Many utility professionals are getting ready to attend the DistribuTECH conference in San Antonio, Texas next week. This year’s DistribuTECH has a rich list of topics as always to keep us engaged. I’m sure, everyone has an eye on various themes impacting the utility industry in general and your job in particular. This year will be important for utilities to strengthen and reinvent their business models. Here’s a list of themes that I’ll personally be following during DistribuTECH:
1. How utilities can prepare for disastrous events such as storms and hurricanes. Utilities are in need of better asset monitoring and management practices as well as restoration and outage management processes.
2. How to handle disruptive innovation such as distributed generation, microgrid and virtual power plant technologies. This is important as production from renewable sources increase while still underpinning the grid for energy delivery and management.
3. How to engage customers, not solely due to regulatory pressure, but to improve brand awareness. Utilities are under pressure to perform better for various reasons. For instance, distributed generation and home energy management pose emerging threats to utilities. Therefore, it’s time to reinvent utilities' brands and images.
4. How utilities can use information technology to achieve business goals. Analytics, Big Data, enterprise data management, social business and cloud services will be some of the key topics under discussion.
5. How utilities can keep progressing on the information security and compliance path. Utilities have been addressing security threats as well as battling NERC CIP compliance. They’ll be looking for an approach to balance both tasks for the next few years.
6. How utilities will bridge the skills gap. The aging workforce as well as information technology is pushing utilities to acquire professionals that have enterprise architecture, business analysis, data analysis and security skillsets.
Feel free to share with us your top priorities.
Siemens is addressing many above-mentioned themes and demonstrating its products and solutions during DistribuTECH 2014. I recommend stopping at the Siemens booth to see our mega demo – “When the Unexpected Happens: Siemens Answers." In these 15-minute sessions, you’ll see various Siemens smart grid solutions working together to prepare for and react to a severe weather event. Visit Siemens DistribuTECH page for information on all the sessions addressing several of the above-mentioned themes and check the blog often for posts from our Smart Grid team leading up to and during the event.
Look forward to seeing you at DistrubuTECH!
Read more at Smart Grid Watch Blog!