Two ecological organizations chose the Coral Platform

Two organizations share their user experience during their 2019 field operations.

In this article, discover how the Coral Platform was used in two separate field operations, sharing a common objective: saving potable water. In 2019, agreements between Hydro-Quebec and the municipalities of Montreal and Quebec allowed the creation of two pilot projects. Their purpose was to offer free installation of Ecofitt Solution’s potable water economy kits at willing citizen homes. Let us remind you that in 2017, the distribution of potable water in the province of Quebec was the highest in the country. According to Statistics Canada, this distribution rose to 530 liters per person per day in Quebec. This was 24 % above the Canadian average.

The <<As-tu ta pomme de douche?>> pilot project

On June 3rd of 2019, the borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the Regroupement des éco-quartiers (REQ), in collaboration with the city of Montreal and Hydro-Quebec, launch the ‘’As-tu ta pomme de douche’’ (meaning: Do you have your showerhead?) pilot project. Montreal’s water service mandates the REQ to supervise the pilot project. The REQ oversees the work of agents of the Patrouille Bleue, tasked with going through the Mercier-Est borough. Agents offer citizens free installation of WaterSense® approved showerheads. The Patrouille Bleu is also in charge of collecting various data regarding water use in citizen’s homes.

For this field data collection operation, the REQ chose to use the Coral Platform. Manon Giri, project manager for the organization, directs field operations and manages data. One of Coral Platform’s team members offers her a personalized introduction, allowing her to fully understand how the platform works and all of its capacities.

<<I was able to train the Patrouille Bleu’s agents to use the Coral Platform in the field data collection for this pilot project myself>>

-Manon Giri, project manager for the Regroupement of eco-quartiers.

Mercier-East’s field operation

On June 4th, the Patrouille Bleue team began its field operation using the Coral Platform from the start. Its seven agents, electronic tablet on hand, start going from door to door in the Mercier-East area. In the course of their field operations, agents can collect around a hundred data surveys each day. Among other things, the platform allows teams to know their whereabouts in the field. A layer of data identifying public restrooms and drinking fountains is also available to help teams save time along their way.

The agents of the Patrouille Bleue who participated in the ''As-tu ta pomme de douche'' pilot project and its field operation.

During the operation, members of the Patrouille Bleue report an irritating detail to their supervisor at the time, Mathieu Tossollini. Entering addresses manually on their tablets is time-consuming, and it also makes data management more complex. The REQ shares this detail with their contact at Chaac Technologies, the company behind the Coral Platform. To solve this problem, Chaac’s team quickly develops a new address auto-fill function and integrate it into the platform. 

Quebec’s field operation

Also collaborating with Hydro-Quebec, the City of Quebec mandates the Organisme des bassins-versants de la Capitale (OBV de la Capitale, the Capital’s watershed organism) to oversee their own pilot project. The OBV de la Capitale assigns a few agents from their Brigade de l’eau (Water Brigade) to go through two targeted neighborhoods. Their mission consists in offering to willing citizens the installation of free potable water saving kits. On top of this, the Brigade de l’eau must also collect data on water debits of facilities within their home. Péroline Lescot, project manager for the OBV de la Capitale, mentions that the organisation uses paper forms at the beginning of their operation.

<<Compiling information daily and transferring data into digital files manually was a laborious work.>>

-Péroline Lescot, Project manager for the Organisme des bassins versants de la Capitale.

A new tool for their field operation

Then, a contact at Ecofitt Solutions suggests the use of the Coral Platform for their field operation. The project manager decides to contact Chaac’s team. A team member quickly organizes an introduction to demonstrate the use of the Coral Platform. The OBV de la Capitale chose to continue their field operation using the Coral Platform. The organization also decides to acquire electronic tablets. A member of the Coral Platform’s team offers in-person training to the OBV de la Capitale’s project managers, along with personalized support for their operation. This enables Péroline Lescot to create the form to use in their operation herself. She also trains the Brigade de l’eau’s agents to use their new tools in the field.

Members of the Brigade de l'eau's 2019 edition, in charge of offering potable water saving kits during a pilot project.

The OBV de la Capitale continues its operation with all the advantages of using the Coral Platform:

  • Agents of the Brigade de l’eau now complete electronic forms, which are much easier to handle in the field.
  • They use the application’s cartography to locate their whereabouts in the field.
  • The transfer of data is now automated.
  • Project managers can follow their team’s progress in the field in real time, on their dashboard.

