Smart Grid Data Hub –The Real Benefits

Enoro’s next generation data hub solution is helping the energy industry to adapt to and thrive in a complex market.
Published: Mon 19 Oct 2015

The energy industry is undergoing a major change and the emergence of data hubs is indicative of this.

In particular, a centralised hub system is proving to be highly beneficial for the energy industry. For instance, with functionalities and data management in one centralized hub system, the industry can look forward to saving costs. In fact, the savings potential is even higher as more users are added to the one hub.

The hub’s harmonized business processes are helping to achieve synergies that enhance business profitability and improve the quality of business processes and customer services.

Consolidation of business processes in one system makes it much more efficient to operate than multiple individual systems.

In liberalized and highly competitive energy markets, inefficiency is not an option and cost-efficiency is a priority if one is to be successful in a highly competitive market.

Platform flexibility is the (smarter) way forward

Major changes within the energy industry make it difficult to predict the exact requirements that will be placed on future software solutions. For this reason, it is important to choose a software vendor that understands the industry’s unique and changing requirements.

Software vendor, Enoro, understands the industry well. The company has been developing software solutions for the industry for over 20 years now. In fact, Enoro was one of the first companies to provide software solutions for utilities in the liberalised energy market in the Nordics. As a pioneer in this field, the company intends to maintain this status by constantly searching for new and innovative ideas to help customers tackle the changes that the highly competitive energy market is experiencing.

Currently, over 400 market parties use Enoro software to enhance their operations and more than 15 million energy consumers’ data is handled by Enoro.

Timo Koistinen, Senior Vice President, Enoro Finland, explains that Enoro’s software solutions are created around the industry’s changing needs. He says, “We understand utilities’ needs and build software solutions to meet their requirements.”

He goes on to explain that while utilities generally require similar software solutions, each utility should have the ability to make adjustments through configurations so that their specific needs are met. This is also more cost effective than making changes through programming.

“The energy industry is undergoing a great deal of change and with the introduction of renewable energy, new solutions are needed. Utilities need to be ready for the change since no-one knows exactly what the industry will look like in the future and this is why a flexible platform is essential. One result of the recent developments in the industry is the vastly increased amount of consumption data utilities get from each consumer. This enables utilities to explore for new insights from customer consumption behaviour. For this purpose, modern energy analytics solutions are required.”

Creating the next generation data hub solution

To accommodate the energy industry’s changing needs, Enoro created the GENERIS Smart Grid system, a flexible smart meter data platform. It helps to implement new business models and value-added services in post-smart meter rollout markets, and its flexibility enables the system to meet constantly changing market rules.

The system provides automation for all core processes of energy market, including balance settlement and market messaging. All of this is done in one multi-tenant system. A high level of system automation and advanced tools for business process modelling free up resources from routine operations to enhancing the core energy utility business.

In modern, dynamic energy markets, localisations and adaptations for changing market rules are a fundamental requirement for meter and energy data management systems. The GENERIS system, in combination with Enoro’s energy market knowledge and strategic partners, provides highly cost effective regulatory compliance.

Data hub in practice: PSET Case Study

GENERIS supports a multi-tenant functionality. In practice, this means that the system supports the isolation of operational information between different business parties, for example a network operator and retailers.

In a multi-tenant installation, multiple network operators, retailers, and other market participants all use the same database but with logically isolated data areas with differing levels of access and visibility. This ensures that data protection meets business and regulatory requirements.

Enoro’s client, Pohjois-Suomen Energiatieto Oy (PSET), a holding company of 13 utilities in Northern Finland, was searching for a single solution for MDM and EDM processes that also centralized all billing, customer care and financial processes. Due to new business requirements and end of life cycle considerations for existing systems, there was a growing need for a completely new system that would handle all business processes for both retailers and DSOs.

Because of the small size of the companies and the limits on their ICT resources, the installation of a single shared system was the obvious choice. The customer needed a cost-effective, future proof solution for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) service provision.

According to PSET’s Managing Director, Jari Jaakola, the consolidation and harmonization of processes and data among the owning companies was an important goal.

Enoro’s MDM/EDM data hub solution provided a flexible multi-tenant solution for seven utilities. Data hub projects in general are growing in popularity, according to Mr Koistinen because they provide cost-efficiency and improved business process quality. “Many data hubs are  being implemented in the Nordic markets and they are also making their way to Central Europe.”

Before the solution went live, the existing nine system environments were migrated and nine CIS systems were replaced. Furthermore the utilities’ business processes and use cases were harmonized in a joint effort that involved PSET’s key personnel and Enoro’s energy consultants.

Enoro and ENFO, a Nordic IT service company,  provided the underlying infrastructure and software as a service.

80% savings in personnel costs

The MDM/EDM data hub solution from Enoro has resulted in 80% savings in personnel costs. PSET acts as a service provider, and is now operating the smart meter data management and balance settlement processes of seven companies in one hub.

Mr Jaakola points out that as the use expands to more companies, they look forward to even more savings thanks to central finance processes. He adds, “The solution is highly scalable, and offers us an easy way to expand by adding more companies to the hub.”

The system enables added value and additional revenues via BPO services by easily connecting both PSET companies and external utilities to the service. Companies inside the holding group can outsource their processes to their own BPO service provider. In addition, the system’s capabilities can be sold as services to external companies to create additional revenues for the PSET group.

Data hubs offer clear benefits, and systems adaptability is an essential factor for success in highly competitive energy markets.

Anders H. Lier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enoro, concludes: “Enoro has a clear vision of what the industry’s future needs are and we are working to ensure that these are met with our solution. Our history proves that we can deliver the right solutions. We have helped the industry during market liberalisation by creating the most advanced solutions, ensuring that we deliver the very best to the industry and its changing needs. We aim to stay on the leading edge of the industry.”

For more insight into the PSET case study and how to leverage smart data and use it commercially, watch the webcast: Briefing-A new energy market is emerging – how can analytical software help you take part in it?

 

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