|Back Office - Benefits and Functionality|
Arc Innovations' advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) solution back office is reliable and scalable, thereby protecting valuable AMI data and ensuring performance. It is the enabler that supports customer acquisition and retention by delivering unique products to utilities' consumers. It guarantees accurate and timely bills for consumers by actively managing the communications network and the meter connectivity.
Arc Innovations delivers a low cost of ownership by the use of standards-based software and hardware architectures. The ease of deployment of Arc Innovations' back office system, with minimal integration, further decreases the costs to realise the benefits of AMI, and reduces the risks of an AMI implementation.
As an investment, Arc Innovations' AMI back office is an enabler of future goals for a utility. It can support and complement advanced network management systems, and a utility's smart grid aspirations.
For an AMI solution to deliver on intended benefits all the component parts of the AMI solution from the back office to the consumers home need to work together, reliably, and consistently. Arc Innovations' AMI solution back office architecture has been designed with performance, reliability, and scalability in mind.
Arc Innovations' database, messaging, and application servers are built on a clustered system with full failover capability. The database uses a disc array that can be hot swapped, eliminating downtime to perform maintenance operations. This protects the valuable data collected and stored as a part of an AMI deployment.
Click thumbnail to enlarge
To meet market demand and the changing landscape of product offerings, Arc Innovations' architecture is ideally suited to allow the AMI offering to grow with the market need. New applications can be added, seamlessly, without risk to the existing capabilities.
Arc Innovations' AMI solution allows utilities to leverage the value of existing assets, as Arc Innovations' enterprise service bus (ESB) provides an open gateway for other systems and applications to interact with the AMI applications and data.
Arc Innovations' AMI back office software is a complete package that leaves no gaps in delivering AMI. This allows a utility to maximise its return on investment, and reduces the total cost and complexity of delivering an AMI solution. Arc Innovations' back office solution is more than a meter data management system (MDMS). Not only does it manage data but also it manages the communications network, and the way in which consumers can use their electricity through Arc Innovations' Demand Manager.
Click thumbnail to enlarge
The Systems Manager is a suite of applications designed to operate and optimise the performance of the AMI solution. This ensures that the AMI system provides timely and accurate data.
The Communications Network Manager and data collection component ensure that the meter data is collected on a given schedule, and that the readings are valid. The Communications Manager provides an up-to-date view of the status of the communications network.
The Work Order Manager ensures that all information relating to the location and state of meters is up to date. Work requests can be logged, tracked, and completed by the Work Order Manager. The Work Order Manager also updates supporting systems via the enterprise service bus on meter detail in order to maintain data integrity. A rapid deployment of AMI metering is achievable through the Work Order Manager's pre-defined workflows and business processes, thereby ensuring the consumer has a seamless installation experience.
The Systems Manager can be used by system administers for setting user privileges and security levels.
The Demand Manager is the engine that delivers the benefits of demand- side management for consumers. The business rules for demand management are created by the utility in the Demand Manager, and are then implemented by Arc Innovations' intelligent AMI meter.
Business rules and products can be created for price signaling ($/KwHr), environmental signalling (CO2 emissions kg/hr), load limiting, secondary load control, reconnection and disconnection rules, distributed generation metering, and control of home appliances via a home area network.
These business rules can be bundled together to form products and tariffs that are differentiated in the market, and will drive customer acquisition and retention.
Reporting and Analysis
Arc Innovations' understands that different users have different information needs. Distributors and retailers want to understand their customers' usage and profiles in different ways. Our company's reporting and analysis solution provides the tools to be able to make the most of the wealth of stored information through the use of preformatted reporting, and the ability to create ad hoc analyses to fulfil specific business needs.
It is possible to understand customers and their consumption by the use of data analysis, which provides the opportunity to tailor and match products and tariffs right down to a customer's individual needs.
Usage profiling by location and network architecture allows an electricity provider to assess network pinch-points, and to measure the effect of demand management on peak load.
Arc Innovations' reporting and analysis tool extends to AMI performance and KPI reporting and tamper and theft analyses. Network outage detection reporting can complement the information provided by a real time network management system.
Reports are provided in a graphical format or html for easy incorporation into consumer self-management portals, and as data files such as .csv and .xml for incorporation into other applications. Different users can access reports specific to their business and informational needs through user privileges and security level settings.
A successful AMI deployment goes beyond meter data and demand management. Additional services for the consumer or the utility are an integral part of Arc Innovations' back office capabilities.
Arc Innovations' data management extends to multi-utility metering and can easily support water, gas, and other metering inputs. As utilities develop their smart grid aspirations, the data from an AMI solution can be used to further understand the electricity network and its capacity profile. Our AMI solution facilitates the incorporation of this understanding into an advanced network management solution, allowing a utility to realise its smart grid aspirations.