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Energy and Utility

OT-IT convergence, transparent information technology, smart grid solutions

The electric energy industry for decades operated an easy model – the energy was provided when this was needed by the customer. The model is changing. The traditionally centralized, distributed, fossil or nuclear energy production transforms stage by stage using distributed energy resources (DER). The question is not what brings the change induced by DER, but how fast it happens. The DER model completely transforms the current one-way value chain from production, though sales, delivery and distribution to retail trade. New entrants appear in the market ecosystem along the traditional players – customers who, in addition to the consumption, fill the producer position in the two-way value chain.

The utility sector has no homogeneous structure, so its players face different challenges after the start of the credit crisis. The potential for electric service revenue growth is still vague due to slowly increasing consumption. To cover investments there are various “fee” scenarios with which the change in infrastructure needs can be funded, while the state-owned utilities are not in a position to raise rates. The gas supply ecosystem is slightly in a better position, because through new gas service opportunities new customers can be acquired, and in parallel the market price of spot gas increases in a “healthy” rate. For the water utilities the biggest challenge is the aging infrastructure. In addition, poor knowledge of their customers about water value chain makes it difficult to maintain a safe water supply.

The “smart / clever” and “grid / distributed” concepts seem to be sufficiently attractive for a lot in the last five years in order to implement heavy investment in “smart grid” and IT systems that support them. These improvements are most characteristic for the electric service providers, but some gas and water suppliers have also entered.

The utility customers claim to increase demand for service reliability and duration and scheduling of outage and recovery, as well as for multi-channel communications.

In the business model transformation the biggest challenge is the complete transformation of the customers’ needs – clients expect the same experience, which they have accustomed to in their retail or banking relations, i.e. calls for short response time and two-way communication using social networks and mobile devices. This will require significant cultural and technological convergence improvements.

NETvisor’s ICT operations support the development and knowledge of stakeholders in the utility sector. The Technology Support Operations (OT) – especially the two-way communication, smart devices and SCADA – is developing rapidly changing way distribution networks currently monitored. The development of information technology (IT) impacts on the development of the OT also using advantages that appear in mobile technology, in analysis and in system integration. Although the development of IT and OT has been made next to each other, but in separate silos, the expectations for the convergence of these are not new.

NETvisor provides effective support for its customers in the convergence of OT-IT systems and processes along market demand, by creating a higher standard of customer experience and creating a more efficient decision-making process.

Transparent IT processes and constantly accountable IT service quality are enabled by NETvisor’s operations support solutions. Our ICT systems integration specialists plan the infrastructure enhancements based on a preliminary performance assessment with vendor-independent approach and outstanding expertise, or propose to eliminate the identified bottlenecks. NETvisor provides the following services and solutions:

  • Support, measurement and accounting for transparent business processes
  • Quality assurance of SLA-based IT and business services
  • Industrial Internet-based service management
  • Consolidated ICT infrastructure planning and implementation
  • ICT operation support systems
  • IT capacity map, monitoring, planning, audit
  • IT security management (standardization, compliance)