Wise Men has been working with Electric, Gas, and Water Utility industry for 20+ years. Wise Men has extensive experience providing system architecture, system design and development, and managed services. We specialize in Grid Modernization, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Smart Grid, Analytics and Analytic Platforms (Back Office and Edge), Systems Integration, Production Support, ERP Systems, and Security Architecture & Integration. Our teams have also been involved in the development and deployment of some of the largest IoT systems globally. In the current changing landscape for Electric, Gas, and Water Utilities, we help our clients embrace digital transformation in their business, both from within the data center and at the edge.
Wise Men has extensive experience in Enterprise Architecture development for our Utility clients and has been involved in the development of Smart Grid Systems for major utilities around the world. This has led to a deep understanding of Utility back-office systems and how to architect/integrate systems to solve Utilities issues from a real-world perspective. Wise Men has been integral in the development of several large utilities Smart Grid and Grid Modernization architectures, both within the back office and field components. We provide professional services to assess current issues and define future Enterprise Architecture needs.
Design and Development
We bring a core development team with over 15 years of experience working in the Utility vertical to provide design and development services. In addition to our expert team of software engineers, we have expertise in Database Design and Data Modeling. Our development services are fluent in a large collection of languages and a broad range of database technologies. We have extensive experience in both traditional software architecture as well as cloud-based solutions, including Microservice design and development, allowing us to develop best in breed solutions for our clients.
Our knowledgeable Project Managers have worked on deployment, integration, and de-commissioning projects within the Utility industry. We have managed projects from small scale with single system integration to very large scale with high volume of systems being integrated across Engineering & Planning and Control domains within the Utility. Our Project Management teams not only know the tools and processes of project management but have considerable domain expertise within the utilities vertical.
The Wise Men team has extensive knowledge of and experience in building secure products and systems. We have worked in all deployment scenarios, from intranet-based software systems to IoT devices deployed in adversarial conditions. We can provide strategic and tactical assistance in security architecture development and review, threat modeling, vulnerability analysis, key custody and management, risk analysis and risk mitigation, penetration testing, continuity and Disaster Recovery and network and IP security. Our security services help our utilities clients navigate the increasingly stringent security policies which must be adhered to in a Modernized Grid.
MDM to HANA Platform
Wise Men has successfully completed the development and testing of the Itron Enterprise Edition™ (IEE) Meter Data Management (MDM) solution migration to the SAP HANA® platform.
Itron is a leading technology company that provides solutions which measures, manage, and analyze electricity and water usage. Their Meter Data Management (MDM) platform, IEE, has been running successfully on Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Databases with more than 39 million meters in production across 6 Continents. Wise Men Consultants, Itron and SAP have worked together to bring the world’s leading MDM to the SAP HANA platform to help clients:
- Reduce cost of IT infrastructure by enabling a single SAP HANA platform for both Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and MDM
- Provide a single platform for an optimized end-to-end meter-to-cash lifecycle
- Provide easy access to meter data to help companies use analytics and make decisions in real time
This project was completed using our onshore and offshore teams including experts in SAP HANA, C# and SQL developers, Solution Architects, Business Analysts, Meter Data Management folks, Database experts, and Quality Assurance personnel. The Wise Men team worked for 7 months to code, validate, optimize, and migrate 7,900+ complex components to run seamlessly on the SAP HANA database. The solution was scale tested in COIL (Co-Innovation Lab of SAP) for 5 million meters resulting in exponential increase in performance over SQL Server and Oracle
Custom Collection Engine (CCE)
Traditionally, collection engines for Advanced Metering and Smart Grid applications have been developed to work with specific functional partners making it difficult for utilities to use AMI/Smart Grid infrastructure based on overall system selection. Additionally, when new/updated components of the headend software are introduced, there is no simple functional way to test the new systems within the production environment without providing a full system upgrade. Finally, when utilities acquire other utilities, this inflexibility makes system integration very complex and very costly.
