2.3

IT and telecommunications

IDGC of Urals (OAO) is a contemporary company of the energy sector, its efficiency hinging upon IT and automation tools.

In the current context performance of the power grids and Company requires these elements:

Automated systems for technological process management, that calculate the cost of energy, oversee payments, plan wholesale energy market purchases, monitor supply junctions, etc. Automated systems for business administration, that manage cash flows, calculate salaries, prepare accounting statements, etc. Telecommunication systems and IT infrastructure, that ensure operability of all automated systems and unbroken communications for all Company’s workers.

IT services are extremely important for achieving such Company’s business targets as secured electricity transmission, enhanced QoS and satisfaction orientation. Enhanced process automation also assists in improving efficiency of power grid operations. Implementation of new IT projects, development and maintenance of existing ones goes on an everyday basis in line with Company’s strategy for IT and telecommunications.

This strategy defines development objectives for Company’s IT, strategic initiatives and measures to achieve them, approved by the Company’s Board of Directors No.13-ref, as well as the following IT principles:

Sphere Description
IT solutions
  • Continuous cooperation with in-house IT service consumers
  • Total intracorporate standardization of IT processes (incl. production-oriented units)
  • Development and implementation of standards on the management of project software and project portfolio
  • Revaluation of importance and repositioning of IT service
IT set-up
  • Centralization of IT and implementation of efficient tools for intracorporate IT coordination
  •  Preparation of optimal intracorporate interaction model for joint IT solution implementation and exploitation.
  • Set-up of universal and flexible IT service model
IT processes
  • Implementation of efficient solutions to oversee that IT processes for IT service provision are properly executed
  • Implementation of processes and solutions focusing on enhancing the competence of front-desk support
  • Oversight of IT process model compliance with regulatory environment (standards, procedures, methodologies)
IT services
  • Securing of IT service transparency and quality control
  • Securing of continual service improvement and efficiency enhancement
IT infrastructure
  • Arrangement of centralized integrated monitoring system
  • Arrangement of unified service directory, unification of basic network services and applications
  • Support of connection business processes in branches, set-up of new work stations.
  • Provision of reliable access to centralized resources due to enhanced operability of network equipment.
  • Cooperation with neighboring units in terms of transition to standard server platforms, monitoring systems, telecom channel standardization and IP telephony
IT security
  • Security of IT, telecom and technological infrastructure
  • Security of automated systems for technological management
  • Security of sensitive information
  • Arrangement and control of access for users
  • Provision of public key infrastructure
  •  Monitoring of security for IT and telecom infrastructure

The program was initiated and approved in 2010, its scheduled adjustments being made on 01.07.2015. The amount of 35-110 kV substations, equipped with up-to-date IATS, serves as an index of the program progress. Annual branch progress is presented on the chart, figures given as of Jan. 01.

The program for the upgrade of information acquisition and transmission systems on 35-110 kV substations, approved by SO UES (OAO), is a high-priority target program on the development of automated systems of technological management.

The progress on other aspects of the ASTM development is presented below::

Sverdlovenergo:

  • EESK (OAO), our subsidiary covered by Sverdlovenergo NMC, completed CIW and pre-commissioning of 1st stage of ASDM hardware and software upgrade. Basic SCADA system was commissioned in Feb., 2016. Specifications with regard to CIW and pre-commissioning of 2nd stage upgrade (calculation tasks), slated for 2016, are nearly completed. 3rd stage (simulator, GIS, crew management) is scheduled for 2017.
  • As a part of R&D of an outside hardware producer, we tested a remote 110 kV metering device, placed on a pole with direct wire connection, to transmit metering and telemetric information by fiber and GSM/GPRS radio channels.

Chelyabenergo:

  • Upgrade of IATS/TM servers of three dispatcher centers in production units and NMC.

Permenergo:

  • CIW and pre-commissioning of AMS for Chusovaya substation, commissioning is scheduled for 2016.

Business applications evolved during the year to comply with business requirements and the Board-approved strategy with regard to:

Automation of investing
Goals:
  • Enhanced investing efficiency on the back of reduced labor costs and shortened periods for investment program creation and reporting;
  • Creation of a tool for capex budgeting and recording to be used by process participants.
Objectives:
  • Set-up of unified information system for investment project management to ensure transparency of target and actual data;
  • Improvement of quality and authenticity of information;
  • Set-up of unified regulatory and reference library for automated business processes;
  • Set-up of relevant reporting for IM Division.

Wage calculation for resident aliens

The project was initiated to comply with regulatory requirements No.14-16-ref. Goal of the project is to comply with laws of Russia when hiring resident aliens (for instance, refugees).

Online services: consumer’s personal account on the corporate web-site

The project is initiated to comply with the Unified Quality of Service Standards No.17-ref(UQoSS).
Goals:
  • Compliance with laws of Russia with regard to quick access to information on Company’s services;
  • Compliance with the UQoSS with regard to provision of technical capability for Company’s consumers to file information, requests or obtain data and billing.
Objectives:
  • Set-up of online personal accounts for Company’s consumers;
  • Integration of user personal accounts with existing software, interfaces and similar Rosseti system;
  • Set-up of information and reference directory to process requests.

