Tuesday, 19 May 2009

SAP smart grid announcements

SAP has made two announcements down the road to smart grid solutions (at least in the US):

- The general availability of the company's AMI Integration for Utilities software. (AMI stands for advanced metering infrastructure). The solution enables the acquisition of metering data and the management of bi-directional communication processes between smart devices and SAP Business Suite software. The company says that it means utilities will be able to promote improved energy efficiencies to their customers by linking sales, service and billing processes within the SAP Customer Relationship and Billing for Utilities package to smart meters.

- A packaged dashboard developed in cooperation with StreamServe that enables utilities to monitor their costs to service their customers, modeling how to reduce these costs and the related environmental impact. (StreamServe's solutions help compose and automate business communications).

David Laker, senior vice president and general manager, Utilities Practice, SAP America, Inc. is quoted as saying; "The plan to revolutionise the nation's electric grid will demand a serious commitment to upgrading the way utilities and consumers interact with one another. These developments reflect our commitment to that goal as well as helping the nation's utilities find ways to run leaner and more efficiently."

I've been sceptical in the past about SAP's commitment to supporting the reduction of carbon emissions, mainly because it seemed very slow off the mark for a company that is likely to be a central player in carbon management inside enterprises. It does seem that the company has got the message now, though and its great to see it lining itself up with what's coming, rather than waiting to see. By starting the process of accommodating the move to smart grids the company is giving encouragement to the market as well as positioning itself for the benefits in the future. A win-win situation.

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