Many of us got into this industry because we like playing with toys. Sure, we call it work, but at the end of the day, it’s kind of fun to face a challenge head on, figure out how something works and master a new technology or two. As a consultant, I’ve always tried to stay on top of technology, but nothing beats hands-on. That’s why we started testing and reviewing products for Security Sales & Integration (Bench Test returns in May), and that’s what got me headed down the rabbit hole.
I have had a front row seat as companies have struggled to enter the emerging world of the Internet of Things — first, 10 years ago as a vice president at Ambient Devices, an MIT Media Lab spinoff that was a pioneer in commercializing IoT devices, and then as a consultant.
One of the biggest obstacles is that traditional functional departments often can’t meet the needs of IoT business models and have to evolve. Here are some of the challenges that I’ve observed:
Electric cooperatives that got involved in Department of Energy smart grid demonstration projects in 2009 have learned a lot and are now preparing to advance the technology. And some co-op officials say communication with members will be more important than ever.
“What we’re going to see is the transition of the research we’ve done into expanded efforts in some key areas,” said Tom Lovas, a senior program manager and consultant for NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network. “It really comes down to a continuing evolution in smart controls that enable electrical systems to perform at a higher level of efficiency.”
Bangalore Electricity Supply Company’s (BESCOM) is the first power distribution utility in India to initiate the testing of Smart Grid technologies. It has come up with a proposal for Smart Grid pilot in the year 2009. The project is supported by Ministry of Power, Government of India (GoI) and the United States Agency for International Assistance (USAID). Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), which has been appointed as a consultant for the project has carried out the feasibility study along with the International Partner.
Boulder-based Summit Blue Consulting, which advises utilities on energy efficiency and smart-grid projects, was bought Monday for an undisclosed sum by Navigant Consulting.
Navigant is a consulting firm, with headquarters in Chicago, specializing in risk management and advising distressed companies. The company, which had $810 million in revenues in 2008, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.