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a market of one when it comes to software systems, so many of them develop solutions in-house that are customized to fit their needs.
Today, as utility providers look to capitalize on
Big Data, some are spinning off internal applications into viable businesses that use this
data to offer extended — and beneficial — services to customers.
For example, Edison International now operates Edison Energy, an independent advisory and services company that helps customers manage energy portfolios. The company is
built on $100 million dollars of startup acquisitions and operates separately from Edison International and focuses on things like lowering
costs for customers. PJM and Tepco are similarly
looking at ways to commercialize new services
through in-house technologies.
Social media can be a company’s best friend or
its worst enemy. For utility providers, customers are often the first to report outages, and they
do it publicly on social media channels. With
increasing regulatory pressure placed on customer satisfaction, utilities must meet performance metrics around customer satisfaction.
Vitens, a Netherlands-based supplier of drinking water, is typically notified by customers
when there are pressure, leakage, or outage
issues. But being notified by customers meant
that it was always one step behind issues that
arose. Big Data helped it implement a program
that would alert it to issues before customers.
For utilities, the rise of Big Data is only the
beginning of the revolution. As efficiency and
delivery become even more crucial to providers’ ability to deliver resources to customers at
a competitive price, they will turn to Big Data to
improve existing business models to deliver utilities in a cost-effective way. à
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