• 6 mins read
  • July 31st

Loudoun Water

Geoenabling the Modern Water Utility: Integrating Esri and SAP in the Cloud

Loudoun Water provides drinking water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services to over 80,000 homes and businesses in Loudoun County, Virginia. For decades, Loudoun Water has used Esri geographic information system (GIS) technology as the system of record for linear assets and synchronized them with an asset management solution to support maintenance, operations, and engineering activities. Keeping the data between GIS and an asset management system synchronized was always a challenge, but it came with a high reward for business users.

In 2014, Loudoun Water implemented SAP software to run most aspects of the business including asset and maintenance management. At the time, there were only a handful of organizations in the world that had achieved Esri-SAP technology integration in the form of a solution called GEO.e. GEO.e ran inside SAP software and included both a map for visualizing/interacting with objects and a custom synchronization toolset that maintained the data integrity between the two systems.


The successful Esri-SAP integration resulted in requests to add other synchronized objects and attributes and improve the mapping capability. However, making modifications to GEO.e proved to be difficult and costly with few technical resources to draw on. The complex code base also made routine incident management a challenge, and there were performance limitations when working with a large dataset. Furthermore, Loudoun Water plans to migrate to SAP S/4HANA in the coming years, which will necessitate a change to GEO.e. These factors presented a challenge to Loudoun Water, so alternatives were investigated.


Loudoun Water has a cloud-first policy for technology, and the company moved its Esri and SAP solutions to separate Microsoft Azure cloud instances several years ago. Using GEO.e highlighted the preference for proven commercial off-the-shelf software over a custom one-off solution. Keeping this in mind, the industry was canvassed for a GEO.e replacement. Loudoun Water identified Spatialitics as the perfect fit since it offered a cloud-based solution designed to simplify the Esri-SAP integration challenge. The solution comes in two parts: a map called Spatialitics Asset Mapper (SAM) and a robust synchronization framework called Unity Engine.


Spatialitics LLC is a fully owned subsidiary of CyberTech and specializes in providing spatial analytics products and platforms. Spatialitics’ cloud-based approach to digitalization delivers operational excellence and field user delight. The company covers a wide range of industries, including health, public safety, and utilities—all with zero footprints.


After a thorough requirements-gathering exercise, the project team from Loudoun Water and Spatialitics successfully constructed an architecture that securely connects the three (Esri, SAP, and Spatialitics) cloud environments. Cybersecurity is a top priority for Loudoun Water, and the Spatialitics solution was ready to be configured to unique and demanding specifications. Loudoun Water also has an Esri enterprise agreement, which meant that software licensing was not a factor. Spatialitics hosts configuration data (not the underlying business data) and enables real-time communication among the three environments. Because Unity Engine is SAP certified, Loudoun Water is confident that the migration to S/4HANA won’t be complicated.

Each part of the solution meets a different business need by supporting the front office, typical end users using SAM, and the back office, technologists responsible for managing the synchronization using Unity Engine. In the front office are daily users from across the business solving multiple problems. For example, the team responsible for managing meters has adopted SAM as its mobile work order solution because it is real-time technology that is easy to use to complete work orders. The asset management team members like SAM because they can quickly access work order history while working directly on the map with many objects. Maintenance planners must use a map to create work orders, and SAM includes functionality to do this individually or in bulk, which saves time. Customer service representatives can be talking with a customer while getting a real-time view of open work orders for locations nearby. In the back office, the technologists responsible for managing the synchronization are highly satisfied with

Unity Engine, having realized multiple benefits. The easy-to-use interface makes it simple to manage the process and understand how objects and attributes in one system relate to the other. Since Spatialitics is hosting the solution and is responsible for routine operation and maintenance, Loudoun Water staff can focus on higher-value activities like extending the synchronization and map functionality in the direction the business leads.


“As the technology owner, I’m pleased that the Spatialitics solution meets our business needs, satisfies our strict cybersecurity requirements, is easy for us to operate, and is S/4HANA ready.”

Mike Beardslee
Managing Director of Technology Services for Loudoun Water