10 ways to make sense of the smart grid @ IOD

Energy companies and governments around the world are investing in technologies to enable smarter use of electrical grids.  Monitoring devices are being introduced in all stages of the energy life cycle—from turbines in the plants, throughout network infrastructure and to individual households and appliances.

While significant investment is required to build an intelligent grid, the capturing of information in itself will not deliver value — it’s how we use this new information to generate efficiencies and identify areas for innovation that will determine the success of the smart grid.

At IBM Information On Demand this year, there are a number of sessions designed to help energy companies take advantage of the wealth of data being captured in smart grids to improve network planning, reliability, safety and resource utilization.

Here’s a list of the top 10 sessions I’m attending and recommending to my energy customers:

  1. Is Data the New Currency for Utilities?
    In this interactive industry panel session, executives from utilities companies from around the world will share their perspectives, experiences, challenges and lessons and will encourage input from the audience. Join the discussion to understand first hand how leading enterprises use data to reduce costs, introduce new products and services and improve operations and reliability.
    Speakers: David H. Buck, IBM; Sanjay K. Mamidipalli, IBM
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  2. Big Data Analytics: Where to Start
    Big data is a hot topic. Storing and accessing large volumes of data inexpensively sounds attractive, but having the data is just the first step. Transforming that data into meaningful information to guide decision making is the harder challenge. This session will introduce you to how IBM Business Analytics defines big data analytics. We will offer example use cases by industry, show you what capabilities are currently supported and present a road map of what to expect in the future.
    Speaker: Harriet Fryman, IBM
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  3. What If? Using Analytics for Predictive Forecasting, Featuring Australia Post
    What if you could start your forecast with a prediction of what is likely to happen?  What if you could adjust the predicted forecast to factor in known conditions?  What if you could optimize the forecast to determine the best outcome?  This session will discuss how companies are bringing together the power of IBM Cognos TM1, IBM SPSS predictive analytics and IBM ILOG CPLEX software into a single business application that can help answer the what if questions and create the ultimate forecast.
    Speakers: Armand Mizan, Australia Post; Katrina Read, IBM
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  4. Turning Big Opportunity into Big Results with Business Analytics
    The increasing complexity of business and the escalating volume and variety of information being generated today can either be seen as a major threat or a golden opportunity to those able to act on it for competitive advantage. Join Les Rechan, General Manager, IBM Business Analytics, and other members of the Business Analytics team as they share new and enhanced capabilities from IBM that are enabling organizations to optimize outcomes by embedding analytics into the fabric of their business. You will see how leading organizations are leveraging recent advancements in analytics to exploit new sources of information to optimize business outcomes—from the tactical to the most strategic.
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  5. Powering Data in the Lone Star State
    The sheer volume of data collected by smart meters creates challenges. Centerpoint Energy is one of the largest utility companies in the United States, well known for its smart grid and smart meter installations, so it has a great deal of experience with these challenges. In this session, join Dr. Steven Pratt, CTO of Centerpoint Energy, and Eric Offenberg, Worldwide IBM Infosphere Optim Sales Executive, to learn how Centerpoint took proactive steps to deal with this data volume and address many retention issues, all while lowering the total cost of managing the data.
    Speakers: Steven Pratt, Centerpoint Energy; Eric N. Offenberg, IBM
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  6. Europe’s Largest Power and Gas Company Prepares for the Energy Data Avalanche
    Europe`s largest power and gas company is facing an energy data avalanche with the installation of smart energy meters in each household in Europe. During this session, you will learn how this company plans to address the issues caused by a huge amount of time stamped data, such as scalable performance and efficient disk storage, with innovative IBM database technology and a smart meter data solution from IBM Business Partner ITF-EDV Froeschl.
    Speakers: Gordon Speda, E.ON; Alexander Koerner, IBM
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  7. Extreme Targeted Marketing: Micro Segmentation for Utilities and Cross-Industry Applications
    This session will describe how customers can be profiled at the premise level using newly available data sources, technologies and techniques. These new capabilities mean that ideal customers can be identified for conservation programs, time-of-use meters, fuel switching programs, level pay plans and other mandated regulatory or marketing programs. Targeting customers precisely and in near-real time can help reduce wasteful mass marketing, increase customer satisfaction with the utility provider and increase subscriptions to the programs.
    Speakers: Tommy Eunice, IBM; Arvind Sathi, IBM; Richard Harken, IBM
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  8. Predictive Maintenance for Coca-Cola Freestyle Vending Machines
    Coca-Cola Freestyle is the ultimate beverage experience, offering customers access to more than 100 flavors in one dispensing system. Take a deep-dive look at the innovative way Coca-Cola has implemented IBM Analytical Decision Management to monitor the operational health of its equipment fleet and to optimize its approach to predictive maintenance by servicing cutting-edge machines, minimizing downtime and increasing customer satisfaction.
    Speakers: Mark W. Sexton, IBM; David Pham, IBM
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  9. The Utility Company of the Future will be a Data-driven Organization
    Historically, energy and utilities companies have not been data-driven organizations. That`s all changing now. This session will help you understand why Information Management, big data and Smarter Analytics will be critical to the successful utility company of the future. Focusing on specific examples of where data-driven solutions have been critical to the success of energy companies around the world, presenters will explain how your company can become a data-driven utility company of the future.
    Speaker: David H. Buck, IBM; Sanjay K. Mamidipalli, IBM
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  10. How IBM Succeeded After Others Failed in a Performance Management Implementation at Brazil’s Cosan
    In three consecutive years, Cosan, Brazil’s largest renewable energy company, implemented three different performance management tools and was not successful in the planning cycles for these years. In 2010, Cosan started a new process of evaluating vendors to provide a solution that would overcome the deficiencies of the previous tools. At the end of the process, Cosan selected IBM. As the final result of using the tools during the 2011/2012 planning cycle, Cosan has a comprehensive solution for planning and financial control that allows the company to manage its business in a fast, safe manner because the whole process is now automated and integrated into a single IBM business analytics platform.
    Speaker: Reginaldo Ferraz Junior, Cosan

Those with a keen eye will have noticed #3 on the list involves yours truly.  We’ll be discussing two case studies for advanced forecasting solutions in the session – one of which is Australia Post in the area of cash flow forecasting, the second is an innovative use of demand forecasting and optimization at a large energy customer (previewed in The Power of Power).

Couple these sessions with the Energy & Utilities industry lunch and industry experts in attendance and you’ve got yourself a week packed with power-full punch 😉