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Document Management System for AES Northern Ireland

Melon developed a document management system with change management workflow for two AES plants in Northern Ireland. Now we are responsible for its ongoing technical support. The plan is to implement this system globally across the entire company.

project type

Enterprise, Web

client

AES

engagement model

Time & Materials, Fixed Price, Support

release date

October 2014

technology

SharePoint 2013 (JavaScript, HTML, CSS, .NET, C Sharp)

 

The Client

The AES Corporation (AES) is a global power company with approximately 18,500 employees that owns and operates a diverse portfolio of electricity generation and distribution businesses, which provide energy to more than 10 million customers in 18 countries across four continents.

Melon had been supporting the SharePoint system of the largest energy complex in South-East Europe Maritsa East for three years, when in May 2014, on their recommendation the Europe Strategic Business Unit of AES in Amsterdam contacted Melon. They engaged us directly to deliver a workflow document management system for two plants in Northern Ireland (NI). 

The Project

Every piece of equipment and service and upgrade activity in the Kilroot and Ballylumford power plants is thoroughly documented in electronic format. Each station in the two plants has an extensive library with technical documents, blueprints, instruction manuals and many more that amount to tens of thousands documents, primarily PDFs.

AES NI were already using a legacy Lotus Domino document store in combination with a web based document management system that hadn’t been fully adopted. Both systems lacked functionality and potential to implement the change management process and develop further. As AES are in the process of adopting SharePoint the obvious choice was to migrate both content and functionality onto the MS platform.

They engaged Melon to architect and implement an indexed searchable document system, featuring a robust 3-level change management workflow.

Challenges

The biggest challenge was managing the large volume of documents and their proper metadata. Another technical challenge was to be able to work with the documents both online and in Word – same documents to be accessible and editable both in SharePoint and in Microsoft Office. The third challenge was the multi-level and multi-actor change management process with email notifications and interactive workflows.

 

Approach

The project started with a detailed analysis and prototyping phase that helped significantly gather all requirements from each stakeholder and align them into a functional prototype. Melon prepared wireframe prototypes, workflow diagrams, architecture diagrams, and a detailed functional specification that were discussed and revised on several iterations until all requirements were satisfied. Melon uploaded and indexed all the existing electronic documents, and provided consultancy guidance to AES on how to proceed with the digitalizing and uploading of the rest.

Results

Melon developed a document management system with change management workflow for AES that implements all the functionalities the client required. The system is used at the two Northern Ireland plants (Kilroot and Ballylumford) and is currently being populated with digitized technical documentation and policies, procedures and user manuals subject to change control. In the longer run the plans are to implement this system globally across the entire company, by deploying localized versions for each station around the globe.

Both AES Europe’s headquarters in Amsterdam and the two plants in Northern Ireland are very happy with the results and keep working with Melon. Now, we are responsible for the system’s ongoing technical support.  They say that what they liked the most about Melon is that we are flexible, customer oriented and responsive.