How one single business application has centralized commissioning services for data centers

Client: CAI


The Client

CAI is a central component in the process of designing, constructing, and maintaining mission-critical data center facilities. With engineering, technical, and consulting services that encompass all aspects of commissioning operations, CAI supports customers to integrate people, processes, equipment, systems, and facilities into high-performing, low-risk operations.


The Challenge

The business of commissioning a data center goes well beyond ensuring processes, systems or expansions meet the owner’s requirements. In fact, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) asserts that the focus of data center commissioning is “verifying and documenting that the facility and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the needs of the owner.”

To successfully commission a data center, CAI agents work through an exhaustive list of tasks for their clients and are involved in every step, from predesign and design to construction and ongoing maintenance. Previously, these tasks were being completed using multiple Excel worksheets and siloed databases. There was no central process, no scalability options and certainly no way to accurately collect, track and store data for the entire process.


There was no central process, no scalability options and certainly no way to accurately collect, track and store data for the entire process.


The Solution

Using the Coactive platform, we created an application that centralized all workflows, processes and tasks involved in commissioning a data center. We designed customized features that allowed for:

  • Centralized data collecting, storing and analyzing

  • Consistent issue and task resolution logging

  • Transparent and real-time documentation tracking, reviewing and approval workflows

  • Increased control on forecasting

  • Decreased overall risks

Let’s look at two examples:

#1 Improved commissioning of data center equipment

This part of the overall list of data center commissioning tasks is a mission-critical priority. Not only does the equipment represent a major capital investment for the data center owner, but failure or problems associated with data center equipment leads to a drop in overall operating efficiency levels and an increased risk of costly downtime. With the average cost per minute of unplanned downtime, according to ITPro Today, at $7,900, it was vital, therefore, that CAI agents were able to increase the control and decrease the risk of problems associated with this part of the process. After evaluating where the current risks lay, we used the Coactive platform to build in features that enabled:

  • Accurate tracking of all equipment to be commissioned

  • Immediate overviews of current commissioning status

  • Historical data (dates of last update, name of test engineer, etc.)

  • Forecasting of any project or equipment delay expectations

  • Issue and task tracking

  • Testing status – completion percentage, status of documentation, etc.

#2 Faster & more accurate daily reporting

Reporting is a fundamental part of many workflows, whether they are a simple sequence of work activities, or (as in the case of the end-client) a complicated collection of processes that take place in parallel. Reporting automation is vital for competitive business. It leads to overall efficiency and cost savings. 

Before using the Coactive platform, the process of amalgamating all the information and data from several sources into one single daily report for the client would take at least 60-90 minutes to complete. Furthermore, it was prone to both human error and inaccurate data (thanks to the multiple spreadsheets and siloed data platforms/ programs that fed into it). After using the Coactive platform, CAI agents reported that the same task now took just 10 minutes to complete. 


The ResultS

It is interesting to note that the application built using the Coactive platform was not designed by a professional developer. In fact it was built by a Citizen Developer using the Coactive proprietary low-code/ no-code platform. Using existing business process knowledge, coupled with the capability of CAI Tech software, this person was able to connect the dots and build an application that improved the overall competitive advantage of the company. That is the power of the Coactive platform: transforming overbearing and highly manual workflows and information management processes into simplified, centralized applications that eliminate inefficiencies and unnecessary complexities. In this case, the app even decreased the number of hours that agents were working overtime to complete tasks.

The benefits

Our client reported the following immediate benefits:

  • Reduced errors - Up to 75% fewer post-delivery rework issues reported

  • Improved communication - More than 6 x faster to deliver daily reports to end-client

  • Real-time accuracy - Up to 75% more accurate equipment tracking

  • Automation, automation, automation - From issue & task tracking, daily reports, real-time communications, intuitive dashboards, documentation management and more, this app has it all when it comes to state-of-the-art commissioning agent software.