Three months ago I wrote that “Middle East Utilities go Smart very fast “. Shortly after I wrote this article two very important research papers were published by Forrester Research and Arc Advisory Group. Both were referring to the same very important topic – big data and SAP’s strategic commitment to in-memory database platform. One more hot topic is mentioned there – IoT, Internet of Things which is becoming source of business benefits not just marketing buzz word . I will come back to this topic soon, thirst let me put MENA Utilities market context.
Every week we have discussions with utility companies either about use cases, overall architecture or possible benefits.
Interoperability, effective and reliable communication has always been a big concern because Smart Metering system simply will not support desired use cases and will not bring expected benefits if this layer, the infrastructure and communication will not work perfectly.
Once the Smart Metering system is up and running it collects huge amount of data which should be effectively used to bring desired business benefits. Smart Metering Data, big data will be used to bring benefits in commercial processes:
- Revenue assurance
- Reduction of non-technical losses
- Improvement of Customer Services quality
At the same time utilities want to make use of big data being collected from huge number of sensors installed on the grid and in the plants. Being able to effectively process this data utilities can:
- Improve maintenance and investment strategy
- Improve service quality and network reliability
- Explore new business models including wider adoption of renewables and electrical vehicles.
SAP HANA is the unique and most desired platform to support achievement all above listed benefits.
Two announcements I mentioned in the beginning are very important for MENA utilities, because they should make them feel very confident when choosing SAP as the strategic business partner in this domain.
In August 2015:
- Forrester Research published the report “The Forrester Wave™: In-Memory Database Platforms, Q3 2015”
- ARC Advisory Group published white paper “OSIsoft-SAP Partnership Deepens SAP’s Predictive Analytics at the Plant Floor”
According to Forrester Research, SAP HANA is the market leader in both categories: strategy and current offering. We can read in the report:
“SAP’s razor-sharp focus on in-memory technology is paying off. SAP Hana is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system (RDBMS) that’s designed to support transactions and complex query processing on the same data set. SAP has gained more than 7,000 customers since Hana’s launch in 2011.”
According to the paper published by ARC Advisory Group IT/OT convergence and Internet of Things can bring significant benefits in the following areas:
- Asset health improvement and equipment uptime
- Operating and production performance
- Safety and risk management
- Business process optimization
- Logistics optimization
- Improved worker experience
Further in the report we read: “The disruption of IoT is about defining new business outcomes by connecting operations, supply chain, workers and services. OSIsoft, a leading supplier of process data infrastructure and real-time intelligence software, has joined forces with SAP to help make IoT a reality for the energy industries. The addition of an OSIsoft "connector" into the SAP S/4HANA Analytics suite enables both companies to add value for their mutual customers. This connector will enable customers in the process industries to pull plant or facility operational data into predictive analytics software tools in the SAP HANA application suite.”
SAP has already started working with MENA utilities companies on identifying relevant use cases which will support achievement of expected benefits resulting from huge investments in Smart Metering, Smart Grid technologies, Power Generation and Water Desalination plants.