Two great presentations: Funding Smart Cities/IoT and getting control of data for smart grid applications

Below are links to material that was presented in San Diego our very own Robert Sarfi and a couple of our clients.  We take thought leadership very seriously and encourage feedback on this material.

Data quality and its impact on grid modernization/advanced applications, presented with Thomas Mitchell: http://tinyurl.com/zp9rhbc

Guidance for funding smart cities and IoT initiatives, presented with John Simmins: http://tinyurl.com/gmfqcry

The perils of an "Internet" RFP

Recently we’ve received numerous calls from cooperatives and municipal utilities asking us to review a RFP that they’ve prepared.  In theory, this should be a straightforward exercise that can be performed over the phone in a time and cost efficient manner.  In all cases, the RFP has been prepared using samples found with the ever too familiar Google search. Unfortunately building a RFP isn’t as simple as cutting and pasting requirements that sound good and putting it into a new format, in particular in an environment where the technology is changing faster than ever before.

The systems utilities are procuring today should have a life expectancy of eight years, in the case of software solutions, to fifteen to twenty years in the case of AMI/Smart Meter solutions.  As a consequence, it’s really important to ensure that the solutions you purchase meet todays needs as well, as well as, future needs, e.g. you’re not buying for 2015 but rather 2025.  The first step of a “Good” RFP is crafting a conceptual solution that complements existing and future systems, and is aligned with strategic and immediate business benefits.  A RFP doesn’t need to be lengthy to be effective, it simply has to capture the differentiators that are important to you.

A solid RFP involves at a minimum the following components, tailored to meet your specific needs:

  • “Window frame” - positions what the solicitation is for, rules of engagement, and submission details 
  • Description of overall context – describes project overall, context, timing, legacy environment, vision, etc.
  • Vision – it’s really important to understand that the vendor wants to go where you want to go
  • Technical requirements – details of the technology platform, performance, etc.
  • Functional requirements – outlines what users are looking for, we like to include use cases
  • Project delivery requirements – when considering credible vendors that have an established track record the difference between success and failure is the delivery approach and the project team
  • Terms and conditions – this includes mitigating risk related to warranty, performance, acceptance, etc., in addition to the normal legalese
  • Price – total cost of ownership, without any hidden costs, internal and external, is of the paramount importance.

We aren't questioning the quality of the base RFP’s that people are finding on the internet.  They typically represent considerable effort on the part of the authors.  We believe that utilities should develop their specific solution that fits their goals and objectives, then procure software that they understand can actually deliver their dreams.  Too much money is at stake to follow a “me too” model.

If in doubt, we’d be glad to discuss how you can develop a RFP that can deliver traceable value and benefits.  Our guidance is only a phone call away.

Itron Utility Week - We'll be there!

We're looking forward to Itron's Utility Week held in Orlando October 16-18.  Robert Sarfi will be on a big picture panel, "Enhancing Value through Single Multiparty Networks" Monday from 1515 to 1630hrs.  This is a topic we're all very passionate about.  It's a direction strongly believe makes sense.  Robert assures us that he will have both insightful and provocative prespectives to share..

Don't be part of the problem: The asset is the data! EPRI GIS Working Group Presentation

Our very own Robert Sarfi had the pleasure of presenting the keynote address at the EPRI GIS Working Group Conference held in Birmingham, AL on October 4, 2016.  The presentation touched on what the future holds for GIS and how we need to be honest with ourselves as an industry, both acknowledging that changes is happening whether we like it or not and how we need to be honest about the quality of the data.  The presentation is available for future reference  (http://tinyurl.com/zlv82kn)

We’re forming a team for a new challenge

We’re looking for experts in the following for a higher risk, very high reward environment.  It will involve six months onsite in a difficult environment.  Contact us with your resume for further information: info@boreasgroup.us

 

1. Generation Operations Expert

Acting as an Advisor to the Director General Generation and reporting to the Deputy Minister Generation, the Expert shall support the Generation Directorate with regard to developing a comprehensive generation operations regime to optimize the use of the existing generation facilities. More specifically, the Expert will: (i) support improvements to the fuel supply chain processes within the scope of operational responsibilities of MoE’s Generation Directorate; (ii) support to have in-place optimized generation plant scheduling consistent with international best practices, recognizing local constraints; (iii) provide advisory services to achievement of MoE targets of optimized cost of generation; (iv) provide oversight and direction to special studies/plans, specifically the efficiency conversions that may be required; (v) submit monthly reports to the Deputy Minister on the progress of the assignment status.

2. Revenue Management Expert

Acting as an Advisor to the Director General Distribution and reporting to the Deputy Minister Transmission and Distribution, the Expert shall support the distribution directorate with regard to developing a revenue management and loss reduction strategy and actions initially mainly focusing on administrative losses. Specifically, the Expert will: (i) Support improvements to the supply chain processes within the scope of operational responsibilities of MoE’s Distribution Directorate; (ii) Report monthly to the Deputy Minister on the status of performance against targets (iii) Provide advisory services to achievement of MoE targets for system loss reduction, and customer outage reductions; (iv) Provide oversight and direction to special studies/plans, specifically the Technical/Commercial Losses Study/Plan; (v) Develop innovative business improvement approaches consistent with international best practices, recognizing local constraints to support rapid improvement of MoE’s customer services

3. Corporate Planning Expert

Acting as an Advisor to the Director General Corporate Services and reporting to the line Deputy Minister, the Expert shall support the MoE to develop strategies and investment plans to support the defined performance improvements in the short-medium term (up to 2022). The MoE envisages an extensive investment program targeting the rehabilitation, upgrade and reinforcement of the network assets (generation, transmission and distributions including support functions such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Commercial Management Systems (CMS) as a part of the business plan to restore 24 hours of electricity services, improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply. As such, the Expert will support the MoE to prepare a detailed indicative sector investment plan up to 2022. In particular, the Plan will include: (a) emergency investments to be carried out in the immediate term to address critical generation and network rehabilitation needs: and (b) prioritized investments aimed at improving electricity generation and network performance in the medium term including operations efficiency as identified under the generation operations optimization and loss reduction strategy.