IBM Launches Out-Of-The-Box Smart Grid Tech

smart meters

IBM and eMeter have announced a bundled software package of eMeter’s software bundled on IBM Power7 systems for Smart Grid implementations.

IBM and eMeter have announced a bundled software package of eMeter’s software bundled on IBM Power7 systems for Smart Grid implementations.

The hardware/software bundle is designed to help electric, gas and water utilities customers implement Smart Grid implementations out of the box.

IBM and eMeter officials said their combined technology can help utilities reduce the implementation and test cycle time from a year to as little as six months, and shave as much as 60 percent off the implementation cost. The combined offering features templates of Smart Grid best practices and out-of-the box adapters for Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems, eMeter officials said.

Known as the eMeter Smart Grid Appliance, the systems are targeted at municipal and midsize utilities and combine a set of software, tools, and best practices available preloaded on IBM Power7 systems for rapid implementations.

Through an IBM Application Specific Licensing agreement, the new eMeter bundle combines IBM Tivoli Monitoring and WebSphere 7 Application Server software with eMeter EnergyIP meter data management and Energy Engage home energy solutions. These technologies are offered preloaded and optimised to take advantage of the capabilities of IBM’s recently announced Power7 systems.

“Having worked with several utilities that have succeeded with large-scale Smart Grid rollouts, eMeter and IBM took on the responsibility of identifying the right set of hardware and software tools best suited for these critical projects,” said Bobby Napiltonia, senior vice president of sales and alliances at eMeter, in a statement. “The Smart Grid Appliance delivers a solution for utilities looking to quickly and easily make the most of their Smart Grid investments.”

The demand for rapid development and deployment for Smart Grids has been growing as current city infrastructure boundaries are continually being tested with growing populations and higher energy demands. Governments around the world are allocating stimulus money to revamp energy systems—the U.S. alone has assigned $4.3 billion (£2.8bn) to the effort, IBM officials said.

“By eMeter leveraging IBM technology, our utility clients will be able to streamline their Advance Metering Infrastructure projects and reduce implementation and operational costs associated with their smart grid programs,” said Allan Schurr, vice president of strategy for IBM Energy & Utilities, in a statement, “This serves as another example of IBM and its partners working together to help transition the world toward smarter energy and ultimately a smarter planet.”

To manage the demands of emerging applications such as smart grids, as well as traditional applications, the new IBM Power Systems with Power7 technology are designed with workload-optimising technologies. The new systems also feature technology breakthroughs in virtualisation, energy savings, more cost-efficient use of memory, and better price performance to enable clients to lower costs.

The eMeter Smart Grid Appliance will become available in the second quarter of 2010.

Also, on 23 March, eMeter announced that former Veritas Software CEO and Symantec president, Gary Bloom, will be joining as the company’s new chief executive officer. “The utility industry is in the midst of a major technology transformation as they upgrade to the Smart Grid and eMeter is delivering best-in-class Smart Grid software solutions,” Bloom said in a statement. “I am excited to combine my enterprise software experience with eMeter’s market-leading product set, world-class partners like Siemens and IBM, and an impressive roster of customers across the world.”

Bloom will be replacing Cree Edwards who will continue on as eMeter Chairman of the Board. “Adding Gary’s expertise in building high-growth global software companies will give eMeter a distinct advantage as we position ourselves for the future,” Edwards said in a statement. “We are confident he’ll not only advance eMeter, but Gary will further establish what the Smart Grid industry has long been discussing – that Smart Grids are the future of the electric, gas, and water infrastructure worldwide.”

Most recently, Bloom was vice chairman and president of Symantec where he led the company’s line of business and corporate development organizations. Bloom joined Symantec through the company’s merger with Veritas. Prior to Veritas, Bloom was executive vice president at Oracle. During his 14-year career at Oracle, Bloom led the company’s database business, worldwide marketing, support, education, and alliance organisations, and was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, eMeter said.

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