02.09.2016Enterprise Tech

Internet of Things continues to light up the smart grid in 2016

Today’s kickoff of DistribuTECH (Feb. 9-11) in Orlando, Florida proves New Hampshire isn’t the only place where issues of power are being hotly discussed. With the energy and utilities industry grappling with serious issues like aging infrastructure, cybersecurity threats, and regulatory and competitive pressures, first movers are turning to advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to disrupt traditional business models and future proof for tomorrow.

Verizon’s Grid Wide solution rises to modernization challenge

Recently recognized by Frost & Sullivan with a North American Utility Grid Intelligence Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award, Verizon’s Grid Wide Utility Solution is an IoT platform service offering utility companies an easy, secure and reliable on-ramp to grid modernization. Grid Wide offers an integrated as-a-service solution for smart metering, demand response, meter data management and distribution monitoring and control.

According to Frost & Sullivan, “While managed services for utilities remain in the nascent stage, Verizon has been able to carve out a competitive edge with its high performing 4G LTE network combined with its enterprise class, cloud hosted data centers. This vast infrastructure has helped the company win the confidence of several prominent utilities. Verizon further has a group of industry experts dedicated to support growing customer demand.” Frost & Sullivan added, “Verizon holds a strong mindshare in the energy industry. The company has increased its market initiatives with the help of technology partners as well as through its support services offered for machine-to-machine, smart metering, and power distribution network operations.”

Securing the smart grid must go beyond brand reputation to issues of public safety

As grid modernization projects are adopted, the importance of incorporating a fail proof cybersecurity program from the inception cannot be overstated. The energy and utilities sector handles vast amounts of proprietary customer data such as social security numbers, birth dates, bank account details and credit card numbers. This data, when combined with the critical mandate to protect national infrastructure from external threats, underscores the imperative for organizations to double down on security measures.

Vulnerability to cyberthreats grows as an increase in systems results in more potential entry routes to customer data. This is especially true as energy and utilities companies roll out web-based solutions such as online billing and IoT devices such as smart meters to deliver efficiencies and enhance the customer experience. Therefore, managing risk while disrupting traditional business models must go hand in hand. Organizations must understand the security risks and implement plans and systems to safeguard all devices, sensors and things connected to their networks. The goal is to help maintain a safe environment for customer information while also helping protect public safety.

Visit Verizon Enterprise Solutions (booth #201) while at the show to demo Grid Wide and speak with our industry experts. Visit Verizon’s Energy and Utility solutions portfolio for additional information.