Is rolling out, maintaining, and upgrading your metering infrastructure or operating it becoming too complex and expensive for your organization? Is end-to-end security in metering infrastructure an area of concern? Does your staff need to focus on core business more than managing IT systems and infrastructure? Getting it managed by skilled experts dedicated to AMI-System operations, may be the answer.
Operating and maintaining an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) can be complex and expensive. An increasing number of utility companies have turned to Managed Services to overcome this challenge. A study by Northeast group reveals that like other industries disrupted by ‘as a Service’ business models, the smart meting industry has seen a rise in subscription-based business model in the past decade and the Smart Metering as a Service business is expected to see revenue growth from $199m in 2018 to $1.03B by 2027.
Why consider subscription models?
With the world going digital and moving further towards decentralized power generation, new avenues are opening up for extracting efficiencies when managing the energy operating environment. At the same time, IT infrastructure is becoming more complex, requiring constant updates in skills, hardware, software, and security.
For utility companies who want to mitigate CAPEX intensive upfront costs of smart metering systems or unforeseen operational costs, Managed Services help by converting the upfront capital investment into recurring operational expenses at a predictable and constant level.
Additionally, deployment time and cost can be significantly reduced when IT infrastructure is hosted in the cloud, relieving internal resources from the complex management and training needed to operate the new advanced metering infrastructure. This allows teams to focus on core utility business. Thus, the advantages of “as a Service” models for utility companies are starting to become more obvious and regulations are evolving to support subscription models.
Picking the AMI Services that are right for you.
Ranging from hosted cloud Services for pure Software access up-to managing and operating entire AMI environments for utility companies, the shift towards these subscription-based Service models is well and truly underway. The following options should be considered:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS is a cloud-based solution, made for utility companies who prefer operating their head-end system (HES) or meter data management (MDM) system in-house but seek external expertise to manage the IT environment. The solution provides a reliable, scalable, and secure IT platform that is continuously maintained and monitored by dedicated experts.
- Metering as a Service (MaaS) - Metering as a Service takes over not only the hosting but also processes in the daily operation tailored to utility organization’s needs, thus allowing them to focus on their core business. Service teams deliver metering data based on the agreed scope and SLAs.
No matter what services you choose, it is vital to partner with a provider that possesses the skills, portfolio and focus suited to your organization’s needs and offers strong Service Level Agreements (SLA).
Selecting a partner
When selecting a partner to take over the responsibility for software, hardware and firmware updates, security conformity as well as daily system operations, as a Service, it is vital to make the right call for a trusted long-term partnership. Some key criteria to have in mind are:
- Portfolio of Services: suppliers that provide a wide range of integrated services eliminate the complexity and operational risks of managing multiple providers.
- Industry focus: Service providers dedicated to your industry are more likely to continue supporting you with the right level of expertise in the long run.
- Regional / global presence: suppliers that offer local presence to support day-by-day operations, while leveraging the economies of scale afforded by a global organization, can bring significantly better value for money.
- Proven customer success: check the references of your service provider to understand whether their experience is aligned with your requirements.
- End-to-end security - Entrusting data to a competent third-party vendor can provide more security than can be accomplished by the utility alone but the end-to-end security credentials need to be verified before doing so.
- Technology agnostic: to avoid the risk a complete lock-in on a proprietary technology, choose service providers that can support you no matter what metering technology you use.
As a world leader in smart metering, Landis+Gyr helps utility companies run their AMI and Smart Grid operations more effectively and reliably. Download this whitepaper to learn how Landis+Gyr’s Metering as a Service (MaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions can support your business.