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Utilities

Highlights

  • Smart grids revolutionizing the volume of data available
  • Consumers are becoming power producers
  • New demands from electric vehicles and smart cities
  • Smart meters are transforming meter- to-cash
  • Global smart grid data analytics market to triple by 2022
  • Smart gas market worth $11.31 billion by 2019
  • Revenue from the home energy sector to more than double by 2023
  • 27% of EU energy consumption from renewables by 2030

Digital Journey

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
The smart grid is the vision for the future of energy. Driven by data, it allows utilities build better customer relationships, gain control of the low voltage network and optimize distribution and renewables mix. Customers play a more active role, but require more choices and more information.
BUSINESS REINVENTION
Every utility faces an extraordinary period of transition. Companies face new economic, operational and political issues alongside a whole new landscape that includes smart grids, sustainable and renewable energy management, electricity storage, electric vehicles and the connected home.
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
Utility companies are under unprecedented pressure to reduce cost and increase operational efficiency right across their chains of operation. With the margin for price increase in the end product limited, cost needs to be addressed urgently to prevent it eroding competitiveness.
TRUST AND COMPLIANCE
The well-being of people, industry and economy depends on safe, secure, sustainable and affordable water, heat and light. Utilities need to protect their services and the data they hold from virtual and physical attack while rapidly complying with the changing regulatory environment.

Jérôme de Parscau

CEO Atos Worldgrid, C&SI E&U market head

Mauro Grimoldi

Global E&U Account Management Leader

With the smart grid and its multitude of smart devices revolutionizing the volume of data available, companies will have better insight into the way customers behave, consume and, sometimes, produce energy.

