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How Delmarva Power manages IS goals.

John Scoggin has one of the toughest jobs on the Delmarva peninsula. As supervisor of network operations for Delmarva Power & Light Co., he manages the mission critical local area and wide area T1 networks that transmit almost every bit of data amongst the company's 21 facilities.

Delmarva provides electricity to Delaware, Maryland and Virginia residents on the 5,700-square-mile peninsula, sells natural gas to residents in northern Maryland, and sells electricity at wholesale to a number of co-ops and municipalities in the area.

"To meet revenue and service goals, it is essential that Delmarva receives new orders in a timely manner and efficiently implements customer change requests," says Scoggin. This makes continual availability of the network a prime concern.

Ensuring uptime is the domain of the Racal Management System (RMS) that monitors topology and status in a common view of the LAN/WAN network with windows into multivendor equipment. By using a suite of management tools, Scoggin is able to hone in on where the problem is in just a few minutes, determine what part has failed, and quickly get a replacement part shipped out.

Uptime is also a crucial element in ensuring that power and control data are transmitted so that optimal service levels are maintained and plant damage control is minimized.

"A prolonged failure at the wrong time on this type of network and we could actually wind up losing customer load and doing rather severe damage to the equipment at substations and power plants because of lack of energy control," Scoggin says.

"Our operations and maintenance expenditures from 1991 to 1992 were permitted to grow 4.4% per department. So when you've got a network growing 30% compounded annually, that's quite a challenge," Scoggin says. The integration allowed by the RMS helped rein in equipment costs while protecting previous investment in network equipment.

The key enabler here is the Racal Strategic Architecture (RSA) underlying the RMS. RSA is a strategy for designing, building and maintaining enterprise networks. It ensures that products work together under common management and are supported by comprehensive services.

IS productivity

The intelligence of the RMS allows Scoggin to maximize the resources of a small IS staff. Scoggin has 10 technicians who operate and maintain all networking and desktop computing equipment as well as 230 miles of fiber and digital microwave equipment.

"The challenge is to leverage the staff and their tools to get the most productivity. That means not running all over the peninsula with meters trying to troubleshoot equipment problems. It means sending the right people with the right parts the first time to fix problems," he adds.

The high-speed Omnimux T1 network maximizes IS network resources by transporting voice and all corporate data as well as two-way radio and protective relay. By 1993, Delmarva plans to add videoconferencing to the menu of services offered by the network. By 1994, they hope to have even higher speed ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) adjunct processors in place to augment T1 speeds.

Delmarva also serves as a beta site for new technologies. This allows Delmarva to strategically evaluate new technologies while the manufacturer profits from the feedback.

His relationship with suppliers means that Scoggin is well positioned to plan in advance a technology migration path that corresponds not only to IS goals and concerns but also meets the strategic and financial objectives of Delmarva.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Delmarva Power and Light Co., information systems
Publication:Communications News
Date:Feb 1, 1993
Words:559
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