Category Archives: Winter 2020

A word from the boss

“Doing the right thing”

With COVID19 restrictions lifting around Australia, our teams are still working from home and recently been heading into the office one day a week for product planning, reviewing work in progress, solution implementation projects, system efficiencies, lesson learnt sessions and the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues has been greatly appreciated by all. When decisions are made with respect to any of these initiatives and their impact, we will communicate them as soon as we can.

June saw US going the extra distance in our 10th year of supporting the MS Brissie to Bay in our #projectMAD “30 for 30 Challenge”. Our team of 57 MAD participants from Mipela, Partners (DBYD Qld, ISGQ, MC Global, Powered, Sentanil Systems), Suppliers and Colleagues committed to a virtual trip of 25,760km around the coastline of Australia #makeeverykmcount raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis and funds to MAKE A DIFFERENCE for those living with this debilitating disorder. To check on how they went, read the article further through this newsletter.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions, let us know what we have done well or not so well in these last three intensive months. Personally, for me it has been a time to be reflective, adaptive and I want to continue to be proactive. It goes without saying that we take nothing for granted and are grateful for your ongoing support.

Systematising pipeline risk management

Australia’s largest gas pipeline network owner and operator, APA Group is responsible for more than $21 billion of energy assets across Australia.

Under Australian Standard AS2885, APA Group are required to conduct Safety Management Studies (SMS) on all pipelines to ensure compliance and that key management personnel are fully informed of the operational risks associated with the operating assets.

In 2018, APA Group started using Mipela’s X-Info SMS suite to automate this process. X-Info SMS suite is specifically designed to provide pipeline owners with a comprehensive system that can manage their tasks associated with the operation, maintenance, suspension of operation, decommissioning and abandonment along with all their proposed transmission pipeline asset projects AS2885 workflows, quality control and reporting. Where a threat is identified as “credible” and failure is possible, the risk must be managed to ALARP (As Low as Reasonably Possible). X-Info SMS suite guides participants through an Initial Risk Assessment workflow and Residual Risk Assessment to reach ALARP.

Since that first project, APA Group have completed 12 workshops for more than twenty pipelines using X-Info SMS suite. The design SMS workshop for the Western Outer Ring Main project (Victoria) was the latest to be undertaken. APA Group have also loaded over 300 pipeline assets into the SMS database in preparation for the next round of workshops.

“Using a proven methodology and sound system like X-Info SMS suite not only saves a considerable amount of time from study to study but the automated reporting and reminders are critical in managing any identified threats,” said Phill King, Manager Systems and Assurance at APA Group. “Being able to quickly reference and analyse the status of our threats enables us to also to better resource plan and minimise the risk for all,” King added.

Moving forward, the next steps in the APA SMS story is to plan and “flatten the curve” for the upcoming SMS reviews.

Latest Release Notes – what’s new?

The latest version 5.1.3 of X-Info Connect and X-Info WebConnect is now available and includes the following features:

Enhanced Active Directory

Active Directory authentication has been enhanced to support Azure Active Directory over OAuth2 for Users to login to X-Info Connect and X-Info WebConnect. The login process has been streamlined to allow for Azure Active Directory authentication.

Exchange Web Services Protocol

The email protocol Exchange Web Services (EWS) is now supported in X-Info Connect. This email protocol allows Microsoft Office 365 Exchange servers to be configured for access in X-Info Connect.

Blind Copy Email Notification

A blind carbon copy (BCC) field is now available for tasks with email notifications. This means you can now send blind copy emails for any scheduled or triggered email notifications.

Summary Information Connection

Configuration can be set to create a Summary Information Connection for any existing server connection to log and view summary information for errors, user changes and automated processes, such as importing and exporting data, occurring within a connection.

This data can provide information about what is happening in the database. Activities can then be configured to provide reports and an overview of the summary information, including monitoring of usage.

Nearmap Background Layer available

Nearmap is available to be configured as a background layer for display in geometry fields. This option requires an API key to enable use within the application.

Please note – sign up and agreement to obtain an API Key from Nearmap is the responsibility of the licensee and it is recommended the Terms of Use are read and understood before agreement is made.

The APGA Knowledgebase has moved to a new platform

The Australian Pipeline and Gas Association (APGA) has moved its Knowledgebase to a new platform – ours!

As part of a strategic move by APGA to consolidate its applications, the following membership systems – Knowledgebase, Pipeline Engineering Competency System (PECS) and Tools/Resources will join the Pipeline Operators Group (POG) incident database using Mipela’s X-Info Suite. Users will be able to access these tools from links on the APGA website via a secure browser based portal.

“The new platform offers easier operation and straightforward searching for APGA members on a more robust platform,” APGA CEO Steve Davies said in an email to members. “Building and supporting industry capability is one of APGA’s strategic aims and has been our core business for more than 50 years. The APGA Knowledgebase is the central location for APGA technical material.”

“The APGA Knowledgebase is the first section of what will eventually become the central point for accessing APGA technical material. The next section to be transferred will be the APGA PECS which will happen later this year. We are excited to be able to make this material available on a purpose-built platform.”

The Knowledgebase is a major reference recourse for the pipeline industry, collecting knowledge, experience and lessons learned over decades. It contains more than 1,600 items of technical and other information from seminars and conferences in the pipeline industry, as well as working documents from major projects, collected over many decades. It has become an important reference for members working on projects or who simply have an interest in the technical aspects of the industry. It is easily searchable via a number of search terms.

Tips and Tricks

Q1: I’m getting a “Database cannot be opened” error message in X-Info Connect. What does this mean?
A1: This error usually appears if you are trying to open a session when you already have it open. X-Info Connect is not designed to allow multiple sessions. Simply exit out and return to the active session. It may also be related to network connectivity. In the current climate, several people are working from home meaning coverage may differ in each case. Practice patience in case it is a slow connection. If the issue persists, contact Mipela Support for assistance.

