Continuous Innovation For Utilities - Where To Start?!

Published 2016-05-24

Telemetry is here and it is a technology trend that needs your attention. Within Utilities, telemetry will have an immense effect on business models, business processes and cost structures. It is also closely related to other technology drivers and trends such as mobility and Big Data. An end-to-end perspective is critical to understand where the real benefits are and how to deal with the impacts – so where you should start?

We are all constantly hearing about how the Internet of Things will change everything - from how businesses are operated, to how we live our daily lives in smart houses dressed in smart clothes.

Internet of Things for Utilities equals telemetry, and can be used to:

  • Predict the maintenance of equipment
  • Track assets, people and vehicles
  • Alarm on, and control temperature, humidity, light etc. to more effectively operate, run and maintain machinery and buildings
  • Avoid accidents by using sensors for changes in pressure, wear, movement, fire, water etc.
  • Trace and collections of data on behaviour and performance

Realising that telemetry and M2M can truly transform how businesses operate, and that the basic principles are simple to understand, there are still a number of challenges to overcome. Many companies are running trials, some very successful. That is very good but it would better to approach it from a platform perspective. Ensuring repeatable trials allows the company to fail fast while still building the capabilities and digital platform for success. This avoids the risk that each telemetry initiative becomes a one-off project, or, that each initiative results in increased complexity resulting in diminishing returns.

A new domain of systems emerges as well:

  • Tracking where a sensor is physically installed and geographically located.
  • Device/Sensor management
  • Ensuring the connectivity of the device or sensor, often where there is no obvious network connectivity, and often for sensors that must be mobile. 
  • Capturing and responding to the alarms, events and triggers generated by the devices and sensors
  • Continuously collecting of data on performance dramatically increases the volume of data to be managed
  • Security from sensor and device to back end systems is critical in the utilities industry

How is all this established, what is needed and how is it implemented? It is our experience that there is a gap between understanding the principles and benefits and implemented in a cost efficient manner.

Ultimately it boils down to finding the business case for using telemetry to improved business processes: lowering the cost of maintenance, of increasing customer satisfaction for example.

Invariably this means joining up the individual events triggered on sensors or devices, via an integration platform, with the business systems such as ERP, CRM, Asset Management, Warehouse Management, Field service, Scheduling, GIS.  Delivering the value this gives dictates the nature of the integration and the requirements of the platform.

United Vanning Consulting helps companies make use of opportunities based on telemetry through a structured approach

United Vanning Consulting provides the technology knowhow as well as the process insight to assist from idea through to implementation. On top of these capabilities in our engagements we give our customers access to our partner ecosystem for world leading technology and solutions for connectivity, digital platform integration and data management.

United Vanning Consulting - Partner Ecosystem

Software AG offers the world’s first Digital Business Platform for Utilities. Recognized as a leader by the industry’s top analyst firms, Software AG helps you combine existing systems on premises and in the cloud into a single platform to optimize your environment and delight your citizens. With Software AG, you can rapidly build and deploy digital utility applications to improve customer services delivery. Get maximum value from big data, make better decisions with streaming analytics, achieve more with telemetry and M2M, and respond faster to shifting regulations and threats with intelligent governance, risk and compliance. Visit to learn more.

For more information about United Vanning Consulting or to explore how our expertise can help you, please contact us at

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