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Driving big results with HPE VRG in the hybrid workplace: An inside view from an expert integrator

How are organizations leveraging HPE Visual Remote Guidance today? Kelly Ireland, CEO of Domain Expert Integrator CBT, shares her insights – including her experience in using HPE VRG in Formula 1 power boat racing!

By Garry Orsolini, Director of Technology - Network, Workplace, & IoT Services, HPE GreenLake

HPE-Visual-Remote-Guidance-Hybrid-Workplace.pngIn my past couple of posts I covered some of the top use cases for HPE MyRoom Visual Remote Guidance (HPE VRG) and explained why it’s a game-changer for the hybrid workplace. But to really unpack what our secure, enterprise-ready collaboration solution can do for businesses, it’s useful to have an inside view from an expert who has seen it in action, delivering results for real companies in the real world.

One expert who is ideally suited to provide that view is Kelly Ireland. Kelly is the Founder, CEO and CTO of CBT, a Domain Expert Integrator based in Orange, California.

As a Domain Expert Integrator, CBT helps companies bridge the gap between IT and OT (operational technology) – an essential move for success with the Internet of Things, analytics, artificial intelligence, and a host of other key initiatives in the data-driven economy. I asked Kelly how HPE VRG fits into CBT’s work.

Garry Orsolini: Tell me a little about CBT. Have you always worked with HPE?

Kelly Ireland: We’ve been in business for about 20 years. We opened as a value-added reseller in 2001 with 99% alignment to HPE products and services around high-end compute, storage and networking. We've since expanded our services and our partner ecosystem but are still strongly tied to HPE. About four years ago, we started focusing on industrial IoT and the edge; that included everything from HPE Edgeline products on the compute side, to Aruba networking solutions, to all of the ecosystem partners drawn into that.

Garry: What are some deployments that stand out in your mind?

Kelly: We were chosen as the lead integrator for the Refinery of the Future project at Texmark Chemicals. Together with an ecosystem of industry-leading partners, including HPE and Aruba, we’ve deployed five innovative industrial IoT solutions: Connected Worker, Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance, Asset Integrity Management, Video as a Sensor, and Worker Safety. HPE VRG was central to the Connected Worker part of the project, which enables workers to visualize, consume and communicate actionable information via hands-free, voice-activated wearables, smartphones, and tablets.

One of the key features of that solution is its remote mentor or remote support capability, and that’s enabled by HPE VRG. For example, if a pump or a pipeline needs maintenance but the right specialist isn’t available on-site at the plant, the specialist can guide the local field workers remotely via HPE VRG to get the job done. And the team can make a recording and take timestamped photos to certify the repair right there, so it’s documented for audit purposes.

We’re currently working with a healthcare organization in Houston, setting up a medical assistance capability that can transmit information and guidance from experts in the United States to remote medical facilities in parts of the world where there’s a real shortage of qualified healthcare providers. With HPE VRG, healthcare workers with limited training can do much more in-depth procedures because they have the guidance of an experienced doctor who is seeing ‘through their eyes’ and communicating via a hands-free device.

We're doing a similar project with a company that produces seafood and has very large ships out in the ocean. They have medical resources on-board, but if somebody gets hurt on a fishing boat obviously you want to get them as much help as you possibly can, and quickly. HPE VRG with a satellite connection is ideal for that kind of remote medical care.

Garry: What are some of the benefits that clients really respond to?

Kelly: They like that it’s easy to start small and take a crawl-walk-run approach. A lot of companies are still recovering from COVID challenges, they have a very small budget, and they want to see a quick ROI. You can easily do that, especially with Connected Worker types of projects. You can do a lot of things remotely that save travel costs.

I’ll give you an example from my personal experience. I’m on a team that does Formula 1 power boat racing in Europe, India, China and the UAE. Some of the very high-end engine experts and boat designers who support the team don’t want to be traveling 20-hour flights to the competitions. They're not necessarily very savvy when it comes to computers or even smartphones.

So we said "ok, we’ll show you how to use HPE VRG. We'll get you set up remotely on your laptop." And they could not believe how easy it was to get into the classroom and how clear the image was. I remember being in the pit area, watching one of the mechanical engineers using the device as he supported the race team. He was showing the team a view of the engine itself. They were also working on the propellers, figuring out which prop to use, which is very data-intensive stuff, as you can imagine. And the hotspot was just my iPhone because we couldn’t get access to wi-fi!

Everyone was enthralled with how clear it was. They said, “You’ll never have to take us on any of the trips again because we could see great! It was as if we were standing over the engine ourselves!”

Garry: Any tips for organizations that are considering a project?

Kelly: What's really important, especially with Connected Worker initiatives, is truly understanding what outcome you want, and then making sure you have the right partner that understands the hardware, the software and the integration piece.

It's all about gathering the right information to develop the vision and roadmap. We actually take clients through a process that mirrors agile design thinking, just like in software development. We had one of the largest utility companies in the US come out of that process and say, “We all thought we were on the same page before working with CBT and that we had the right solution in mind, but we were floored by the results of the design-thinking session! We discovered areas of misalignment and confusion we’d not previously considered and came out of the session knowing exactly what we needed to do to fix them.”

It’s crucial to involve the people who will be using the solution; end user experience is something a lot of companies forget about. They focus on the technology, and they don't involve the workers themselves. You want your users in the room from the beginning. In every single one of our quick starts, we’ve had a real mix of people in the room – frontline workers, management, executives – because we need feedback from all of them.

Learn more about HPE Visual Remote Guidance and how it enables you to revolutionize the collaboration experience in your digital workplace.

Related articles:

HPE Visual Remote Guidance: 3 top use cases for the hybrid workplace

HPE Visual Remote Guidance: A workhorse solution for the new digital workplace

Five ways industrial companies use augmented reality to drive efficiency


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