Itron White Paper. Itron Enterprise Edition. Meter Data Management. Connects AMI to the Enterprise: Bridging the Gap Between AMI and CIS

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1 Itron White Paper Meter Data Management Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management Connects AMI to the Enterprise: Bridging the Gap Between AMI and CIS Wendy Lohkamp Director, Meter Data Management Itron, Inc. 2006, Itron Inc. All rights reserved. 1

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3 Introduction 4 Reality of Large System Rollouts 4 Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management 5 Synchronizing Data Across Systems 6 Communicating Across Systems 8 Conclusion , Itron Inc. All rights reserved. 3

4 Introduction As utilities consider the various benefits of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), it s critical that they consider the potential impact of this new technology on current business processes and IT infrastructure. The drivers for a utility to adopt AMI, with its ability to collect interval data for all customers and sophisticated two-way communications to a metering device in the home, are many. In some areas, such as California and Ontario, power supply constraints and peak demand are driving TOU pricing and load control at the residential level. In other areas, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, environmental concerns and conservation are driving the consideration of AMI projects. Still other areas, such as Texas, are looking to AMI for improving their infrastructure management and distribution system reliability. Diverse business drivers and potential benefits aside, utilities face common challenges when considering the rollout of an AMI system: New AMI systems must interface with existing utility systems, including legacy CIS applications New AMI systems must peacefully coexist with multiple meter data collection technologies with diverse reading requirements AMI systems produce high volumes of data for both billing and analytic purposes AMI systems require interfaces so that existing systems may participate in two-way communications with smart meters With many utilities already struggling with CIS systems that run from one software patch to the next, utilities must look closely at how AMI will impact this critical utility system. This paper discusses how Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management (IEE MDM) bridges the critical gap between new, cutting-edge AMI systems and existing utility CIS systems, thus delivering the full value of AMI during and after implementation. Reality of Large System Rollouts Introducing new systems into the patchwork of hardware and software that comprises a utility s infrastructure is replete with technological and business process challenges. In particular, two types of large system rollouts present utilities with critical challenges: AMI Rollout with Legacy CIS This is by far the most common situation that will present itself to utilities moving forward with AMI in the next 5-10 years. Most utilities that decide to implement AMI will do so within their current business process environment. In most cases, this means that AMI technology must be integrated with an existing CIS system that has a relatively simple relationship to the utility s various meter data collection systems. Whether gathering data by handheld or mobile data collection, AMR or non-amr, the majority of CIS systems are only processing monthly consumption reads from residential customer accounts. The primary focus of the CIS is customer billing, not the collection and long-term storage of raw usage, tamper, leak or outage information. Even in a phased deployment, AMI introduces a huge amount of data into the billing process. A modest population of 1,000 smart meters reading at hourly intervals to support time-of-use billing will produce 26,000 readings each day, or almost 10 million readings each year. Many existing CIS cannot handle the scale of the incoming data, let alone the interface to some of AMI s key functionality, such as remote connect/disconnect, off-cycle reads, etc. Implementing a meter data management solution allows the CIS to keeps its focus on billing and at the same time, utilities can maintain a scalable and flexible IT environment through the AMI rollout , Itron Inc. All rights reserved.

5 While it may be ideal, it s unrealistic to assume that utilities can undertake a CIS upgrade at the same time they are deploying an AMI metering system, which will realistically take 2-5 years. A meter data management system, such as Itron Enterprise Edition, can provide accurate and reliable data warehousing of all utility meter data, regardless of source or account type, and deliver that data in the bill ready format needed to the CIS. Utilities can use a meter data management system to off-load processes and functions in parallel with the billing system to achieve needed performance. When deployed along with AMI, utilities can insulate their CIS from change, reducing risks to existing CIS processes while getting the full value from each AMI meter as it is deployed. New CIS with Existing AMR/AMI A new CIS deployment is a high-profile utility project that is inherently complex. Many utilities have no option but to unplug the cash register to perform the switchover, which can result in deferred or backlogged revenue. A meter data management system can be used to streamline communications among data collection technologies and operational systems that use the data, reducing the number of interfaces that must be re-built in a new CIS implementation project. In addition to saving time and resources during a CIS implementation, a meter data management system allows the utility to perform a phased rollout of a new CIS system, versus the risky big bang approach. Under this scenario, the MDM solution manages the data collection process and the meter data is securely stored and then delivered, exactly as needed, to the appropriate CIS until all meters are transitioned to the new CIS. Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management Regardless of the CIS challenge facing today s utility, Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Managment (IEE MDM) is the key to connecting critical utility systems effectively and securely. IEE MDM is an enterprise-wide solution designed to store meter data and provide isolation of business processes and business systems from the details of metering and meter data collection in a multi-vendor, multi-technology environment. IEE MDM s comprehensive capabilities allow for the application of consistent processes and the maintenance of consistent interfaces independent of how, when, or where various meter reading technologies, including AMI, are deployed. This simplifies and significantly reduces the likelihood of errors in utility business processes that utilize meter data. It also allows the most costeffective AMR and AMI technologies to be deployed, without affecting upstream billing processes. IEE MDM provides long-term storage of register, interval, tamper, and outage and meter event data in a fully versioned database. The Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle relational database provides a central repository for integration, access by all business and analytical systems, and users of meter data throughout the utility. Additional functionality includes extensive validation, estimation, and editing capabilities; advanced TOU, aggregation and calculation services; request brokering among multiple meter data collection systems (legacy or AMR systems); sophisticated export management capabilities; and auditable change tracking. 2006, Itron Inc. All rights reserved. 5

