IBM Intelligent Operations Center and Vuosaari Harbour

In this post I show how IOC could be used in day-to-day operation of Vuosaari Harbour. The scenario is fictional, but Vuosaari Harbour is quite real, part of The Port of Helsinki, a public utility of the City of Helsinki. And, of course, the scenario is not limited to a harbour, any organization could use IOC in day-to-day operation in their own context.


The map is from Port of Helsinki web page. I uploaded it to IOC as a location map and added areas for cranes and berths to it.

In the scenario, I have three users that use IOC, each with different role:  Executive Tom DeLorne, Supervisor Sue Collins and Operator Ann Kelly. Part of their responsibilities are the cranes in the Vuosaari Harbour, which must work optimally at all times. In order to ensure that they do work optimally, Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) have been defined to display the status of the cranes. KPIs are important part of IOC (and in real-life operations centers) and any change in KPIs might require immediate action.

The scenario starts with like any other normal day Vuosaari Harbour (disclaimer: I’m just guessing here :-)): everything is green. Click on the images to see larger images and short descriptions what happens in the scenario.

For the users, being part of intelligent operations center can be smooth and even happy experience, much like Tom and Sue in the above scenario.

Sue’s and Tom’s happy experience comes, naturally, from IOC and the fact that IOC is a solution that integrates various IBM products (such as WebSphere Portal, IBM Business Monitor and IBM Sametime) and using them in the context of harbour operations center.

WebSphere Portal provides the user interface of IOC and IBM Business Monitor is used to model KPIs used by IOC (see also my blog post: Gauging with IBM Business Monitor). IBM Sametime provides the instant messaging in day-to-day operations in the context of IOC so there’s no need to use external, and potentially insecure, messaging solution.

Calculation of KPIs is done by Business Monitor as it receives events related KPIs. If KPI changes, it’s updated in IOC seen in the status page and also in the notification area. Any events relevant to KPI are received by the IOC and the routed to Business Monitor. In this scenario, I used IOC REST API to send events.

There’s one thing worth noting, that was not shown in the above scenario, is that IOC has a concept of  standard operating procedures (and I quote): “A standard operating procedure is a set of instructions that describes all the relevant steps and activities of a process or procedure. Standard operating procedures are essential to an organization to deliver consistent, measured, high-quality responses to complex and unpredictable events.”

In the scenario, standard operating procedure would’ve been used when Operator Ann starts working with failed crane. Procudure might’ve included steps like detailed examination of the failure and calling local service people to fix the crane.

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