Mission Critical Infrastructure: Smart Grid, Internet of Things, and Enabling the Future

Your mission critical infrastructure can offer tremendous promise of a future enabled by smart analytics that enhance efficiency, ease congestion, reduce waste and error while making lives easier. But even today this can lead to many questions. Who will own the data generated? Who can access the data? What about privacy and security? Can this be done at scale and be successful?

The history of smart grid offers significant parallels to the smart cities movement and the evolution towards IoT. The availability of data has transformed customers’ lives over the past decade and utilities face a range of challenges to integrate effectively into their operations and customer relationships. Throughout the transition, two patterns have remained consistent. First, adoption tends to begin with use cases that promise near-term return on investment. Second, new technologies tend to emerge then merge.

So, what does that mean for companies considering mission critical infrastructure today?

It means that you need a partner with a company that understands the hurdles that must be crossed to establish the case for investing in technology and you must select the right partner to enable success.

Emerge and Merge

Smart grid innovation arose from these vertical applications, each requiring some form of communication and management. Embedded communications allowed meters to talk to each other; upgrades to substation and other T&D resources often meant equipping units to send and receive data, even if it was only the capability to be pinged. As the smart grid era matures, utility operations, many still siloed, may have multiple smart devices and technologies, each capable of communicating only with their own make and model.

Fundamental Rules Apply

As the saying goes, the only constant is change. The choice to invest in a solution always carries the risk of painting oneself into a future corner. Yet, certain needs prevail – whether in smart grid or the smart cities and IoT era. Security, scalability and the need for a flexible way of connecting devices remain vital.

Utilities, many of which now have years of experience with machine-to-machine (M2M) networks in the form of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation (DA), continue to drive innovation forward. They continue to need to manage costs and support rate case requirements that benefit consumers and utility alike.

Many Faces of Success

For years, Trilliant has partnered with their customers in 20 countries globally to provide a hybrid wireless communications platform that enables the future with more than half of our customers using the platform for multiple applications and more than a third using multiple technologies.

The Trilliant platform has been recognized in Asia Pacific as the Smart Utility Communications Platform Company of the Year, connected street lights in Canada, supported the UK’s Smart Meter Rollout and is generating 100 million reads daily, enabled smart metering in the Dominican Republic, acclaimed for enabling smart cities, and they have formed a strategic alliance with a customer to support innovation and growth throughout Asia Pacific.

The Bottom Line

Even as a new crop of applications emerge, preparation is possible by building a foundation that can anticipate and adapt to change in whatever form it may take. With a thoughtful approach to the communications system that connects and is the foundation of the devices, investors can prepare their enterprises to unlock additional benefits and avoid the common pitfall of spending on a patchwork of use-specific applications.