The heat is on for a sustainable future at Siemens Gamesa

BrandPost By Michael Kure, SAP Contributor
Oct 12, 20234 mins
Digital Transformation

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is tackling the climate crisis head on, using superior software to slash inefficiency so their front-line technicians can stay focused on their mission to build a sustainable future.

wind turbine
Credit: iStock

Surely, you can feel it. It’s hot out there. July 3, 2023, set a record for the highest mean global temperature ever recorded. Then July 4 came along and was even hotter. All-in-all, July 3-6 were the hottest four days ever recorded on planet Earth — but probably not for long.

There’s a climate crisis. We’re all living through it. It’s getting hotter every year. If we don’t replace fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives, it’s going to keep getting worse. 

This is not a drill. 

That’s the bad news.

The winds of change

The good news is that there are solutions. Sustainable alternatives like solar and wind power are becoming more viable every year — not least because major companies are stepping up to build tomorrow’s clean energy infrastructure so we can free ourselves from fossil fuels and avoid the devastation their continued use will bring. 

The musician Bob Dylan was right after all when he first sang, “The answer is blowin’ in the wind” ,back in 1962. Leading the way to our sustainable future is Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), the only company that operates at a global scale across the full spectrum of wind power — manufacturing, installing, and servicing thousands of onshore and offshore turbines. SGRE already generates over 122GW of wind energy annually, enough to power more than 100 million households around the world. 

Siemens is serious about sustainability. Not only are they leading the world in generating energy from sustainable sources — they’re pioneering new infrastructure that is sustainable in itself. Siemens’ aptly named RecyclableBlade, suitable for commercial use both offshore and onshore, is fully recyclable and a first giant step towards fulfilling the company’s commitment to producing 100% recyclable turbines by 2040.

A lot can go wrong

Siemens’ commitment to combating the climate crisis with rapid and large-scale deployment of a continuously evolving technology virtually guarantees that there will be problems along the way. Fact is, wind turbines are very complicated devices that comprise hundreds of interlocking parts — there’s a lot that can go wrong.

That’s why the heart of SGRE’s mission is their field service operation — an army of 27,000 highly trained engineers and technicians from over 100 countries. At any given moment, somewhere in the world, SGRE technicians are in the field, building and maintaining the sustainable energy infrastructure that our future will depend upon. So, it’s of paramount importance that these front-line workers get all the support they need to do their jobs. 

Slashing complexity in half

When Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa merged their businesses to form SGRE in 2017, they created a company with a host of distinct and often incompatible software systems — including seven field service solutions and no fewer than eleven ERPs. This hodgepodge of legacy software was overly complex, highly inefficient and, yes, unsustainable. Technicians in the field were spending too much time problem-solving in a complex and sometimes incoherent IT landscape instead of focusing on the critical work of installing, maintaining, and repairing turbines.

SGRE turned to SAP and Siemens’ partner Infosys to simplify their IT landscape with a single, standardized solution that would provide increased automation and harmonization, improved operational transparency, and more agile decision-making. Based on SAP S/4 HANA, the heart of the solution is SAP’s Field Service Management (FSM) software, which has already reduced the complexity of service operations by 50% and the number of field service applications by 75%. 

In practical terms, that means more rapid response times, clearer analyses and diagnostics, faster and more effective fixes, and a superior level of service provided to SGRE’s partners.

Winning the battle against complexity

Siemens Gamesa CIO Alan Feeley is more than satisfied with these results. He observes that the strength of SAP software is that it frees employees from mundane and time-consuming tasks. With streamlined processes supported by a stable operations management solution, we can focus on activities that create additional value both for Siemens Gamesa and our customers.”

Today, SGRE’s front-line technicians are working in an environment that is literally more than twice as efficient as before the adoption of SAP FSM — that’s a huge improvement, not just for SGRE’s workers but for their customers as well. So, it’s not surprising that the company has been named a winner of a 2023 SAP Innovation Award in the Business Innovation category. 

To learn more about how SGRE is deploying SAP solutions to power a greener and more sustainable future, check out their Innovation Awards pitch deck.