Smart meters offer a wide range of benefits to both utilities and their customers, including faster detection of outages, facilitation of more flexible billing plans, increased awareness of consumption and greater efficiency. However, smart meters also create challenges for utilities related to significant upfront costs, increased complexity and a greater need for security.
To help electricity, gas and water utilities overcome these challenges, Ericsson is introducing Smart Metering as a Service – a complete, end-to-end, automatic smart metering and data management solution.
Smart Metering as a Service enables end-to-end business process outsourcing, covering everything from specific service functions to communications management. It combines Ericsson’s experience in managed services, ICT transformation experience and global service delivery organization.
Under this business model, Ericsson manages smart metering infrastructure, data collection and analysis processes on behalf of utilities, according to service-level agreements. By leveraging its global knowledge in the integration and management of IT systems, Ericsson simplifies the billing process for utilities. With 65,000 services professionals spread across 180 countries, Ericsson can offer economies of scale that cannot be achieved by utilities themselves. At the same time, transparent governance and change-management processes ensure that utilities maintain control of their smart metering.
As a result, utilities benefit from fast time to market without significant upfront investments, and can realize cost savings of more than 20 percent due to increased operational efficiency.
Marie Fossum Strannegård, head of Utilities, Ericsson, says: “Increased focus on emission reductions, new business models and operational efficiency is changing the nature of the utilities business and increasing the attractiveness of outsourcing. We can use our expertise acquired in the telecom and IT industries to help utilities cope with a wide variety of challenges.
“On behalf of utilities, we coordinate the provision of IT services, field services and connectivity, acting as a single point of contact. Our managed Smart Metering as a Service offering has been proven in collaboration with several utilities in northern Europe, and we are now ready to make it available globally using our extensive service delivery organization.”