SAP Utilities Customers Lead the Charge
SAP Utilities Customers Lead the Charge Towards Integrated AMI
Seven Industry Leaders and SAP Band Together to Expand the Vision of “Smart Grid” by Bringing Smarter, More Advanced Metering Solution to Market
In collaboration with seven major utility companies, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced a joint effort to solve one of the most important technology challenges facing the utilities industry over the next decade: integration of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) with Enterprise technology. AMI is the technical foundation for the industry’s broader “Smart Grid” vision aimed at improving energy efficiency and grid reliability. SAP and the participating utility companies have formed the SAP AMI Lighthouse Council to address AMI from the back office to the meter, with the objective of integrating the SAP for Utilities solution to market-leading AMI Systems.
The formation of the SAP AMI Lighthouse Council demonstrates a commitment to a new AMI approach that aims to achieve integration of end-to-end processes between the meter and the backend systems and to reduce a company’s total cost of ownership for AMI infrastructure. Efficient and scalable end-to-end integration is fundamental to both the success of utility AMI initiatives and to delivering shareholder value for the sizeable investment that AMI requires.
For the past nine months, the SAP AMI Lighthouse Council – comprised of CenterPoint Energy, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Consumers Energy, Energy East, Florida Power & Light, Oklahoma Gas & Electric and Public Service Electric & Gas – has been shaping the integration of SAP® solutions with AMI solutions for business processes, including customer relationship and billing and enterprise asset management. The SAP AMI Lighthouse Council also includes several strategic vendors, eMeter, Itron and OSIsoft. These vendors offer meter data unification and synchronisation solutions that act as a powerful hub for meter and event data between AMI systems and the downstream SAP solutions.
“This has been and continues to be an impressive and somewhat unparalleled industry collaboration,” said Wayne Longcore, manager of enterprise architecture and standards, Consumers Energy. “Every stakeholder in this process, including the utilities, the partners and SAP, has invested the resources necessary to put AMI-enabled business processes at the fore, giving the business a seat at the AMI table.”
Ian Black, managing director SAP New Zealand, says that New Zealand is at the forefront of AMI technology. “Within New Zealand, there are many Advance Meter rollout projects currently underway. For New Zealand consumers, AMI promises to deliver a broader choice of product offerings while providing greater visibility to the customer on the impact of their power consumption choices. SAP is well positioned to provide key capabilities to utility companies in New Zealand including the integration of SAP solutions with AMI solutions for business processes, including customer relationship and billing and enterprise asset management.”
Integration of SAP for Utilities
SAP utility customers recognise that leveraging AMI technology will require integration with the various utility applications that form the basis of their systems of record. This integration is important when tying AMI to key utility business processes, and enables utility companies to manage the processes differently than they do today. Examples of important AMI-related processes enabled by the mass deployment of smart meters include performing on-demand reads of a customer’s meter through a call centre, managing remote disconnects and reconnects to support the dunning process and outage reporting, and implementing time of use rates.
“Using smart metering as the foundation to build the intelligent grid makes sense from a consumer and utility view,” said Karen Blackmore, research director, Energy Insights, an IDC company. “The consumer can benefit by getting quicker outage response from the utility and can be more energy efficient by accessing energy usage information via in-home displays. The utility can improve reliability by using interval meter data that feeds into outage management, asset management and load programs. In most cases, cooperative partnerships between vendors and utilities will come up with the best solutions for the utility and its customers.”
“With our AMI technologies and integration with SAP, we can achieve our goals to improve energy efficiency and increase service reliability, optimise our asset utilisation and, most importantly, provide better service to our customers,” said Bob Frazier, director of technology, CenterPoint Energy. “The work of the SAP Lighthouse Council is the enabler of these important benefits.”
The SAP AMI Lighthouse Council devotes significant time to solution architecture and the required interoperability between solution components. Of crucial concern is the management of the potentially enormous amount of metering and event data that can be collected across the AMI network and its resultant dispatch to the applications that need it to help utilities operate as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
“SAP is well known for its industry orientation and its strong interest in co-innovation and collaboration,” said Greg Tomb, president and CEO, SAP Americas. “The SAP AMI Lighthouse Council is a remarkable example of how SAP adds tremendous value to all energy stakeholders by defining what is required to meet collective needs now, while developing future needs. SAP is committed to helping foster this transition by expanding our world-class utility solution to manage AMI-driven business processes both in the United States and globally.”
About SAP® for Utilities
For more than twenty years, SAP has offered the utility industry’s most lauded and recognised Customer Information System, Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Asset Management applications. Deployed in more than 1100 utilities worldwide, SAP serves as the enterprise backbone, ensuring utility business processes work seamlessly and efficiently – even across lines of business – and enabling utilities to manage performance to goals. With its standards-based technology platform, SAP for Utilities delivers the best of both worlds: trusted utility business practices that serve as the utility business process baseline, and Enterprise Services that can participate in new, innovative applications derived from processes and data created through the core applications.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software*. Today, more than 46,100 customers in more than 120 countries run SAP® applications—from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small businesses and midsize companies to suite offerings for global organisations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform to drive innovation and enable business change, SAP software helps enterprises of all sizes around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol “SAP.” (Additional information at http://www.sap.com)
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.
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