Leveraging Smart Grid and AMI Using SAP Application Suites

  • by Ash (Shashank) Heda, Principal, Process and Domain, Consulting & Systems Integration, SAP Practice, Infosys Ltd.
  • Shailesh Sinha, SAP-CRM and SD Lead, HCL AXON
  • September 28, 2012
Discover how to administer and use smart grid, advanced metering infrastructure, and smart meters to improve consumer experience and optimize associated energy and operational costs. Gain an understanding of the fundamentals, application, and impact of these emerging technologies and how the SAP Business Suite helps deploy and leverage the value they provide.
Key Concept

Smart grid, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and smart meters are technologies that can provide improvements in consumer-managed energy consumption, increase a utility organization’s portfolio of energy products and services, and improve production and distribution.

Together, smart meter, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and smart grid telemetry provide the basis for new products that can change consumer behavior and create opportunities to improve effective-use electric energy. These technologies provide new dimensions of meter data integration, data analysis, demand response, peak and trough prediction, outage management, and device and information security.

In addition, they can interface with other technologies, ranging from distributed generation to renewable energy and electric vehicles. Reaping the benefits offered by these technologies requires the integration of many factors: energy consumption data capture, data analysis, triggers, consumer consumption profiling, weather and geospatial data, real-time consumer communication, self-service, and customer service, together with more traditional and often complex back-office and financial applications.

SAP solutions are vital tools for harnessing these technologies. SAP provides relevant applications in SAP CRM 7.0, sponsors the SAP AMI Lighthouse Council, introduced SAP HANA, and has a rapid deployment strategy for Demand Side Management (DSM). In this article, we will cover all this and more.

Challenges Faced by Utility Companies

The utility industry, especially the electricity industry, is beset with several intrinsic challenges that stem from the fact that a utility cannot store its commodities—and its commodities need to be used instantaneously. The electricity sector is unique in that the volume of consumption is difficult to predict, but companies must still generate a sufficient quantity to comply with the established norms of grid reliability and energy efficiency. Additionally, the industry is seeing a growing gap between potential demand and available capacity, especially with the retirement of generation units and mandatory upgrades to meet new EPA compliance standards.

Ash (Shashank) Heda

Ash Heda is working as a Principal for Managing Consulting Services within the SAP energy (utilities), communication, and services (SAP ECS) practice for Infosys Ltd. He has been responsible for managing portfolio for different initiatives within the generation, transmission, and distribution for the utilities market. As an SAP consultant, Ash has worked within the SAP IS-U/CREB and SAP CRM for utilities, retail, and other verticals for more than 15 years. He has worked on implementing several utilities projects (regulated and deregulated) from design to implementation and support. He has significant understanding of the SDLC cycle, application lifecycle management and ITIL framework. He has keen insight on the challenges within the utility industry and deep hands-on experience in implementing a seamlessly integrated meter-to-cash customized solution. Ash has worked extensively on integrating prospect-to-cash processes for various verticals such as consumer products, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. Additionally, he is a thought leader contributing to smart meter, demand response management, pricing signal, and realigning and modeling processes. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed here: LinkedIn.

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Shailesh Sinha

Shailesh Sinha is a senior SAP Application consultant specializing in SAP CRM, CRM billing, CRM-IS-UT, and SD and LE (ECC) and its integration with modules such as materials management, production planning, and plant maintenance, for over14 years. Having worked end to end on several implementations, roll-outs and upgrades, Shailesh is keenly aware of the critical success factors. As a subject-matter expert within the commercial industrial market for the regulated and deregulated utilities, Shailesh has designed end-to-end solutions encompassing CRM and IS-U/CRB. He has also worked in various verticals such as utilities, steel, real estate, hi-tech, and processing. As an architect, he has extensive hands-on experience in technical integration across various SAP modules and also third-party software. He is well versed in scoping, blueprinting, realization, cut-over, and go-live. Having worked end to end on implementations and production support, Shailesh has developed an innate ability to capture clients’ pain points and convert them into successful configuration. His understanding of the SDLC methodology and ITIL framework offers him a unique methodical and procedural perspective.

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