OptaSense creates distributed fiber sensing solutions, providing valuable data to customers worldwide. The OptaSense system is designed to detect, classify and locate potential threats to buried pipelines. It has been deployed successfully across the globe and the organization has operations in more than 20 countries.

OptaSense is a world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and provides vital cost-saving information to help protect and secure the world’s critical assets. Drawing on decades of experience in the signal processing world, OptaSense is able to convert existing fibre optic communication cables into an array of virtual microphones without any infield equipment. By doing so, the system is then able to detect, classify and locate any threatening events near to an organization’s assets and send out alerts in real-time.

The system has been deployed across the globe and OptaSense now has operations in more than 20 countries. The organization has successfully prevented theft from oil and gas pipelines in Turkey, providing early warning of illegal activities along the length of the pipeline, and hot tapping activity in Eastern Europe.

Unable to provide its early clients with access to its internal server, OptaSense relied exclusively on emails to share increasing amounts of documentation across the firewall. With paperwork relating to projects being sent back and forth, keeping track of information was clearly going to be a potential issue as the business grew. For OptaSense, sharing information with clients and partners, tracking document revisions and monitoring approvals across multiple users are vital activities for preventing confusion when on site. 

Richard Martin, Senior Business Analyst, OptaSense, explains: “When working on a project, we have to collaborate on documents with people in many other countries, including India, Kazakhstan, the U.S. and across Europe. As well as our clients, we also work closely with a number of partners. Storyboards for training videos, for example, will often be sent back and forth between the three people drafting different sections. Teams within our organization then have to review and provide feedback on the storyboard, changes have to be made and, once approved, the content will get sent to the partner producing the film. Managing this via email was a logistical nightmare. There was no central hub where we could save an up-to-date draft that everyone could access.”

OptaSense’s parent company QinetiQ Group plc decided to examine services that would improve both internal and external collaboration. Following its due diligence process, QinetiQ selected Huddle due to its government-approved security and the fact it can be used to work on content with a protective marking of IL2 (protect) or below.

“Thanks to Huddle, we have significantly reduced our reliance on email and everyone involved in a project knows exactly where all of the relating information is stored. With many people travelling back and forth between sites, Huddle has ensured we no longer need to have access to the Virtual Private Network when on the move. Our home workers can securely retrieve all the information they need and engineers out in the field can easily view the schematics of an installation or get a patch for software, for example, on their iPads or smartphones. Prior to Huddle, this would have involved hundreds of megabytes of emails.”

Using Huddle’s traffic light system for approvals, everyone involved in an installation knows that they are working on the most up-to-date plan. When new projects start, the team can exchange thoughts and ideas via Huddle’s whiteboard and discussion features and there are now hundreds of users from across OptaSense’s business ecosystem working together in workspaces. The organization plans to continue rolling out Huddle to future clients.