Mobility Innovations Drive Technology Shift in Leading Utility Companies
Author: Mike Karlskind, VP Service Optimization Strategies
Due to rapid changes in technology, utility companies are undergoing a seismic shift in the way the field workforce communicates and manages a large influx of real-time data, and mobility solutions are key to driving these changes. In addition, rigid regulatory requirements, increased customer demand and low margins in the retail energy market have made moving to a fully automated and integrated mobile system absolutely necessary.
A 2012 whitepaper from Sierra Energy Group’s Research & Analysis Division, “Mobility Innovations for the Next Generation Utility,” stated that the future for utilities is defined as “pervasive mobility” as companies move into the age of smart grid. Further, the paper cites that “as the work of running a utility increases, and revenue margins decrease, shareholders are looking as much to the technology that is in the workers’ hands as to the technology connected to the grid.” Smart Grid implementation will bring a dramatic volume of data that needs to be collected. For every million smart meters served, a utility will receive over 97 million daily meter reads, over 10,000 missing reads a day, and 20 meter failures a day, according to Sierra’s research.
How can utilities leverage mobile technology to optimize, plan, schedule, execute and monitor the work in the field?
- Choose an integrated mobile application that entirely replaces the “paper packet” for each job. These applications, which are connected to back-end systems, allow for real-time updates, reduce error and increase productivity.
- Go beyond shift scheduling and embrace a system-wide approach to real-time service optimization. This approach provides field workers, supervisors, and the back office instant access to data in order to make critical decisions for all areas of the operations including planning daily tasks, last minute scheduling changes, an even on-the-fly dispatch and organization in emergency situations.
- Implement a device agnostic mobility solution built on HTML 5, enabling mobile device freedom, and the ability for organizations to institute a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy.
ClickSoftware is today delivering these innovations to a long list of leading utility companies worldwide including: National Grid, Pacific Gas & Electric, Severn Trent Water and EDF Energy, to name a few. Our solutions enable organizations to drive engagement and visibility of field employees, managers and executives as they ramp-up smart grid initiatives, further optimize mobile workforces, and deliver efficient, real-time field operations.
For more information mobility innovations and the impact on utility companies, listen to our series of podcasts with Mike Karlskind.