CIS solutions which fully support the latest smart metering advancements enable electric, gas, and water utilities to optimize the deployment of smart devices, handle high meter data volume, and perform processes such as remote connects/ disconnects in an orchestrated manner. With Open Smartflex, utilities can streamline the deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure and take full advantage of the opportunities that smart metering represents.
The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) market has been consolidated around a core group of leading vendors that offer not only the endpoint devices but also the head-end systems that manage the communications over the AMI network as well as broker data and commands to and from other systems. In cases where more than one AMI technology is deployed to address a utility’s needs, the situation adds complexity to the IT environment, requiring integration with different vendors and driving the need to reduce that complexity through the use of standards.
As a technology-agnostic solution, Open Smartflex leverages the MultiSpeak protocol to be interoperable with any head-end system from different vendors that support this common language, including Sensus, Landys+Gyr, and Itron. This standardized integration approach helps to ensure that utilities will enjoy seamless support of the mission-critical processes of timely meter reading, automatic process triggers, and collection of event data over the AMI network.
Open Smartflex automates and streamlines metering processes through the seamless integration with different head-ends, which allows collecting accurate information in short intervals of time (down to 5 minutes) as utilities wish to measure. This provides utmost flexibility in the periodicity of data collection to support the utility’s operational and informational requirements. Simply put, the support for on-cycle, off-cycle, and massive interval readings is simplified through the standardized integration with AMI head-ends.
Additionally, Open Smartflex provides the ability to model business processes as workflows that orchestrate the interaction with head-end systems. A simple example of this is the ability to perform remote disconnections for non-payment or customer-requested pauses in service, as well as re-establishing the connection as required. This capability ensures that operational efficiencies between the platforms are maximized for the utility.
Particularly, with the Open Smartflex Smart Grid Gateway functionality, less time and resources are involved in ongoing operational tasks because of this process automation.
The end game of a fully integrated set of processes between the AMI networks and a holistic CIS platform is to have a positive impact on the customer experience. For this reason, Open Smartflex provides an integrated solution based on an advanced Customer Information System with a smart grid gateway, MDM, and other capabilities that empower end-users with a better understanding of their usage patterns, while at the same time allowing the utility to quickly proactively detect device anomalies, tampering, and other meter events.