at GISinc love it. The ability to leverage technology (e.g., ESRI's navigation for optimized routing with Cityworks) and use available applications (e.g., ESRI's Crowdsource Reporter for feeding citizen service requests into Cityworks without heavy customization) is extremely important when managing a Cityworks program. Organizations continue to gain opportunities to provide better access, insights, and communication with citizens and within their organization.
  2. Widgetary: Major announcement: Cityworks is "widgetizing" additional portions of the software. Widgetizing translates into app-like tools that maintain their own development, enhancement and patch release schedules, and free them from the dependency of core development and releases (think Respond). The heavy hitters on the list for widgetizing were Storeroom, ELM, and Contracts.
  3. Cityworks Style: The addition of Cityworks Style customizations--historically handled via XML customizations--is now contained in a user-friendly, non-developer package! While contained to applying customizations to Respond, the potential of this interface is extremely exciting.
  4. Productivity & Usability Improvements: We enjoyed seeing additional functionality both within office, mobile, and Public Portal for PLL. The adoption of user ideas within the core configuration to improve user experiences, native mobile app improvements, inclusion of python scripts to load data, and disclosure of product road maps left our team walking away from the conference motivated and excited about what the future will hold for our clients.
Cityworks User Conference 2018 Recap