The telecom system of IDGC of Urals (OAO) is a transport medium administering all business processes. The system is based on a primary communication net, built to bind all facilities of the Company.

This primary net serves as a ground for secondary nets providing the following services:

  • Dispatcher telephony
  • Videoconferencing
    (videoconferencing with branches, Rosseti and Urals Regional Center of Russian Emergency Ministry available)
  • Transfer of data from technological management systems
    (automated systems of dispatcher management, automated metering system, etc.)
  • Access to Internet, e-mail, intracorporate web-resources, etc.
  • Corporate telephony
  • Audio conferencing
    (audio conferencing with branches, production and distribution units available)
  • Transfer of data from information business systems
    (ERP system, automated system for electronic document flow, etc.)

Telecom networks evolve in line with the Board-approved strategy to secure:

  • High-quality information and telecom services (timeliness, integrity and security) and ability to satisfy demand in reliable, complete, authentic and sensitive information;
  • Stability (reliability and durability); permanent readiness, mobility, persistence and promptness;
  • Ability to install and commission network stage-by-stage, existing segments retaining operable, as well as to subsequently upgrade and extend its capacities;
  • Scalability based on network elements and typical solutions;
  • High efficiency of resource use;
  • Transmission of heterogeneous data (incl. voice, signal, video data, etc.) and its prioritizing, subject to its type;
  • Use of regular interfaces and protocols;
  • Usability, remote monitoring and equipment control;
  • Provision of information and telecom services by information systems, irrespective of commutation and transmission technologies;
  • Ability to connect and interact with networks of other agencies and telecom operators.

In 2015 the Company has participated in “Bridging the Digital Gap” federal action program. The program is socially oriented and stipulates set-up of broadband infrastructure to provide residents of small and remote settlements with telecom services (incl. Internet access).

One of prospective and quick means to bring broadband telecom lines to these settlements is to mount fibers onto existing multi-voltage power lines. In line with the program IDGC of Urals (OAO) combined efforts to prepare mounting specifications, admit design contractors and approve project documentation.

During the reported period we also achieved the following objectives with regard to development of technological telecom systems:

Sverdlovenergo:

  • IATS communication channels for three 110 kV substations (Serov, Dachnaya and Krasnaya Sloboda) were arranged under the IATS upgrade program, approved by SO UES (OAO).
  • IATS communication channels for 110 kV Verkhnyaya Sysert and Zvezdnaya substations were arranged during complete overhaul.
  • IATS communication channels for ten 35-110 kV substations were arranged in-house to improve observability.
  • 29 fiber mounting specifications were prepared under “Bridging the Digital Gap” federal action program.

Chelyabenergo:

  • IATS communication channels for seven 110 kV substations were arranged under the IATS upgrade program, approved by SO UES (OAO).
  • IATS communication channels for 110 kV Miasskaya substation were arranged during complete overhaul.
  • IATS communication channels for 22 35-110 kV substations and two 10 kV distribution stations were arranged in-house to improve observability.
  • 109 fiber mounting specifications were prepared under “Bridging the Digital Gap” federal action program.

Permenergo:

  • IATS communication channels for two 110 kV substations were arranged under the IATS upgrade program, approved by SO UES (OAO).
  • IATS communication channels for 2 35-110 kV substations and two distribution units were arranged to improve observability.
  • Service area for VHF communicator remote control system was extended.
  • 25 fiber mounting specifications were prepared under “Bridging the Digital Gap” federal action program.

Overall development of IT and telecommunications in line with the strategy greatly reduced Company’s expenses for IT&T exploitation in 2015. Company’s expenses are reduced pursuant to approved plan for reducing per-unit expenses on 2012. Cost-cutting on IT is presented in the table below:

2012
(100%)
2013/2012 2014/2012 2015/2012
Tangible costs, item 2.1.5. 100 93 110 112
Internet, item 2.10.1.3. 100 102 143 113
Support expenses on automated enterprise control system, item 2.10.2.2.1 100 118 132 126
IT-strategy, item 2.10.2.2.2. 100 80 105 72
Other information services, item 2.10.2.3. 100 108 113 102
License expenses, item 2.10.17.8.3 100 79 50 56
Office equipment maintenance expenses, item 2.10.17.11.3. 100 110 103 133
 TOTAL: 100 91 90 85

Cost-cutting on telecom and technological systems: switchover of contracted ASDM/DOCS equipment maintenance to in-house helped us cut out some contractors and reduce expenses 17% on 2012, adjusted for CPI ratio. Installation of proprietary communication channels, usage of fibers and unification of contracts with telecom operators helped reduce telecom expenses 12.5%, adjusted for CPI ratio. In the nearest future we plan to have an extra cut of our telecom expenses by transiting long-distance-calls into corporate telecom network.

We issued a decree No.18-ref to establish the IT and Telecom Committee. The Committee is designed to adopt important resolutions, schedule and oversee implementation of the strategy for the period ending prior to 2016. The Committee decides on further development of IT, automation of corporate and technological business processes, to meet the requirements of our controlling entity, business demands and funding limits, capped by business plan and investment program scenarios.