The network will bring together customers and partners − including leading utilities companies, independent software vendors (ISVs), systems integrators (SIs) and technology vendors − with SAP to address key business challenges and solutions for the utilities industry. Supporting the goal of enabling a best-run utility, members of the IVN for utilities will collaborate on automated metering infrastructure (AMI) composite applications and the optimization of asset management programs integrating outage management systems (OMS) and geographic information systems (GIS).
The IVN for utilities will join 12 existing IVNs in the aerospace and defense, automotive, banking, chemicals, consumer products, high tech, mining, retail, oil and gas, public sector, travel and transportation services, and forest and paper industries. The announcement was made at the CIS Conference 31, being held in Orlando, Florida, May 21-24.
The launch of the IVN for utilities demonstrates SAP’s dedication to developing customer-driven solutions and thought leadership in this market. The forum will foster collaboration between partners such as Accenture, Atos Origin, ESRI, IBM, ITRON, Landis+Gyr, LeT Systems, LogicaCMG, Meridium, OSIsoft, OXS and SmartSignal and utilities companies from the SAP(R) for Utilities customer base of more than 1,100 companies from 70 countries, in both regulated and deregulated markets around the world. The IVN will also benefit from SAP’s experience in running the one of the largest user groups in the utilities industry. Furthermore, the IVN for utilities will work closely with the SAP Customer Advisory Council, which is comprised of 16 major utilities companies, including Electrabel, E.ON and CLP (formerly known as China Light and Power).
“In today’s interconnected world, co-innovation powers better business solutions,” said Philip Pouillie, director, IT Governance, Electrabel and chairman of the SAP Utility Customer Advisory Council. “The IVN for utilities is an innovative approach to obtain customer value by leveraging the SAP ecosystem to collaborate on the most pressing business challenges in our industry.”
Addressing business challenges for utilities: Advanced metering infrastructure
Due to growing environmental awareness, increasing regulatory compliance mandates and rising customer expectations, utilities companies are facing a challenging business environment. The IVN for utilities will drive collaboration to deliver innovative solutions, integration scenarios and new technologies, such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that pave the way for new energy products, demand-response programs and process automation.
By collaborating with partners, SAP will help utilities companies develop ‘smart’ solutions with core processes integrated into AMI that analyze data in real-time, allowing companies to make better decisions regarding customer service and network management. The collaboration will also drive the sophistication of asset management programs needed to continuously improve the balance of asset reliability and costs, as a holistic approach to enterprise-level data involves integration to network management systems including geospatial information systems (GIS), outage management systems (OMS) and distribution management systems (DMS). Business benefits for utilities companies include reduced operational risks, minimized costs-to-serve and improved customer service.
SAP NetWeaver is platform for co-innovation
IVN members plan to leverage the SAP NetWeaver platform to co-design a real-time energy supply chain from production to delivery and supply. Process definitions by the IVN are supported by development of the corresponding enterprise services in the Enterprise Services Community program, which utilizes the business-driven blueprint of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) to enable the close integration between technical and commercial processes.
“The IVN for utilities will build on the collective knowledge of the SAP ecosystem to help solve our customers’ most critical business challenges,” said Stefan Engelhardt, vice president, Utilities, SAP. “The formation of the IVN for utilities emphasizes SAP’s commitment to develop innovative solutions for current and future challenges that are impacting the utilities industry, including compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and the changing business models and roles of utility enterprises.”
SAP will be showcasing AMI solutions from its SAP for Utilities solution portfolio at booth 601at the CIS 31 Conference, being held in Orlando, Florida, May 21-24.