Microsoft partners, such as Kognitiv Spark, a company based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, play a major role in delivering innovative and creative solutions that empower people and organizations to do more and help them take the next step in their digital and connected workforce transformation.

 

A man wearing HoloLens 2 stands in a E-house.

 

Bringing innovation to traditional industries

When it started developing RemoteSpark, its Mixed Reality remote worker support solution, Kognitiv Spark listened to and worked with its clients to come up with an out-of-the-box tool that will solve challenges across industries. The main one: reducing equipment and system downtime and the cost associated with it. In the manufacturing sector, if production is down, it can cost companies thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars a minute. In the oil and gas industry, that amount could be even higher, and in the case of the nuclear sector, unscheduled downtime can cost millions per day.

Calgary-based, premier industrial contractor specializing in electrical and instrumentation services, SurePoint Group, reached out to Kognitiv Spark last year looking for a tool and technology that would give them the ability to connect remote workers with experts, while eliminating the average 14-20 hours it would normally take for a senior technician to travel to a job site. A service provider for oil and gas companies, SurePoint is often called on site to troubleshoot problems and resolve issues that can arise regularly.

Traditionally, if a field worker comes across a problem, they would call a SurePoint Group expert, use their cellphone to record or take pictures; the expert would then take a couple of hours or more to give a diagnosis and, at least 20% of the time, according to SurePoint Group, with no resolution, the expert would have to drive over or catch a plane to reach the site.

 

Three men wearing HoloLens 2 evaluate the feasibility of an electrical system.

 

Augmented reality for remote support

The solution built by this Microsoft Mixed Reality partner, RemoteSpark allows remote workers to establish a low-bandwidth, secure video call with subject matter experts when they need help solving a complex problem. Built and optimized for Microsoft HoloLens, RemoteSpark enables the expert to see what the remote worker sees, and to use holographic assets to help solve the issue, while keeping the user heads-up and hands-free. RemoteSpark provides a full mixed reality environment with industrial-grade security, giving experts a complete virtual picture of any problems wherever they may be.

“RemoteSpark is a real differentiator, especially in a traditional area like the oil and gas industry,” Rod Heitrich, Director of Technology and Innovation at SurePoint Group, describes. More than 60% of their calls can now be solved without an expert travelling to the site. Instead of a simple phone call and pictures taken from a cell phone, experts have eyes on the ground, remote workers have their hands free to follow instructions, and companies save money on travel, but most importantly can return their facility to full operation much faster, saving significant downtime costs. Since they started using it in October, the company has already made over 300 calls with the solution.

Immediate assistance anywhere, any time

By leveraging Microsoft Azure and IT security framework, Kognitiv Spark was able to build an out-of-the-box, secure, and scalable solution for industrial customers everywhere, regardless of their internal data governance policies. RemoteSpark can operate both in the Azure cloud on on-premise with Azure Stack. “While our software is already secure, working with Microsoft, which creates a protective onion around our whole application, really allows us to be next level and operate in government, aerospace, defense, oil and gas and other data sensitive industries,” Sean McCullum from Kognitiv Spark explains.

Solutions like RemoteSpark give companies in more traditional space, such as SurePoint Group, the ability to be game changers in their sector by combining innovation, technology and field expertise. Using Microsoft hardware, AI, and cloud computing solution, including IoT Hub, Functions, CosmosDB and Storage, Kognitiv Spark offers organizations across industries the ability to equip their workers with the knowledge and resources they need to complete any task, anywhere.

Want to learn more about Kognitiv Spark’s solution? Get in touch now.