Digital Digest: Monthly Digest of Insights Shared by Your Peers in the Energy Central Intelligent Utility Network – March 19, 2021

Posted to Energy Central in the Digital Utility Group
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Freelance Energy and Technology Researcher and Writer, Final Draft Communications, LLC

Karen Marcus has 25 years of experience as a content developer within the energy and technology industries. She has worked with well-known companies, providing direction, research, writing, and...

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  • Mar 19, 2021

Welcome to the Intelligent Utility Network roundup, Digital Digest. As always, your fellow group members are paying close attention to digital utility and mobile workforce trends and sharing their insights. This month’s selection includes information about the usefulness of location data in getting to know customers, cybersecurity best practices, and more. Be sure to like and comment on your favorite posts. Happy reading!


GIS Helps Utilities Know Their Customers

Bill Meehan

Link to original article:

Serving customers well means knowing as much about them as possible. In this post, Bill Meehan, Director, Utility Solutions at Esri explains that, for utilities, location data can serve as a strong starting point for learning about customers. Using GIS and other location-based data — like census, homeownership, and real estate valuation — utilities can learn things like what people spend money on, what makes them happy, and how to best reach them. Armed with this information, utilities can glean benefits like improving customer satisfaction, focusing DR and DER incentives, and increasing revenues.


Open Energy Data Platform for the Future of Energy

Andrew Yagüe

Link to original article:

In this article, Andrew Yagüe, Business Development Lead at Awesense Wireless Inc. highlights the benefits of an Open Energy Data Platform, which acts as a data warehouse that links together all data sources in one centralized system. He lists rich situational awareness, outage management, real-time performance monitoring, and DER control and analytics as situations that can benefit from a centralized data system to increase reliability and resiliency. Andrew describes the features needed to make such a data platform work well and the result: rapidly accessible, useful data that can be used to perform analytics, design algorithms, and build applications.


Water Cyberattack Highlights the Need for Strong Authentication

Danny Vital

Link to original article:

A recent security breach at the Oldsmar water plant in Florida was a good reminder to all utilities of cybersecurity best practices. In this piece, Danny Vital, Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at XTec explains how using only passwords for security can invite similar attacks. He reviews other types of security measures, including one-time passcodes, hardware tokens, and certificate-based authentication over PKI. He stresses the need to improve cybersecurity at all utilities, given that they are critical to the safe operations of our country.


Cold Comfort in Texas

Tom Alrich

Link to original article:

Responding to the recent Texas freeze, Tom Alrich, Supply Chain Cybersecurity Risk Management and NERC CIP-013 Consultant reviews some of the reasons people have been citing for the power outages and adds one of his own: Texas trusted the markets too much and went too far in deregulation. He explains how the theories behind these actions failed to work in real life, causing massive human suffering as a result — from both lack of power and astronomical utility bills.   


Thanks again for reading this edition of Digital Digest! The authors listed above are eager to hear your thoughts and questions, so don’t hesitate to engage them. And if you want your content to be featured in this spot in future issues, be sure to publish your posts within the Digital Utility or Mobile Workforce Community.


Make sure you don’t miss out on these shared insights in the future.

If you’re not yet a member of the EC Digital Utility community, follow the link to ‘JOIN NOW!’ For the Mobile Workforce community, follow the link to ‘JOIN NOW!’ Then select the “join option” in the top right of the group page.  If you are not yet registered, you will be prompted to create a profile first.

As a member, you’ll not only be able to read what your fellow peers are saying but also be able to join in on the conversations by sharing your insights (which might get featured in a future monthly digest!). Plus, you can start a conversation by discussing articles with peers in the comments section, and you will automatically be signed up to receive the Network’s weekly newsletter.

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