Vitria has a number of major utilities companies as customers of our VIA IoT Analytics Platform. We have spent years following the industry, learning their requirements, and working with them to implement solutions to address their business and operational challenges. The industry’s progress in IoT has been steady in the past few years, but in talking with our customers and new prospects in recent months we have seen an increase in both the breadth and depth of their inquiries and requirements. From our “street level” perspective, the influence of alternative energy advancements, new technology, and fresh business models have combined to increase the pace and investment in IoT and Analytics.
What we found interesting in the last 2-3 months is that it seems to us that the headline news has finally caught up with what we are seeing first hand with our customers and prospects. So, for example, Electric Light & Power recently published an article by Roberta Bigliani of IDC Energy Insights entitled “Utilities! Are You Ready For the Future?”. It does a very nice job of running through the predictions for 2017, and closely reflects what are customers are saying. Among the the highlights this year are: the ongoing rise of non-utility companies in the retail energy market, the challenges associated with IoT given existing regulatory frameworks, and the complexity of migrating to cloud services. Here’s a look at what she includes in her Top 10:
Another example of the dynamic environment can be found in Utility Products Magazine – “Power distribution networks brought into the IoT era”. It discusses how Power Distribution networks are being brought into the IoT era via the new wireless router from Nokia. This is one of a series of recent announcements from a wide range of infrastructure vendors that are enabling utilities to capture, process, analyze, and act on data far more than ever before.
Finally, Greentech Media had an excellent round-up on the major highlights from DistribuTech in the recent Grid Edge piece “DistribuTech Roundup: Distributed Energy Intelligence, AMI as IOT, and Better Bird-on-a-Wire Sensors” by Jeff. St. John. Among the usual flurry of announcements, several trends stood out that are consistent with our experience: the ongoing transition of utilities to be true service providers, the expansion of various types of edge devices to improve data collection and management, and the formation of organizations to improve and facilitate inter-operability between grids.