What is a Virtual Operations Center (VOC)?
It is an Operations Center whose purpose is to support various parts of the operational operations in your company. The fact that it is virtual implies that personnel can work from different locations, and connect virtually instead of meeting in a common room.
Meeting virtually became a real problem overnight when Covid-19 hit and in this regard, Epsis together with Equinor, Woodside and with solid support from Innovation Norway wanted to take a closer look at the problem; – “How to create good solutions for integrated teams who work from different locations and meet in a virtual space to ensure a good understanding of the situation and operations.”
Virtual Operations Center/ Operations center environments are often characterized by having the following activities:
A lot of information to process
Several operations to be followed up more or less simultaneously
Switch between different tasks (analysis, monitoring, project and events)
Throughout the project, together with operative personnel, we have looked at the way of working in various centers (Emergency, Subsea, Logistics, drilling and well, geo operations and telecommunications). Furthermore, we have looked at requirements for further development of Epsis’ software system to be able to support operations regardless of location. The software has been developed based on the needs of operative personnel who work in and in connection with the centres.
Challenges: lack of digital effectiveness and structure
70+ applications are used daily in medium-sized organizations
Workers switch between tasks 20+ times a day
Daily work consists of several interruptions from various technologies and through unstructured collaboration
The number of available screens is challenging when gaining situational awareness
Time is valuable, and wastes of time are notable
The project needs has resulted in the following functional areas in the application:
1. Screen control
The number of screens and screen layouts vary greatly, and in the centers with large screen walls, managing information takes time. It is therefore useful to have an application to manage this
2. Information collections
The number of applications and clicks within various applications to find relevant information for managing a task or a facility is time-consuming. Remembering where things are located/long paths means that you sometimes do not retrieve relevant information from one system or that you store copies locally. It saves time for employees to have one application to go to to find everything they need across documents, processes, tasks and applications
3. Task switching
The everyday working life of these operational environments is made up of structured tasks and more event-oriented tasks that occasionally interrupt a structured task. It takes time to find focus between tasks, and it takes time to find the information you need to perform different types of tasks. It is useful to have a system where everything you need to perform a task is available.
4. Shared understanding of the situation
Everyday work consists of ensuring that everyone who works together can quickly achieve an equal understanding of the situation for various tasks and events. For this, you would like to have environments with shared screens and of course the employees’ own work area. For this, it can be useful to be able to share more than one information element and, not least, that the information that belongs together is placed on the screen surfaces so that it is easy for the recipients to absorb. Enify can help with this.
Find relevant information – across systems
Find information and quickly change the focus – easy to switch between tasks.
Sharing information – sharing sets of links/information
Have one system for navigating many – with a single keystroke
Smart multitasking – Dividing users screens into layouts allows one to work with several applications simultaneously
Always have the same work surface – no matter where you log on from
- One team saved 30 min per day.
- One team managed to keep the operation running 100% when they had to close the center and float in a home office.
- The cost of building a virtual operation center vs. a physical one is much more affordable.