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article imageDigital transformation trends within the utilities sector

By Tim Sandle     Apr 13, 2019 in Business
Expanding data analytics capabilities are enabling utilities companies to make use of archived and real-time data so that supply systems can be made more reliable, affordable and clean. We look at three innovations in the utilities space.
Modern utilities companies have several aims, including seeking cost-effective supply and, with energy companies, power generation drawn from renewables. The aim is that the service is provided in a clean and sustainable manner. To meet these goals, digital transformation strategies are required.
Energy sustainability
Schneider Electric, who specialize in the digital transformation in energy management and automation, have recently launched the Schneider Electric Exchange. This is designed to be a cross-industry open ecosystem focused on tackling real-world sustainability and efficiency challenges.
The Schneider Electric Exchange will help to create and scale business solutions, designed to keep pace with as digitisation alters the way companies interact and how energy becomes more distributed. The Schneider Electric Exchange provides a network of technical tools and resources to help startups in the energy sector to develop, share, and sell digital and IoT innovations.
Digital energy platform
Digital transformation specialists Atos have assisted the Italian energy company Illumia to digitally transform its business, a process that took just 15 months. The process centered on Atos’ digital energy platform, which is called "DORA" (Digital Operations for Retailers by Atos).
Illumia chose DORA due to its for sales channels and customer service functionality. According to Claudio Carrà, Chief Technology Officer of Illumia: “We have migrated the business data of the last five years, carried out three months of training and two months of testing on the platform involving 70 internal users. This first milestone now allows us to manage all business processes in an integrated manner.”
Digital transformation is regarded as necessary for energy companies in an increasingly complex and competitive sector, to help to provide better services, intercept new customers, innovate and diversify product offerings.
Underground mapping
In a further example, the British water and waste company Thames water is embarking on a £1 billion digital transformation project. With this, the firm is seeking to increase its efficiency and customer experience via a series of digital upgrades. A concern facing many water providers is with leaks, which are costly for the company and the consumer, and which can cause environmental damage. A complexity arises with leak detection.
Innovations with Thames Water include a new command centre which will monitor trunk mains, capture live data readings from up to 200,000 sewer depth monitoring points, and to link these to smartphone apps to be carried by the engineering team. The app will be able to generate a map over the underground network from above ground. The data will be used to help service personnel to identify leaks.
More about Utilities, digital transformation, Energy, Power
 
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