Moving into IBM's Smarter Energy territory, Oracle on Tuesday rolled a new product onto its smart grid. Dubbed Oracle "Utilities Meter Data Analytics," the new program targets utilities that need to improve meter-data system performance, in a world where all things green are demanding attention.
The Utilities Meter Data Analytics program aims to help utilities turn the influx of huge data volumes into intelligent business processes, so they can operate more efficiently and improve customer satisfaction. The solution has eight pre-built dashboards that analyze consumption trends, gauge the performance of head-end systems and service providers, track unreported usage, alert staff to revenue protection events, and track meter installation efforts.
"Far too many so-called business intelligence products today provide little more than an additional analytic engine or reporting framework requiring months of consulting time to implement and extensive staff time and training to use and maintain," said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities.
Smith said Oracle's new solution is a major step forward. As an example, Oracle said utilities can use the solution to improve business processes, like targeting customer segments for specific energy efficiency, running demand management programs, or decreasing losses from unbilled energy.
The Utilities Meter Data Analytics solution also has features to help staff drill down into details behind the graphics. It can help examine specific instances and events contributing to trends by drilling back into the underlying applications, including Oracle's Utilities Meter Data Management program and its Utilities Customer Care and Billing program.
Big Blue Belts Back
IBM combatted Oracle's news with an announcement of its own: Big Blue and the Vermont Electric Power Company, or VELCO, are working to build an intelligent fiber optic and Carrier Ethernet communications and control network across Vermont.
Spanning more than 1,000 miles, the advanced fiber communications network will connect transmission substations to Vermont's distribution utilities, delivering reliable electric service and the capabilities required for the state's future Smart Grid.
The new high speed network "will allow VELCO to enhance and adapt its services as customer and requirements change," said Guido Bartels, General Manager of IBM's Global Energy and Utilities Industry. This goal, he explained, is consistent with IBM's Smarter Planet initiative aimed at helping utilities companies around the world transform their old systems to improve customer service delivery.
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said data analytics for utilities is a small but growing market. That's evidenced by the two industry behemoths going head to head in the sector. He noted that IBM has already proven itself in the market, demonstrating after a Florida tropical storm that caused widespread power outages that it could narrow down a problem area to within half a block to dispatch repair workers more quickly.
"Power costs are going to continue rising as competition increases. Businesses can use these types of solutions to measure how much energy people are using and identify leaks in the system," King said. "People and businesses are trying to use their resources more efficiently, so there should be a growing market and Oracle needs to be part of in order to be relevant in the analytics space."
Posted: 2012-01-25 @ 4:37pm PT
HOW WILL IBM AND OTHERS CONTINUE TO WORK IN THIS AREA NOW THAT A CALIFORNIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT IDENTIFIED SMART METERS AS DANGEROUS TO PERSONAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH?
CALIFORNIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT SMART METER HEALTH REPORT JANUARY 2012 (summary).
1. Smart Meters emit radiation almost continuously, day and night, seven days a week.
2. Family safety is uncertain with a smart meter attached to a home.
3. It is impossible to know how close a consumer is to their RF Radiation limit, making safety an uncertainty with installation of a mandatory Smart Meter.
4. Smart Meters can exceed the whole body radiation exposure of cell phones by 60-150 times.
5. Radiation exposure from Smart Meters at non-thermal levels shows accumulating evidence of human cell damage, DNA chain breaks, breaches in the blood-brain barrier, sperm damage, toxin exposure, cancer, miscarriage, birth defects, semen degradation, autoimmune diseases, etc.
6. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a real and sometimes debilitating neurological problem for the affected persons (Mild et al., 2004).
7. FCC guidelines do not protect the public and cannot be used for any claims of Smart Meter safety.
8. Smart Meters exceed the RF Microwave Radiation standards of many other countries by 12 to 60 million times.
9. SUMMARY: Given the evidence of existing and potential harm from Smart Meters, governmental agencies for protecting public health and safety should be much more vigilant towards Smart Meter electromagnetic radiation exposures because governmental agencies are the only defense against such involuntary exposure.