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Right-sized Systems Integration for Municipal Utilities

Mike Bianco, VP of Solutions Delivery at BRIDGE Energy Group, to join the panel at DistribuTECH on January 28th from 3-4:30pm as part of the Advanced Metering track

Municipal utilities are a fragmented, albeit important demographic, largely neglected by the initial surge of smart grid spending in the US. Munis are often underprepared to take on the smart grid software marketplace and will often buy what is available based on vendor advisement. As a result, each municipal utility goes through the process of building a datacenter and adding one or more servers on a per-vendor basis.

With a lean IT staff and minimal software development resources, it can be an overwhelming process to develop an effective integration strategy, or blueprint for ongoing implementation and systems integration. In order to climb the mountain of systems integration, it is critical for munis to right size their approach by coming up with a plan, prioritizing their needs, and managing the introduction of technology in a way that is cost effective, measurable, and reduces risk.

The presentation includes a case study for the Town of Danvers. Danvers is a small municipal utility with a total of around 12,900 meters. Evaluations, business requirements, and integration strategy began in 2011. An intensive design phase ran between March and May 2012. Development, incremental enhancements and testing began in May and concluded before the end of December 2012. The software is installed in Danvers and is gradually getting connected to their CIS, GIS, OMS, MDM and AMI systems.

The presentation will walk through a right sized approach to systems integration for Danvers, including a definition of cross cutting business processes and requirements for integration. Lastly, it will speak to the work required to create Smart Grid services and processes that ultimately transform the delivery and operation of utility services for energy consumers. These steps are relevant to all utilities embarking on Smart Grid initiatives and will guide them in taking the right steps forward to a successful and cost effective implementation.

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