Smart metering investments are transformational. They go far beyond the application of metering.
Done well and a Utility can introduce many new and enhanced services. These services can improve safety and reliability. Optimize infrastructure investments. Empower customers to save energy and save money. They can also help a Utility play a key role in the journey to a Smart City.
Metering of energy consumption has been around for over 100 years. As a result of this Utilities have well established organisational structures, policies, and business processes designed around this legacy technology.
When thinking about smart meters, organizations are often not equipped to have the right conversations. Smart Metering programs can be seen as simply the implementation of the newest metering technology. This can result in the metering department taking the lead role to decide what services are to be delivered, and when. Such an approach has been known to have a damaging long term impact as new and enhanced services, well beyond that of the metering department, are not considered upfront. This has led either to an inadequate solution being purchased, or the right solution being purchased but poorly implemented, limiting future opportunities.
To help organizations have the right conversations we developed the Smart Meter Service Map. Nigel Green explains business services in his recent post, “Going Digital: Talking Business Services”. As Nigel states “This map is not meant to be a rigorous model; it is designed to create a business-wide, conversation.”
The Smart Meter Service Map is not a ‘best practice’ model. It is based on my experience and conversations with many peers over the years. It’s goal is to create conversation and trigger thought and debate as to what services a Utility may want to introduce or enhance as a result of their smart metering investment.
Sitting behind each one of these ‘Services’ on the diagram is a business service specification. A two to three page document that is technology and delivery model agnostic. It describes the service, the required service levels, functional and non-functional requirements, inputs and outputs, etc. If there is enough interest we will look to make these Business Service Specifications available via word templates on our website.
I wanted to share this map in the hope it will help with your own conversations. I also ask that you let me have any feedback on the model so we can keep refining it.