By: Juliet Shavit, President and CEO of SmartMark Communications, LLC
Over the last decade, the telecommunications industry has undergone a business and infrastructure transformation. Increased competition in the market coupled with increased adoption of mobile devices and wireless networks has forced communications service providers to rethink their ability to move quickly and roll out new services, not to mention keep their customers happy amidst fierce competition. Today managing the customer experience has become the key driver for communications service providers, driving their business and technology decisions.
Similarly, the energy and utilities industry is undergoing its own current business and technology transformation with the prevalence of smart grid and associated applications, programs and technologies. As the term “smart” implies, the development of both individual utility smart networks and the overall national and global initiatives to update and automate an age old transmission and distribution systems relies heavily on infrastructure investment and transformation.
Like their telecom brothers, utilities must also adapt to a changing environment where customers become increasingly important. AMI engineers are quickly realizing that they can have the most successful technology implementations of smart meter networks, but unless customers engage, long term investments become jeopardized.
So we are left with two services industries who are simultaneously tackling customer experience and management issues. Two industries where technology transformation is necessary to helping the large enterprise environments become agile, innovative and secure. Both industries share common business objectives and are both increasingly dependent on technologies to automate, streamline and optimize. Lastly, both utilities and the telecommunications industry are looking at the apps development market, social media, and Googles of the world with cautious optimism and a little fear.
To me it seems like a good dinner between friends and a bottle of wine is what these two industries need. I am not entirely sure these conversations should be left to the engineers in the standards bodies, though they should be invited to the party, of course. I think a little more mingling, getting to know each other, and a little more frank conversation (hence the wine), would go a long way into solving similar business challenges; and a little collaborationmay result in a much happier customer on both sides (check out www.gridcomms.com for details on an event to facilitate this very thing).
Oh, and if we could make the adoption of smart grid like the adoption of mobile phones, won’t we all just move on to the innovation both platforms ultimately promise?
Juliet Shavit, President and CEO - SmartMark Communications, LLC
Juliet Shavit is the founder and president of SmartMark Communications, an award winning strategic communications firm that has been recognized as one of the ‘Best Public Relations Agency of the Year’ in the 2010 and 2011 International Business Awards for the company’s out of the box approach to communications. After more than a decade of serving the utilities industry, Juliet launched SmartEnergy IP™, a consulting practice within SmartMark Communications, focused on customer education around Smart Grid. Today Juliet acts as a strategic advisor to utilities globally, helping them develop effective programs and messaging at different stages of Smart Grid deployment.
Juliet is also the founder of The Homeland Security for Networked Industries™ (HSNI) Conference, the Smart Grid Customer Education Symposium, GridComms™ and the Smart EV Executive Leadership Forum. SmartMark’s events seek to increase communications and collaboration between industries; including the telecom, transportation, automotive, and utility industries. Today Juliet is at the forefront of smart grid communications strategies and works with a number of utilities and industry organizations.