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Many utilities still operate their back office information technology (IT) in separate “silos” that are poorly integrated. Now the electric power industry is turning its attention to creating the same kind of “enterprise class” systems that have been popular in other industries for the past two decades. The Smart Grid build out will require many utilities to invest heavily in modernizing their back office operations – and as you’ll learn in this section, some familiar names from the computing industry are offering high-power technologies custom-tailored for them.

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How to enhance utility performance and value through the Internet of Things

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, IT and OT convergence, Schneider Electric, Internet of Things, electric utilities
The world utilities operate in is getting less “traditional” quickly, and the number of non-traditional customers, those generating their own electricity, is growing. All of that is forcing utilities to collaborate across traditional boundaries. Guest author Ron Chebra explains why and how the Utility Internet of Things can be a valuable solution to help them accomplish that feat successfully.

What to do today to prepare for Big Change tomorrow (from a telecom veteran)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Big Data, utility business model, utility transformation, smart grid strategy
With massive change coming in the utility business environment, it’s not hard to understand that figuring out how and where to begin to cope with it is a challenge. In the age of the data driven utility, guest author Thomas Zimmermann counsels utilities to take an incremental approach for the best outcome to what will be a major transformation.

Get our latest infographic: 4 things to look for in a workflow solution

Smart Grid, utility operations, utility workflow solution, Elster workflow solution, Elster smart grid, Modern Grid, Smart Grid Deployment, AMI, Smart Meters, Power Grid, Smart Electric Grid, Electric Utilities,
One smart way utilities can prepare for inevitable changes ahead is to significantly upgrade their day-to-day operations. And a smart way to do that is with a business workflow solution. Learn how to pick the right one with our new (free) infographic.

IoT gets a boost from Cisco in Barcelona (and more smart grid developments)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors
This week’s collection of smart grid wins makes up for its brevity with a healthy dose of variety, from IoT and transmission to metering, a new partnership on cybersecurity and grants for community microgrids in California.

Grid security: Why it may be safer to switch our control centers to the cloud

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, control center security, cloud computing, smart grid research
A lot of utility professionals may scoff at the thought of moving control center functions to the cloud, but one group of researchers believes it could be a way to protect critical systems and keep the electric grid up and running. Take a look at our brief summary to find out why.

Smart grid wins: Opower files for IPO (and much more news of the week)

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, financing, IT, renewables, smart meters, transmission
It’s been yet another big week for smart grid projects and developments, not to mention interesting news on renewable energy company First Wind’s infusion of cash and Opower’s long-rumored IPO. Click for details on those stories and other news from a variety of smart grid companies.

Is Big Data the Next Next Thing?

smart grid, smart grid technology, analytics, Big Data, Next Next Thing, smart grid trends, electric utilities
What’s the Next Next Thing? It’s that development, concept, technology or something else that could mean a major shift in the evolution of smart grid within the next few years. And it’s just over the horizon where we can’t quite see it yet. We asked knowledgeable industry professionals to share their insights on what the Next Next Thing might be and why. We’re kicking off the series with their takes on Big Data.

Solving the utility workforce crisis: a fresh approach from PwC

Smart grid, smart grid strategy, utility workforce management, workforce crisis, electric utilities
If you ask utility execs what gives them nightmares, workforce stability is likely to be somewhere near the top of the list. Older, skilled employees are retiring at an increasing rate as the economy improves, and there are just not enough skilled replacements to go around. PwC offers some concrete, direct solutions to get workforce management on track and in tune with the times.

Biggest concern for data center managers? Energy efficiency

Smart grid, smart grid technology, data centers, energy efficiency, critical issues
Data centers have become one of the largest consumers of electric power, and they’re getting bigger to meet growing consumer demand for services. A recent survey says data center managers are on a continuous and urgent quest to find ways to cut costs and boost energy efficiency.

Smart grid wins: first major U.S. transmission project in decades (and more)

Smart grid, smart grid technology, transmission, IT, energy management, customer information systems, electric utilities, smart grid vendors
As always, there is a lot of variety in this week’s collection of smart grid wins, including the first major U.S. transmission project in decades, grid modernization, energy and workforce management, customer information systems and a prestigious award for EnerNex and NIST.

Gartner messed up? What utilities need to know about workforce management

Smart grid, smart grid technology, workforce management, smart grid strategy, Gartner, Inc., electric utilities
While Gartner Inc. has a long history and remains one of the most respected IT research and advisory firms, we think they missed the mark with a recent analysis of workforce management. Read the story, download the free report and see what you think.

Grappling with data? You may be overlooking your GIS system

Smart grid, smart grid technology, GIS, geographic information systems, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
It’s no secret that Big Data is a major challenge for utilities that want to take advantage of the wealth of information it contains, but aren’t sure how to get at it. Bill Meehan of Esri suggests the answers to their questions are readily available with a tool they already have: GIS mapping. He explains inside.

Smart grid solutions for data centers (can you say "self-healing?")

Smart grid, smart grid technology, data analytics, MDM, data centers, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Data centers use a staggering amount of power, and they’re getting bigger to meet growing demand. Troy Miller of S&C Electric Company explains why the traditional electrical systems that support them need to change. And he offers some solid recommendations on where to start.

Better late than never: Intel sets sights on smart grid market

Smart grid, smart grid companies, smart grid technologies, Intel, Alstom, partnerships
It took Intel a long time to get serious about the smart grid market, but now the company is partnering with Alstom to develop solutions and technologies for smart grids and smart cities. The companies have collaborated on projects in recent years, so the partnership seems like a natural progression.

IT/OT convergence best practices webinar presentation materials

Download the presentation materials used in the Aug. 21, 2013 Lessons from the Real World webinar on best practices in IT/OT convergence.

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