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Success Story: Solar Energy

Company Profile

A leading solar energy company based out of Toronto Ontario that is focused on developing, owning and operating solar photovoltaic energy systems for rooftop and ground installations. Their philosophy stems from the fundamental belief that long-term economic growth should not, and need not, be achieved at the expense of the environment.

The Challenge

As this solar energy company continued to grow so did their growing pains. They quickly identified that their system for managing contracts was inefficient and immature. Their entire back office and collaboration mechanism for managing their projects was antiquated. They had hit a road block where their legacy systems were hindering their ability to stay agile and scalable. Moreover, it was costing them thousands of dollars a year to maintain and in lost revenues due to missed opportunities. Their challenges included:

Rapidly evolving business processes for an ever-growing company and fluid solar energy industry (changing regulations)

Project Management challenges including task management and sharing of information between teams at various stages of projects (i.e. between engineering and construction)

Collaboration challenges around documents, records and contracts

Challenges while trying to manage assets during a project and tracking compliance to regulatory requirements

Poor visibility into operations and business state due to lack of real time access to reports, analytics and key business KPIs

The Solution

In order to help solve the challenges that growth was causing, the company decided to partner with TechBlocks. Using Microsoft cloud solutions they were able to develop and deploy a customized collaboration and office platform that streamlined, digitized and automated their ever-growing business processes. TechBlocks directly addressed the challenges they faced, which included the following:

  • Creation of a strategic IT roadmap and phased agile implementation approach
  • Enable easy submission & management of regulatory processes & data to regulatory bodies (i.e. Ontario Power Generation)
  • Increased tracking, collaboration and information sharing during all the stages of projects including remote access to key information for mobile workers
  • Personalized dashboards, reports and analytics to support business growth during all the four quarters of the year and projections for years ahead allowing for easy and intuitive data entry and reporting
  • Automation of key business processes around installation of panels, site inspections and feasibility analysis of projects and properties
  • Allow for 360 degree view of business with a complete roadmap to integrate with other line of business systems and packages for accounting, ECM, project management, etc.

The Technology Used

The proposed solution was to recreate their existing infrastructure using Microsoft cloud solutions:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • SharePoint 2013 Online
  • Project Server
  • Office 365
  • Sky Drive

The Impact

The Microsoft collaboration ecosystem consisting of SharePoint Online, Azure and Office 365 was chosen as the best solution platform for this particular company based on their priorities including:

  • Immediate impact and quick results – They were able to capitalize on the benefits of a cloud based productivity solution without waiting for heavy investment into infrastructure
  • Increase in efficiency by 65% and reduction in costs by 35%
  • Giving key decision makers real-time access to data – built-in mobile capabilities allowed field representatives to efficiently capture data for field inspection reports, incident reports, and survey reports and instantly update their database
  • Support scalability requirements for rapid growth and provide flexibility due to fluctuations in business from a fluid regulatory and compliance environment
Cloud solutions for energy and utilities