#IRL – Smart Utility Summit 2021 Digital Transformation
After almost 2 years of very limit business travel, Xtensible was ready and excited to make an appearance at Smart Utility Summit 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida, hosted by one of long-time utility clients JEA which serves electric, water and wastewater customers, amongst others. This was the second event that Xtensible has attended this year, as roughly two weeks prior Xtensible had an innovation presentation and booth at Utility Analytics Week where the new #IRL (“in real life”) hash tag was “born”. Although enjoying meeting people face-to-face was enjoyable, it was clear that it was time for work focusing on digital transformation of the utility.
The interactive, small group atmosphere of the boardroom approach is an excellent way to learn about new and exciting technologies. The condensed time frame for each presentation ensures the most effective utilization of both the solution providers and the utility executive’s time.
At SUS Xtensible unveiled our new booth and presented in four different boardrooms. The presentations focused on our new product offerings including the recently announced Affirma Data Design and Governance solution. Along with showcasing our recently Case Studies focusing on digital transformation of the utility which included:
- Reimage the Grid for a Clean Energy Future
- Strategic Planning & Digital Transformation
- Pursing Asset Management Data
Utilities attending SUS are mainly smaller to mid-size utilities such as municipalities and coop’s; it was very clear that they are an underserved market. They have the same challenges are the large IOU utilities with 2, 3 or even 10 million end-point customers however have more stringent cost constraints. In our conversations with several the executives of the SUS attendees, Xtensible has committed to supporting these small yet extremely important utilities that are underserved.
Utilities attending SUS participated in a survey regarding their smart grid and digital transformation efforts and journey. An interesting result of the question of “what skill gaps are arising from your smart grid program within your existing workforce?” No surprise to Xtensible that four highest gaps are ones that we support utilities in namely:
- Data analytics (51%)
- System Integration (47%)
- New technology implementation (42%)
- Systems engineering (33%)
The challenge for smaller utilities is that they face the same issues and challenges that the large IOU utilities have, but without the same budget. Therefore, there is a need minimize spend while maximizing the value add and output to operations. One way to do that is to ensure that skilled resources that have done the type of work required in their past so that little or no time is wasted in trying “learn” and more focus is on the doing. Another is to package all the knowledge and lessons learnt from other engagements into an off-the-shelf, yet flexible solution that provides a quick time-to-value without the big-ticket price. These are the approaches that Xtensible takes when working with our clients.
At the end of the day, everyone was happy to meet in person and ready to work in advancing the direction of the utility space. The Xtensible team of Michael Covarrubias, Erika Ferguson and Phillip Jones gladly welcome the chance to meet and talk about the needs of the municipalities and coop’s and look forward to working with them in the near future!Back To Blog