Intelligent infrastructure is used increasingly to refer to the smart grid for electric utilities and, more broadly, to include advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and meter data management (MDM) capabilities being implemented by gas and water utilities. The overwhelming impact of its full vision is about to redefine meter-to-cash, as well.
The year 2010 finds CS Week incorporating the intelligent infrastructure and grid into the Customer Lifecycle Experience and making it part of the fabric of our educational offerings. An undercurrent of preparation runs through the workshops, a tacit acknowledgement that few stimulus dollars have been earmarked for meter-to-cash readiness for new technologies that will demand customer involvement and education.
The leading edge of that impact will be home area networks (HANs). Friday morning, a powerhouse panel of speakers from Cisco, Microsoft Corp., General Electric Co., Verizon and Google cap three days of content-rich workshops with a lively discussion, “Information Moves Into the Home: the Energy Internet Battle.”
This year’s Expanding Excellence Awards, presented by CS Week and Electric Light & Power , include a new category: Best Smart Infrastructure/Grid Project. Awards will be presented to one large and one small utility that successfully completed during 2008-09 a pilot or full-scale implementation that optimized AMI/MDM technologies. The face-to-face exchanges of information with team members make the Friday morning workshops with award-winning utilities invaluable to other utilities evaluating or already in comparable projects.
CS Week is offering a stimulus package this year to underscore our belief that education is the best investment a utility can make in its future. Any utility, cooperative, municipality or governmental entity can send four employees to Conference 34 with its 60 workshops and more, but pay registration for only three. Response was immediate from a number of co-ops and municipals familiar with the “put what you learned to work” value imbued in CS Week’s many venues. Registration for this special package is only by phone: 903-893-3214. Anyone needing inspiration to request education and travel dollars will find a “Dear-boss-please-send-me-to-CS Week” letter on our Web site.
We are seeing nascent signs of recovery in the utility sector, bolstered by confidence from those associated with it. After being waylaid by the threat of swine flu last year, we anticipate a vibrant exhibit hall at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center.
Industry vendors and consultants are demonstrating their optimism as they commit early to sponsorships and exhibit space at CS Week. Eighty-eight exhibitors have signed to date, compared with 69 a year ago. Many are new, reflecting the entry of new providers and solutions as utilities everywhere prepare for the impact of the intelligent infrastructure.
Join us May 24-28 in Nashville, Tenn., for the most vital CS Week in 34 years. Full details, agendas, networking highlights and registration are available at http://csweek.org.
Jerry Duvall, CEO, CS Week
Rod Litke, COO, CS Week
For more information, please visit http://csweek.org