Wise Men has built a new software component called the Custom Collection Engine (CCE) which is implemented on top of any data collection system which interfaces with metering and sensor networks within the utility. The CCE provides abstraction to the underlying collection engines by utilizing their given functionality and provides the Utility a common interface, both programmatically and visually, enabling vendor independence when selecting new meters. The CCE also supports different versions of the same underlying collection engines to enhance migration strategies as well as to provide a common user interface both within the utility infrastructure and mobile applications.
As the Smart Grid space is expanding to Grid Modernization and IoT Integration, the choice for technology selection is also becoming more complex. This CCE becomes the “Master” headend system which then interfaces with many different collection engines through vendor APIs and provides a common interface for various teams and is independent of the underlying infrastructure.
A large utility which is also Wise Men’s client, was using the OpenWay Collection Engine with the HW metering infrastructure for many years. If this utility were to implement the RIVA platform, a new headend (OpenWay Operations Center) would have to be installed; new user and programmatic interfaces would have to be developed. By providing a CCE, both systems could be operated with the same look & feel and programmatic framework. Secondly if the same utility acquired another utility, it is possible that a new metering or sensor technology may have to be integrated with their current systems. The easiest and cost-effective path was to implement the CCE which provided a single interface to all the underlying system for both operators and back-office systems. There was work that needed to be done to integrate the new software systems into the CCE, but users and mobile devices would have seamless access to the new systems once those CCE integrations are performed.
By providing this integrated view of the overall systems integration across many components in the grid infrastructure is totally possible. New visualization and state management tools can also be integrated, allowing for a broader and more insightful view of the overall infrastructure. All of this reduces training time and costs helping to maintain common procedures and troubleshooting guides, to reduce system down time.
The CCE utilizes a common interface to multiple versions across different vendor systems and maintains a common set of functions. Simultaneously providing integrated systems state visibility from a single interface, a holistic view of the underlying AMI, Grid Modernization and IoT sensor systems can be realized.
Wise Men is a 24+ year old IT Solutions company and our approach is to take a business problem and provide a solution to our large, and small clients. Here are some examples of the projects Wise Men has done:
Detroit Electric (DTE): Oracle to the HANA Platform
Wise Men in collaboration with SAP America and Itron Inc, re-platformed Itron’s Enterprise Edition (IEE) Meter Data Management (MDM) from Oracle & SQL Server enabling it to run on SAP’s advanced in-memory database HANA. IEE supports utilities to provide interval and event data processing for residential, commercial, and Industrial (C&I) customers. This allows information to flow into the SAP billing system.
Itron Inc. SQL and Oracle to the HANA Platform
Wise Men completed the migration of SQL Server and Oracle DB to SAP’s HANA platform. We put together an onshore/offshore team consisting of SAP HANA experts, MDM domain experts, C#, SQL Developers, Architects, BA, QA testers. The team worked for 7+ months to code, validate and optimize and migrate 7,500+ complex components to SAP’s HANA platform.
CHUBU Electric Custom Collection Engine
Traditionally, collection systems for Advanced Metering & Smart Grid applications have been developed to work with specific functional partners making it difficult for utilities to use AMI/Smart Grid Infrastructure based on overall system selection. Additionally, when new/updated components of the headend software are introduced, there is no simple functional way to test the new systems within the production environment without providing a full upgrade of the system. Finally, when utilities make acquisitions, this inflexibility makes system integration very complex and costly. Wise Men proposed a new software component called the Custom Collection Engine (CCE) which is implemented on top of any data collection system interfacing metering/sensor networks within the utility. The CCE will provide abstraction layer to the underlying collection engines by utilizing their given functionality and provide the utility a common interface, both programmatically and visually thereby enabling vendor independence when selecting new meters, sensor systems or integrating acquired systems. The CCE also supports different versions of the same underlying collection engines to enhance migration strategies as well as to provide a common user interface both within the utility infrastructure and mobile applications.