Q2: I’ve just tried to enter the URL for X-Info WebConnect or X-Info Maps and it’s not working. How do I troubleshoot this?

A2: Check the URL.  It’s possible that the website address may have changed from http to https, which is a secure protocol.  The transition to https has been introduced over the last year to increase security of our websites.

Q3: I just entered some data into X-Info Connect and it looks like it didn’t save.

A3: This generally occurs when a user doesn’t click off an object (this action automatically saves the change made) before closing X-Info Connect. To ensure your changes save and synchronise, make sure when entering data (for example, if you’ve just finished typing in a certain field) that you click elsewhere in X-Info Connect so that it ‘sticks’. If you don’t do this, eg. if you type in a field and then get up a leave your desk to get a cup of coffee, it doesn’t register the change.  You would need to return to X-Info Connect and click out of the field for it take effect.

Staff updates

Stork news

The stork recently made a visit to Mipela and we’re excited to introduce you to Leo Paul Slattery, born 5 May 2020 @ 2.38pm. First time parents Mia and Liam have gotten this kid thing down pat already and are enjoying every minute of parenthood.

Keep an eye out for more stork news in our next newsletter…

Karen clocks up ten years

This month sees a member of the Mipela team hitting a substantial milestone. Karen Strike is a crucial part of Mipela’s Solutions team and as of June 2020, has been with Mipela for ten years.

Upon asking some of her team mates how best to describe her work, we got the answer “Strikey makes beautiful maps!”

We took some time to sit down with Karen and find out a bit more about her:

What’s been one of your favourite memories during your time with Mipela?
I enjoy working with my colleagues in the office but also I have good memories meeting new people and having new experiences when I worked off-site at our clients.

Aside from being a GIS Whizz, Can you share with us any other special talents you’ve got?
I am a commercial pilot and own a recreational flying school at the Caboolture airfield.

What was it that made you decide to become a pilot and your favourite flying memory?
I wanted to know how a plane could stay in the air!  It was something I wanted to do and I have so many good memories but flying in the Rocky mountains was awesome!

What are some of your favourite things to do in your down time?
I love travel, my bird (Sunny the sun conure), fashion and sewing.

What’s one piece of advice you’ve been given or a quote that holds great value to you?
Things happen for a reason.  Give yourself some slack and take it easy on yourself.

Something GISsy

False Colour Leads to the Truth About Burnt Areas

Remote sensing was used to fight and recover from the recent bushfires on Kangaroo Island.

Firefighters, farmers and ecologists needed up to date burnt area maps to plan firebreaks and protect animals. Boone Law (Adelaide University), responded by using free, multi-spectral Sentinel 2 satellite imagery. This has a 5-day revisit frequency and 7-hour preparation delay.

On receiving new imagery, Law required an additional two hours of processing to update a false colour map, using the Normalised Burn Ratio algorithm to assign red shades to burnt areas.

Spatial science fights fires in near real time.

Source: Spatial Points, accessed 11/6/20, http://www.spatialpoints.com/2020/02/04/visualising-burnt-area-impacts-on-kangaroo-island-with-satellite-imagery/

The month that Hayden went MAD

For the past ten years, Mipela’s managing Director, Hayden McDonald has gone a little MAD in June. He is the organiser of a quite remarkable fundraising project called #projectMAD.  #projectMAD is an initiative aimed at bringing like minded individuals and businesses together to Make A Difference (MAD) to those in need. The MS Brissie to Bay has been the conduit that has seen Hayden and his MAD mates raise $248,878 to help people with Multiple Sclerosis during this time.

This year COVID prevented the ride from taking place but Hayden’s creative thinking saw this years team of 57 take off on a virtual tour around the boundary of Queensland, 10,304km, over the month of June. By Day 12 they’d completed that challenge and a reset was required – this time it was cycle, run and walk around Australia, 25,760km.

The MAD participants were from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Spain. They pedalled and pounded the pavement for those 30 days, fundraising along the way. Their goal was $30,000. Did they make the distance – yes. But they also managed to raise a whopping $63,594 along the way, earning the leader position in the MS Brissie to Bay fundraising stakes.

There were also some very worthy sponsors who also provided their support and we’d really like to thank the following:

  • Co-naming sponsor – Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) Qld (Paul Newman and the Board)
  • Platinum sponsors
    • ISGQ (Ricky, Phon, Suzi, David)
    • MC Global (Steve Martin)
    • Powered (Wade Elofson)
    • Sentanil Systems (John Quigley)

I know Hayden would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who us supported us to date in raising $63,594. He commented that it is very humbling considering the times we face.

If you’d like to see how they did it, check out the MAD team’s journey.

AADBYDS next gen Dial Before You Dig referral service

On 13 July 2020, the  Association of Australian Dial Before You Dig Services Ltd (AADBYDS) announced the providers for its next generation referral service that will replace the current OneCall.1100.com.au platform. This new referral service is expected to be developed over the coming year and is currently anticipated to be in place by the latter half of 2021.

Details on the new 1100.com.au platform are limited at this stage, however we do know it will be cloud based and open self managed service. Mipela will continue to provide updates to our X-Info DBYD suite clients as they become available.

Mipela welcomes the establishment of the new DBYD digital damage and injury prevention ecosystem and the continued advancement of data capture, workflow automation and reporting which we have been pursuing for over the last two decades.  For us it will continue to be business as usual, dedicated to “Connecting people with information”. We remain committed to providing DBYD solutions and services to our clients (asset owners, locators and associations) to Avoid a “hole” lot of trouble across Australia and New Zealand.