Sembcorp has automated floating solar panel data collection and maintenance with Microsoft
Singapore-based energy provider Sembcorp is using Microsoft 365 to improve the delivery of renewable energy.
Sembcorp has accelerated the deployment of Microsoft 365 and Teams to enhance employee productivity, while enabling staff to work from anywhere. “The big picture for us was a modern workplace that’s sustainable – just like our goal of building a sustainable future for generations to come,” said Charles Koh, chief digital officer at Sembcorp. “Microsoft gives us the digital glue to build that workplace.
“For us, a digital system must create a positive emotional experience for our employees, who are at the heart of everything we do. Teams does exactly that. It’s practical, too, because it’s integrated and bundled with Microsoft 365. It’s easy to use.”
The firm’s digital team helped employees transition to Teams by adding features to support their work, such as a workbot to manage approvals such as applications for leave and the C-19 Notify app, which helped Sembcorp manage Covid-19 transmission risk. “Our employees report their potential exposure to the virus on the app integrated in Teams,” said Alancia Neo, vice president of group strategic communications at Sembcorp. “In addition, employees will submit return-to-office requests via the app and this allows the pandemic response team to manage our response to the fast-changing workplace guidelines set by the authorities.”
Prioritising employee safety, Sembcorp has also adopted automation tools in the field. “We’re using drones to automate the operations and maintenance of our solar panels,” said Neo. “This reduces reliance on labour and also helps to reduce safety risk for our people.”
This automation, also enabled by Microsoft Azure services, has also improved the accuracy and time costs of collecting data from the energy provider’s solar and wind farms. “It used to take our solar team 30 days to key in performance data from the solar farms,” said Koh. “With automation, that’s now down to five minutes with 95 per cent accuracy. This helps us with general maintenance, which in turn, helps prevent revenue leakage.”
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