|The most exciting change in the digital economy is brought on by the topics of hyper connectivity and big data. This transformation will change the business model of the utility company sustainably.
Market participants understand the great potential of the interlocking of physical and digital assets in the Internet of Things. Here new applications are produced with impressive results. The reason for this lies in the role of the utility industry as a provider of a critical infrastructure and the associated extensive and mission-critical systems. This situation will change with the deployment of decentralized renewable energy installations as part of the energy transition, as the infrastructure becomes more fragmented and requires intelligent, distributed governance.
One of the trends will be intelligent products and services that rely heavily on the sensors and meters built into equipment to create new business and business models.
Furthermore, the digital transformation is supported by the big data theme: huge amounts of data have to be processed in real time. This data is also increasingly used in a variety of customer-centric processes around sales, service and others.
Finally, in the context of the Internet of Things, new, previously unlikely partnerships are forged: alliances between utilities and satellite / weather companies, technology companies, equipment manufacturers, to name but a few.
All of these preconditions and framework conditions favor the utility company to use a central platform capable of acting as a link between the more operational and the commercial worlds.
That is, such a solution should on one hand be able to receive, validate and persist any type of structured or unstructured information, regardless of the dimension, the unit of measure and, of course, the volume. In this context, not only a direct bi-directional communication to the sensors or devices themselves should be possible, but also the integration of different systems that collects and makes available the data from this more technical world.
On the other hand, such a platform must be able to process the information at the same time so that the applications as consumers of the data can also use them in a timely and granular manner to support decisions, run business processes and provide information to the employee and the end customer ,
However, not only can applications from one manufacturer reside on this platform, but also partners and customers have the opportunity to use the infrastructure to implement their own solutions.
In this context SAP has just recently completed and released the first version of SAP Cloud for Energy in joint collaboration with multiple customers globally.
The solution is a key element of the overall SAP for Utilities Cloud strategy and SAP’s metered data management solution in the cloud, based on the SAP Cloud Platform. It features a data model based on a standard for the utilities industry (CIM – Common Information Model), a central repository for large volumes of measurement data in the cloud, an API through which applications can manage and access measurement data for their business processes and a standard integration to SAP Utilities on-premise. In addition, SAP Cloud for Energy provides an infrastructure that allows SAP customers and partners to create their own cloud applications to support new business models.
Author: Holger Schweinfurth