Technologies in the Digital Journey
Technology x y x (phone) y (phone) Impact Range Section Keys Description
Innovation value web 93 37 88 67 Early Adoption 2017 Low business With so many new possibilities emerging, innovation value webs are helping utilities facilitate open innovation beyond the enterprise borders, enhancing collaboration and communication across the wider partner ecosystem. The new social business tools that lie at their core encourage the participation required to develop the new marketplace of ideas.
Context-rich systems 77 36 63 70 Adolescent 2017 Medium business Designed around the user experience, context-rich systems bring together insight from diverse systems to proactively anticipate each customer’s individual needs. These systems may, for example, adjust content based on anything from where a customer is in their billing cycle to their location, device-type, network and input capabilities – or even weather and events local to the customer.
Pattern-matching technologies 57 27 70 25 Early Adoption 2018 High trust Pattern-matching technologies supported by high performance computing will help companies identify hidden usage patterns and untapped energy efficiency opportunities and better understand their customers. They will also help with identifying and address customer behaviors that might result in non-technical losses.
5G networks 55 58 65 60 Emerging 2019+ Medium excellence,experience Whereas once data from the connected home was transmitted over Wi-Fi to a router and via broadband to the utility’s distribution center, all data is now simply sent over a combination of the pervasive 5G and IoT-optimized Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN).
Internet of
Things
66 8 36 15 Early Adoption 2017 Transformational business,excellence,experience The vision of a connected home is fast becoming a reality. Customers – particularly disabled customers – appreciate being able to control their heating remotely using an app on their smartphone, smartwatch or even from within their connected car. Recent innovations are integrating customers’ social media accounts and utility data with the smart appliances, heating and water systems that are already connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Winters are less of a worry these days. If a connected sensor were ever to identify a burst pipe, social technologies would swiftly alert customer and utility company. With customer data also connected to the IoT, a utility maintenance engineer can be sent straight to the property.
High performance computing 43 12 30 15 Adolescent 2018 Transformational trust,experience Integrating information on networks, people and budgets has further enhanced visibility and with it project and incident management. High performance computing helps utilities process the vast volumes of data now available
Autonomous vehicles 82 51 85 59 Adolescent 2018 Low business Engineers are using their wearable devices to communicate with the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that they now use to inspect plants. Often referred to simply as ‘drones’, these UAVs have relieved engineers from hazardous inspection activities and saved utility companies a great deal of time and expense. Onboard cameras relay videos and photos to the operator, while sensors gather data on the environment – on temperature and air quality, for example.
Augmented reality 72 52 73 66 Adolescent 2018 Medium experience,excellence Out in the field engineers access vital information hands-free through modern wearables, improving productivity and safety. Augmented reality provides step-by-step instructions on how to maintain equipment, equipment maintenance or performance histories or even details on how to unlock a secure cabin. Embedded cameras relay pictures back to base to record activities or tap into the insight of a specialist engineer.
Edge computing 70 54 69 69 Adolescent 2018 Medium experience Edge computing processes critical data near to its source to ensure it’s available in real time. In the event of an emergency, the control center can understand the situation in real time and quickly divert appropriate engineers to deal with the problem.
Wearable computing 76 15 74 24 Early Adoption 2017 High excellence,experience Customers are able to interact seamlessly with their utility company across a wide variety of channels – online, mobile, social, wearables and more.
Streaming analytics 73 14 58 28 Early Adoption 2017 High excellence,experience The immense volumes of real-time data coming from millions of smart meters are processed in an instant on numerous streaming analytics platforms, which ensure utility companies have a clear picture of the precise demand throughout the day.
More agile than ever before, utilities act on the intelligence provided by these smart grids in almost real time to optimize supply to business and residential customers alike. This continual and real-time insight gives customers better insight into their consumption, which, in turn, is helping to optimize meter-to-cash processes.
Hybrid cloud 93 21 82 75 Early Adoption 2016 Low experience,excellence Cloud computing has been helping utilities to reduce cost and carbon footprint for some time; customer and usage data is managed securely under an internally-managed private cloud. Companies are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud services to enhance customers’ utility information with external data, such as weather information, settings for their smart meter or home automation device, or even a mapping service that locates the nearest available car charging station.
In-memory computing 79 24 68 44 Early Adoption 2017 Medium experience,excellence Billing is a long process. Meter-to-cash can be improved. Utilities are launching trials of in-memory solutions such as SAP HANA to improve the quality of invoicing, reducing errors and unbilled revenues.
In-memory technologies for ERP or vertical applications for utilities can change the way a business user works and free up their time to evaluate the quality of outputs such as invoices, reports, balance sheets, scheduling of activities and more.
Machine-to-machine 84 17 56 67 Early Adoption 2016 Medium business,excellence Emergencies are few and far between these days. Smart, data-driven prescriptive maintenance programs not only eliminate major breakdowns, they also extend the life of assets while ensuring perfectly good parts aren’t replaced unnecessarily. Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology continually transmits diagnostic data from machinery in the field or in the plant to an intelligent system in the central control center.
Prescriptive analytics 47 34 35 48 Adolescent 2018 High excellence Advanced prescriptive analytics determine maintenance requirements and prescribe a course of action that will ensure equipment is repaired or replaced before it fails. What’s more, an engineer assigned to a maintenance task knows exactly what is involved and which parts are required – reducing repair times and costs.
Self-adaptive security 67.5 50 65 61 Adolescent 2018 Medium trust While trusted information brokers provide utilities with the confidence to share information with new service partners, dynamic access control ensures partners and employees alike have access to the information, systems and locations they need to access, but only when they need it.
Cloud Service Integration 65 37 62 50 Adolescent 2018 Medium excellence As systems move into the cloud, Cloud Service Integration increases agility by connecting cloud-based services. Cloud-based federated identity services simplify the extension of identity and access management across hosted systems, particularly diverse systems brought together by company mergers and acquisitions.
In the future trusted information brokers will act as a central verification service to avoid the need for individual registration and authentication of each cloud service.
LPWAN 61 45 55 62 Adolescent 2018 Medium excellence Whereas once data from the connected home was transmitted over Wi-Fi to a router and via broadband to the utility’s distribution center, all data is now simply sent over a combination of the pervasive 5G and IoT-optimized Low-Power Wide- Area Networks (LPWAN).
3D printing 51 42 39 61 Adolescent 2018 High excellence Back at base, the vast engineers’ store rooms that were once full from floor to ceiling with parts of all different shapes and sizes are virtually nowhere to be seen. Modern 3D printing technology has virtually wiped them out. When an engineer is assigned to a job, any parts he may need are created there and then. Utilities no longer need to spend money upfront on parts that may never be required.
Distributed
analytics
67 35 79 30 Early Adoption 2018 Medium experience,business,excellence Analytics running across distributed platforms give utilities an end-to-end
view across high-, medium- and low- voltage networks. These distributed analytics platforms provide the converged intelligence and visibility that allows utilities to make better informed decisions, minimizing any risk of disruption to supply. Leading-edge utilities are including the whereabouts of engineers, their shift patters, SCADA data and budget forecasts in this picture.
Social media
analytics
91 9 84 23 Mainstream 2016 Medium experience Now the primary channel for engaging with utilities, social media is also somewhere customers can call for help or simply discuss their issues and experiences with their friends and family. Utilities companies are employing social media analytics to identify network emergencies; understand general customer issues and desires; identify and respond to individual customer’s gripes; gather intelligence on individual customers and quickly address any reputation-damaging sentiment.
Geo-location technologies 89 13 77 40 Mainstream 2016 Medium excellence Combined with geo-location technologies and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, sensors ensure engineers are safe
– that they’re wearing safety equipment correctly, their equipment is performing optimally and the environment around them doesn’t pose any risks. The data gathered can be gathered to form a 3D visualization of the situation out in the field, which will help to improve safety.
Workforce management 86 8 78 17 Mainstream 2016 High business,excellence Workforce management is helping to reduce cost, especially when full-integrated with: geoportals managing network and assets information; ERP systems managing economical and financial data; MRP systems managing resources and scheduling of maintenance activities; customer portals and CRM systems managing demand rising from the final customers; and finally mobile systems able to dispatch work orders, report work done and manage emergency calls. Saving arising from this kind of projects will be reflected in a huge amount of money with a very quick pay-back period.

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