6 Synchronizing Data Across Systems IEE MDM allows utilities to consolidate interfaces through the meter data management system rather than building and maintaining point-to-point interfaces. Additionally, AMI provides non-revenue data such as diagnostic alarms, power outages, and tamper information that is not normally stored in the CIS. With multiple systems, each involved in gathering, requesting, and delivering their own relevant data, IEE MDM is an effective solution for managing that data efficiently and reliably. Figure 1: Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management streamlines integration among data collection and CIS technologies. Synchronizing Master Data To effectively manage the diverse metering information in an AMI system, the utility must assume a system of record for each type of data and a "requestor" for each data transaction or command request. Controlling who owns and is accountable for what kind of data is critical for managing the large amounts of incoming data, new commands and requests. Each system of record (AMI, IEE MDM or CIS) owns master configuration data relevant to its functional role in the system. To eliminate unnecessary data redundancy and processing, IEE MDM uses a simple integration point to tie the data together. Representing a unique point of service delivery at a specific location, the "service point" is the main link between IEE MDM and the CIS , Itron Inc. All rights reserved.

7 CIS The CIS is the system of record for: Customer, account, contract, premise, address, and contact information Financial relationships accounts and bill cycles Rates Billed values at the account level Financial events (collections, payments, cancel/re-bill, budget bills, etc.) IEE MDM IEE MDM may be the system of record for: Service point, meter, register, channel, and endpoint information Meter reading relationships meters and data collection systems Contributors to billing determinants at the channel level Billing determinants at the service point level IEE MDM may also be the historical repository for: Raw meter reading data Device events (outage, tamper, diagnostic alarms, etc.) AMI The AMI system owns the following: Endpoint, collector, cell relay, substation equipment, etc. Data collection relationships endpoint and communications network Communications events (collector/cell relay diagnostics, etc.) Raw data as it comes from devices, prior to storage in historical repository Device events, prior to storage in historical repository Depending on utility needs, the master data can be synchronized based on specific events or batched daily. Since legacy CIS systems have limited objects and integration methods, utilities may want to use Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tools to synchronize among systems. At a minimum, the following transactions should be synchronized between the CIS and IEE MDM to provide for accurate billing determinant calculations and operational reporting: Meter or endpoint exchange Rate/billing determinant change (reprogram) Meter status change (disconnect/connect) 2006, Itron Inc. All rights reserved. 7

8 Communicating Across Systems With clear ownership and minimal overlap in data, IEE MDM can effectively broker communication between the CIS and each utility meter data collection technology. Figure 2: Interaction between CIS and AMI is managed by MDM. Delivering Bill-Ready Meter Data With the above architecture, IEE MDM manages interaction among data collection technologies and provides information to billing systems upon request. The CIS initiates requests for revenue-relevant data based on specific on-cycle or off-cycle business processes. IEE MDM is responsible for interpreting the CIS request, forwarding it to the appropriate collection system if necessary, and formatting the response back to the CIS. To deliver bill-ready data to the CIS, IEE MDM normalizes the raw endpoint/meter data from the AMI system into billing determinants and delivers service point-level billable values to the CIS. Balancing routes and billing cycles has been the traditional CIS mechanism for timely billing. By owning the meter reading routes as well as the billing cycles, the CIS managed the cash flow of the utility, determining when and how meter readings were converted into billing information. In an AMI rollout, routes are less relevant to data collection since the meters do not need to be organized based on the location of the meter itself and billing cycles trigger processing. IEE MDM provides the collection point for metering data from across multiple time horizons and collection technologies, allowing the CIS to continue owning cycles, regardless of routes, and trigger both on-cycle and off-cycle activities. With this approach, the CIS treats IEE MDM as a service--requesting and receiving data from the repository as needed to complete oncycle, off-cycle and customer service inquiries , Itron Inc. All rights reserved.

9 Figure 3: Data is normalized to higher levels as it moves from AMI to MDM to CIS. Issuing Commands to the AMI System In the same way that it brokers meter reading requests, IEE MDM may also broker two-way commands for power verification, remote disconnect/connect, and meter reprogramming. In this scenario, the CIS issues control commands and IEE MDM leverages its service oriented architecture (SOA) to format ad hoc requests for data or control. Eventually, as the industry adopts standards to manage these complex systems, IEE MDM will help streamline utility adoption of new technologies for home gateway and two-way control functions. Conclusion Although many standards organizations are working diligently to define a standard integration across the AMI-to-CIS boundary, the reality is that many utilities will require integration of multiple different collection technologies from multiple vendors with existing legacy systems. Not all technologies behave the same; IEE MDM can manage the varying capabilities of the collection technologies as well as the multiple choices that arise during an AMI rollout. While each utility will have varying business drivers for rolling out an AMI system, they will all share the need to maximize the return on their investment as quickly as possible. Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management enables utilities with legacy CIS and multiple meter data collection technologies to bridge the technology gap between old and new technologies to deliver better customer service and optimize revenues with each new AMI meter deployed. 2006, Itron Inc. All rights reserved. 9

10 Itron Inc. Itron is a leading technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. Nearly 3,000 utilities worldwide rely on Itron technology to deliver the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Itron delivers value to its clients by providing industry-leading solutions for electricity metering; meter data collection; energy information management; demand response; load forecasting, analysis and consulting services; distribution system design and optimization; web-based workforce automation; and enterprise and residential energy management. To know more, start here: Itron Inc. Corporate Headquarters 2111 North Molter Road Liberty Lake, Washington U.S.A. Tel.: Fax: Due to continuous research, product improvement and enhancements, Itron reserves the right to change product or system specifications without notice. Itron is a registered trademark of Itron Inc. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners. 2006, Itron Inc. Publication WP-02 12/06

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