Important savings

As you can see, these pilot projects from the summer of 2019 are similar. For instance, their objectives of installing free potable water-saving kits, providing citizens with means to save considerable amounts of drinking water and electric utility fees. On the other hand, the areas in which these pilot projects took place have a very different population density. The number of residents in Montreal’s Mercier-East area is superior to those living in the Quebec neighborhoods, where the pilot project took place. Altogether, these two pilot projects enabled the distribution of over 4000 WaterSense® approved showerheads. To give yourself an idea of potential potable water savings, calculate it using Hydro-Quebec’s free online estimation tool.

These two different customer journeys do not lie. The Coral platform simplifies data collection and management in field operations, and much more. Start using it for free!

Why is our Platform named Coral?

Discover how the name is related to data collection!

To help you understand why we named it the Coral Platform, you have to learn about its original environment. This story begins in 2009 when Guillaume Nepveu is working on different field data collection operations. Most of the operations he is called upon are environmental emergencies. This brought him on the field data management team, on a particular oil spill. The one which occurred due to the infamous Lac-Megantic train derailment, in 2013. During this specific environmental emergency, the need to modernize field data collection mechanisms became prominent.

The need for an efficient solution

Hence, in 2014, Guillaume founded Chaac Technologies, with the purpose to simplify field data collection. He assembled a small team in Montreal, to develop a new application. This application will cater to the need to modernize field data collection processes in environmental emergencies.

The small team had to find a name for their product before they could think of presenting their application prototype to anyone. That name has to meet a few criteria. For instance, it must:

  • Be easy to pronounce in both English and French
  • Have only two syllables
  • Refer to the environment, the organization’s original field of expertise

And so, the Coral name surfaced during a brainstorm, from the imagination of one of the developers exchanging with the founder. After checking online, Coral was not used by any other app in a similar spectrum. That’s how their application was called Coral!

The founder then notified a few stakeholders from the environmental sector. He announced that Chaac Technologies’ team was working on a solution that might interest them. Its purpose is to simplify field data collection.

Only a few days later, a contact from Environment and Climate Change Canada invites him to present the application’s prototype. Arriving at the meeting, he realized that his audience was bigger than he expected. In fact, a complete environmental emergency response team was there to listen to his presentation. The team agreed that this type of application could be useful in field data collection operations.

A first chance

Suddenly, one of the experts present at the meeting raised an opportunity to test the application. As a matter of fact, the spillage of contaminants emerging from a shipwreck was to be observed in the near future. The young entrepreneur immediately jumped on the occasion.  He was confident that his team could make the application prototype functional for their operation.

‘’So began our most intense development blitz! We needed to make the application functional in time, in order to respond to their needs!’’

– Guillaume Nepveu, Chaac Technologies founder and president.

3 months after creating the company, it’s product is being used by a team on a field data collection operation.  Environment and Climate Change Canada’s team was then able to collect and export their data. That’s how they became the application’s first users. To this day, the organization is still using it! In fact, data from their first collection operation was recently integrated to Coral App’s most recent version, upon their request.

Image illustrating that the Coral Platform can be used to collect data off-line with a smartphone or tablet, the data collected can be synced when connection is available, and users can visualise and export it on the dashboard-type web application.

Much more than a data collector

Today, Coral has become much more than a field data collection application. In 2017, Chaac Technologies’ team developed what is now the Coral Platform. The Coral Platform keeps evolving with the purpose to consolidate all technologies required in field operations. It now features:

  • A field data collection application offered on iOS and Android
  • A dashboard-type web application. Allowing users to:
    • Better prepare field operations
    • Visualize data following operations
    • Export data in various formats
  • A web application allowing users to store, visualize and share drone collected data

In conclusion, we can honestly say that the Coral Platform adapts to it’s user’s needs and the tools they use. The truth is it is still evolving, as a coral ecosystem expands. Also, in the very near future, the Coral Platform will have a new web application feature. One which will allow users to access virtual reality training modules. To better train their workforce, user will be able to:

  • Share specific VR training with selected team members
  • Follow their participant’s progress

We invite you to start using the Coral Platform for free today!