Making the Transition to a Smart Utility Through Innovative Management Solutions

CGI’s portfolio of offerings aligns with the Optimized Network Utility business priorities.
Published: Tue 13 Oct 2015

Today’s energy system is undergoing a great transformation as the world moves towards a low carbon based economy. This is especially true for network utilities that transmit and distribute energy and must explore new ways of matching increasing peaks of demand using renewable energy supplies.

A growing number of utilities realise that they need to adopt a better understanding of what the new paradigm shift means for them, how they can prepare for this future and how to harness short term opportunities. By taking a holistic view of their functions and exploiting converging technologies, it is possible for utilities to achieve a level of operational excellence.

Fundamental mindsets of an optimised network utility

According to Ana Domingues, Portfolio Director for Global Utilities, CGI, a co-presenter of the upcoming briefing, Facing the paradigm shift – examples of how CGI can help you transition to a smart network utility, CGI identifies fundamental common approaches that will lead to a successful transition. An organisation that follows these approaches is labelled by CGI as an optimised network utility (ONU). The three fundamental mindsets that drive them are:

1.Embraces the bidirectional element of energy and information flows assuming a leading role in an interconnected ecosystem

2.Defines a journey of progressively rolling out new technologies with clear R.O.I

3.Aspires to exploit overall control and visibility of network by driving end-to-end business processes enabled by automation and integration of OT/IT.

CGI’s portfolio of offerings aligns with the ONU business priorities and supports realizing the vision balancing value and investments. This includes the enablement of low carbon technologies and consumer involvement in the market, reduction of capital needs and maintenance budgets, an increase in workforce efficiency and worker safety, and support of improvement of operational efficiency and network performance.

During the briefing, CGI’s expert speakers will showcase their market leading solutions including ARM (an asset resource management solution), PragmaCAD (a mobile workforce management solution) and Smartering (a Smart Metering solution.) The experts will discuss how these solutions relate to the business priorities of an Optimized Network Utility.

Innovation in asset management

Simon Boyer, Vice President Utility Solutions, CGI, focuses on the area of optimizing capital and maintenance budgets. CGI brings its own ARM IP offering focused on the management of assets and resources within the utility.

ARM was designed to streamline the business processes around engineering operations and built specifically to support unique business processes associated with constructing and maintaining a distributed asset. It drives process standardization, compliance, work efficiencies and advanced maintenance strategies to increase reliability and reduce operational costs. It is designed to meet the unique needs of transmission and distribution utilities.

ARM consists of 5 key modules:

1.network asset management incorporating gas compliance and electric safety and reliability regimes;

2.work management which includes the construction of the network assets as well as their operation and maintenance

3.Resource optimization and scheduling – to ensure best use of a utility’s workforce

4.Mobile workforce management – enabling simple and complex work execution in the field

5.Business analytics for all of these functional areas

The modules are designed to be deployed individually, integrated into an existing solution, or as a fully integrated suite.

David Hotte, Vice President, Pragma IP Solutions, CGI, will focus on the Pragma®CAD-Mobile Workforce Management solution.

PragmaCAD enables clients to extend their decision support and business-process management to the field, resulting in improvements to their overall visibility and responsiveness of workload and field resources. By leveraging PragmaCAD’s mobility and web-enabled solution set, clients can modernize their business and technology platforms while improving risk management of day-to-day operations.

From initial customer contact to field work execution, PragmaCAD’s versatility and extensibility provides clients with intelligent and predictive mobile solutions to manage the entire lifecycle of the service delivery process.  

“Our clients can address the gaps and improve on existing processes to ensure that their organization remains competitive in the marketplace while driving greater efficiencies in productivity, performance and ultimately cost savings.”

Used by clients in the utilities, communications, and field service management industries, PragmaCAD has proven scalability and is supported by CGI's full spectrum of application support, integration, and business process services.

José Antunes, Director Smart Metering & Renewables, CGI, will discuss the Sm@rtering solution which is a new generation AMI & Supervision system which supports utility companies in the management and operation of the grid and all the smart devices that support the smart grid ecosystem.

Sm@rtering also leverages AMI benefits by enabling a reliable integration of the platform into business processes. It can integrate – in a single solution – water, gas and electricity meters, and it can be readily implemented in multiple geographies.

Sm@rtering can help utilities to monitor smart meter rollouts and upgrades, operate and maintain the AMI network and other smart devices, and Process and Manage – in real time – all the alarms and events received from the smart grid ecosystem.

Sm@rtering has several independent modules which can be used fully integrated or in different combinations, depending on the customer’s needs and system landscape.

Mr Antunes will also be describing a case study where Sm@rtering was used successfully.

Join the CGI experts as they talk about how they can help network utilities to progress on the journey of transitioning to new energy system and becoming an ONU. Sign up for the briefing here.

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