Given how hard and how long it took for the deployment of relatively smart meters and their enabling communications, it may seem hard to believe but some of them are already reaching the end of their lifecycles. This is a good thing. Meter technology has come a long way. More importantly the mobile technologies that can enable utility company optimization of the reading and analyzing of the information gathered from smart meters have advanced at breathtaking speed. In short, in many parts of the world utilities are looking for a mobility reboot/refresh.
But, what are utilities looking for as they plan ahead in the smart grid era?
One place to look is at what Enexis, a regional electricity and gas network operator in The Netherlands, did when faced with the realities of its end-of-life mobile solutions, and was desirous of a new mobile platform that would allow it to quickly develop new applications quickly and deploy them securely.
In what is almost a blueprint on how to think about getting from here to there, Enexis created a pilot program to stress test its ability to deploy customized Enexis Apps, standard Apple (News - Alert) apps, and tablets used in meter recording. The goal was to provide enhanced wireless connectivity and functionality to support its field force employees who read meters outdoors at customer locations.
With support from SAP and Capgemini (News - Alert), Enexis deployed a managed mobility solution to remotely connect its backend for planning, accessing customer information, and retrieving meter data with its field force collecting the data in real-time.
Development, organization, use, and maintenance of apps as a hosted service
Incorporation in the Enexis system landscape and in the IM organization
Integration with Enexis SAP (News - Alert) IS-U system based on the SAP Mobile Platform (Sybase Unwired Platform) as a managed service
While our industry is filled with acronyms, the MaaS one (Mobility-as-a-Service) seems extremely appropriate.
As a result of the success of the pilot program, Enexis is now in a position to share more meaningful customer information, and believes it can be an ambassador for best practices to utility companies around the world on leveraging new mobile solutions to improve operational excellence. In addition, Enexis also expects to improve employee satisfaction as a result of the reduction in work process complexity.
If you would like to hear more about the cutting-edge work begin done by Enexis, you are invited to participate in the webinar, How Enexis Creates a Smarter Power Grid through Mobile Innovation, to be held Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:00 AM EST / 8:00 AM PST | 5:00 PM CET. Join Frank van Rossum, Enexis Project Manager of IT & Mobility, Wybe Horsman, Project Manager, Capgemini; and, Sonny Dasgupta, Director, Product Marketing, SAP Mobile Solutions as they share the lessons learned and expected benefits of increased process efficiency gained through MaaS, and find out how this project provided input for a broader mobile strategy.
Edited by Ryan Sartor