Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Oracle expands network management for utilities

Steve Rogerson
February 19, 2019



The expanded Oracle Utilities NMS network management system includes a distributed energy resource management (DERM) module that lets utilities monitor situations in real time and proactively optimise their broader network in concert with the explosion of emerging energy resources, including solar, wind and electric vehicles.
 
Energy distribution is no longer a linear equation. As new energy and data sources continue to grow, utilities must take a more holistic approach to understand and manage resources and engage increasingly active customers at the edge of the grid.
 
By eliminating data and application silos and giving operators real-time visibility and control across all grid and pipeline assets in a single platform, operators can leverage a comprehensive, real-time model to ensure a more resilient and efficient grid.
 
For example, applying built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to a growing library of data, including advanced metering infrastructure, weather forecasts, scada and IoT device interaction, NMS lets grid operators reliably predict future storms and alter supply and demand. Coupled with mobile tools, field crews can garner the insights they need to limit the impact of outages for customers and speed restoration efforts.
 
"Utilities today are facing a perfect storm of evolving distributed energy resources across their networks, a barrage of data and ever-savvy customers who are looking to their utility to be a trusted advisor in this changing energy journey," said Dan Byrnes, SVP at Oracle Utilities. "As such, resources can no longer be managed in isolation. With the latest innovations in NMS, utilities can improve long-term business planning around infrastructure investments and maintenance schedules, launch new revenue-generating customer-focused energy services, and proactively optimise operational performance."
 
The enhancements to the California software company’s NMS include:

  • Automated grid optimisation: Offers visibility and control from distribution to the connected user including DERM, D-scada functionality and IoT device interactions. This allows utilities to balance supply and demand all in one place, in both real time and continuously looking ahead to mitigate grid constraints proactively before they happen.
  • Deep insights for automated decision making: By ingesting data from a variety of sources and harnessing the power of AI and analytics, utilities can understand past weather patterns and predict future outages for automated decision making.
  • Extended field crew access: Leveraging existing mobile device capabilities, field crews can pull up outage maps, trend data and performance analysis, even in offline mode for faster, more efficient outage resolution.
  • Improved user experience: Intuitive order-based workflows, simplified tab-based windows and the ability to have multiple events open simultaneously deliver an enriched user experience with no compromise to safety, reliability and performance.
The NMS combines outage management technology with distribution management and analytics to empower utilities to increase grid operation capabilities, shorten outage duration and optimise distribution, all while keeping users engaged and informed.