World Wide Technology (WWT) was included as one of the ecosystem partners in Cisco’s Global Ecosystem Partners Smart Grid announcement last week. Steve Benvenuto—Cisco’s Director of Emerging Technologies and New Markets, does a good job summarizing in his blog post: What You Need to Know About Cisco’s Smart Grid Partner Ecosystem – Channels .
I thought I’d take a moment to tell you about WWT’s participation in this ecosystem but before I begin here’s some background on “The Grid.”
What is a Grid in the First place? I refer to Wikipedia:
An electrical grid is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. [A grid] is not a single entity but an aggregate of multiple networks and multiple power generation companies with multiple operators employing varying levels of communication and coordination, most of which is manually controlled.
So what does a Smart Grid do?
A smart grid is the next generation of “the grid” that delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology, hence the interest by many of the major IT players, which leads to energy savings, reduced costs, and increased reliability.
Not withstanding the positive impact to the environment, the financial savings associated with a Smart Grid could be significant. An United States Department of Energy study calculated that internal modernization of U.S. grids with smart grid capabilities would save between 46 and 117 billion dollars over the next 20 years.
With that background out of the way, here are some key points as to why WWT is participating in Cisco’s initiative and ecosystem of partners.
First, WWT is one of Cisco’s larger partners and we have specializations, including Master Certifications in many key advanced technologies, which are critical elements to the underlying Smart Grid infrastructure. We are absolutely committed to Cisco’s initiative to drive continued IP adoption within the Smart Grid.
WWT already works closely with many of the technology partners in the announcement, like Aeroscout, Oracle & EMC. We believe this collaboration among our current partners and Cisco will help us accelerate our collective efforts with Smart Grid.
We have also been on the forefront with Cisco’s Connected Real Estate (CRE) initiative. I think of CRE as a way to design and construct smart building or homes using digital technology that “plugs into” the Smart Grid. We have a brief white paper that we’ll be issuing regarding CRE in the upcoming weeks–stay tuned.
And finally, World Wide is fortunate to have many leading utilities and energy companies as customers including PG&E, Louisville Gas & Electric, WE Energies, Energy Future Holdings and South California Edison. We’ve learned quite a bit about their networking/IT infrastructure needs and are excited about the prospects of developing technology and infrastructure, with Cisco and other ecosystem partners, that directly and positively impact our many customers’ core business.
To sum it all up, what company wouldn’t want to be part of building the next generation smart communications infrastructure that will help utilities, businesses and consumers better manage and reduce energy consumption?
Feel free to comment or reach out to me or John Rohde, our business development manager responsible for our Energy & Utilities vertical, if you have questions.