EPC & EPCM: The Stone in Your Boot…The Telecommunication Quagmire
Compiled by Steven Mulherron & Nathalie Bechbache Stack8 Project Management and Governance Office
For Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services firms, failure to maintain communication control is not an option.
Complex operations and data requirements, coupled with highly collaborative work processes, often between multiple on-site and off-site locations rely upon robust telecommunications and collaboration tools. These communication challenges are further compounded by the scope of deliverables, schedules, and price sets.
Inability to meet prescribed performance guarantees can put the future of the project at risk. In addition, performance and scheduled liquidated damages increase costs which can potentially eliminate or negatively impact profitability.
At the same time that large capital projects are growing in costs and complexities, there is a revolution occurring in Unified Communications: Presence, single number reach, mobility, and video — are coming together to become the innovative platform of the future.
The result is improved performance, and extended functionality provided by a fusion of integrated technologies and real-time communications.
Communication challenges for EPC/EPCM firms
Large capital EPC/EPCM projects require scalability in communications and collaboration methods to meet the changing needs of the project’s on-site workforce as it moves from the pioneer camps to temporary systems for site establishment, through to the construction phase, and permanent systems for the Operation Teams (OT).
During these phases, the IT Teams will be required to make constant modifications to users, especially for turnkey contractors. The result is a loss of valuable productivity for the IT staff performing Moves, Adds, and Changes.
Since the results of losing connectivity, even for short periods of time are substantial, EPC/EPCM companies require stable, reliable and resilient solutions that are available 24/7. They need to integrate tight planning and execution strategies to ensure reliability, limit downtime and meet critical contractual milestones.
For remote geographic locations, communications become even more critical, especially collaboration and communications for the engineering, procurement, and construction provider teams. This challenge is further compounded by different regulations and compliance standards governing each country.
3rd Party Integration
The diversity in telecommunication technologies and the variety of operations within the EPC/EPCM sector has resulted in an equally diverse communications supply chain, involving many different suppliers, partner, and organizations. Including facilitating remote field communications for pre-commissioning and commissioning.
EPC/EPCM firms further need to ensure that access to production environments for turnkey contractors to execute required testing is managed effectively and securely.
Emergency Health and Safety (EHS) Compliance
The importance for Construction and Operational EHS Teams to have seamless stable telecommunications systems in place to ensure the safety of all team members is paramount. Robust solutions are required to guarantee uptime and to ensure direct lines of communications with local authorities and first responders.
Network & Security Services
Unauthorized access to field devices as well as rogue wireless devices during the project could have an adverse impact on operations. EPC/EPCM companies need to ensure that any unauthorized devices connecting to levels 0, 1 & 2 production systems are immediately denied from the permanent network.
Communication solutions from the pioneer camps to operations
In this highly competitive market, Stack8’s approach is to help you minimize temporary systems and accelerate permanent deployment. Our focus is on the initial provisioning of the central permanent telecommunications systems that can be used for both construction and operations.
Stack8 offers outstanding Unified Communication services and solutions across the lifecycle of greenfield and brownfield projects. We have the unique ability and expertise to deliver complex telephony and collaboration solutions for large capital projects. Leveraging initial project investments into operational benefits:
- Help to define requirements at the feasibility stage.
- Cost effective remote or on-site support 24/7.
- Communications productivity tools (SMACS – Stack8 Moves, Adds, and Changes, Solution for automating and simplifying MACs).
- On-boarding and off-boarding 3rd party contractors communications needs as required during the life of the project.
- Troubleshooting and support for all communications and collaboration challenges.
- Simplifying pre-commissioning and commissioning field communications and collaboration.
- Network and Security Services to ensure seamless integration and transition of communications from the planning phase to the operational production environment.
Stack8 can adapt to rapidly changing conditions and provide exactly what you need to operate successfully. In addition to offering fully designed turnkey solutions, we can deliver specialized hosted services.
Other Blogs You Might Enjoy
Ready to take your unified communications from headache to hassle-free?
No throwing darts at proposals or contracts. No battling through the back-end. No nonsense, no run-around.