Microsoft Joins Smart Grid Project in Austin

On December 2, Microsoft participated in a press conference announcing its involvement with the Austin Energy Pecan Street Project, which is billed as a “smart grid” and “utility redesign” effort by city and utility officials. In making the announcement at the annual Clean Energy Ventures Summit, Austin city council member Brewster McCracken, said “Austin has…

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Utilities Embracing New Technology Concepts like Cloud, Software Plus Services and Modular Data Centers

While utilities tend to be a conservative lot – particularly how they ensure reliability and supplies – our experience in the Microsoft Worldwide Utilities Group is that they are changing rapidly as they search for technologies that help with the environment, improve operational efficiencies and enable new business models. For instance, when we talk to…


Microsoft Hosting CIM Conference December 15 in Redmond

It’s probably an understatement to say that we live in a time of significant change.  This is certainly for the Power and Utilities industries as the energy ecosystem evolves from an industry centered on an environmentally unfriendly business model to one that embraces renewables, much cleaner fossil fuels, the smart grid, demand response and other…


Business Intelligence: Keys to Moving Beyond Global Economic Conditions

Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Smith has recently offered two stories on how the U.S. recession is affecting domestic utility companies. “Clean Energy Confronts Reality,” her first story on Nov 20, focused on how utilities are pulling back their investments in wind, solar and other renewable energies due to a collapse in demand for power,…

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Observations from the Itron Users’ Conference

  A couple of weeks ago, the Power & Utilities team attended the 2008 Itron Users’ Conference in Dallas. It was a fantastic event and, given the tough economic times, very well attended (more than 700 people!).  The success of the conference is probably an indication that advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and Smart Metering projects…

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Joint Virtual Conference on the Intelligent Enterprise

Tune in Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 9:30am-6:30pm ET to a free virtual conference with Microsoft and CIO magazine, titled “The Intelligent Enterprise: Incorporating Systems and Strategies to Create a Highly Responsive Organization.” The conference will address how senior business technologists can align IT and business, achieve agility, reduce complexity, provide one view of data across…


Consultants’ Newsletter Touches on How Credit Crunch Fiasco Could Hurt U.S. Utilities

With global stock markets reeling in the last week, I found a report from Black& Veatch to be quite interesting and worth the read. Specifically, the report notes how the growing credit crunch could hurt capital-intensive utilities. Constellation Energy and Reliant Energy are but two utilities that have recently suffered. More examples may be on…


Home Energy Comes One Step Closer

At the IDC Energy and Utilities Forum in Milan a couple of weeks ago I offered a presentation on the connected home. During my presentation I spoke about key enablers of the connected home and devices that make it easy to form a home area network (HAN) for energy efficiency and other home automation functions….


CIO Magazine Offers Advice on Unified Communications

To follow up on our blog entry about CLP Group’s successful Unified Communications pilot, utility company CIOs considering the implications of Unified Communications should take a look at the September 15 edition of CIO, which contains the article “Your Plan for Unified Communications.” Many utility observers believe that Unified Communications (a healing of the split…


Financial Times – World Energy Council Summit: Investment Opportunities in Clean Energy Businesses

Last week I visited London to speak at the Financial Times – World Energy Council Summit for “Investment Opportunities in Clean Energy Businesses.” The event featured a star-studded cast including (to name but a few) MIT president Susan Hockfield; Alston Chairman & CEO Patrick Kron; Union Fenosa Chairman Pedro Lopez Jimenez; U.S. Department of Energy…

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