How cooperation drove innovation in disaster preparedness while helping expand the power of Verizon’s M2M technology.
There has been a sharp increase in recent years of historically unprecedented weather events in the United States, ranging from Superstorm Sandy to the Oklahoma tornadoes and California wildfires. These events have highlighted the importance of preparation for natural disasters, while thrusting the possibility of devastation and extended power loss to the top of every corporate agenda.
Without power during these emergencies, the main challenge is the inability to communicate – for those who need to reach loved ones or for first responders. Verizon’s relief efforts during Sandy and the other recent natural disasters have been an integral part in helping restore communications in affected areas.
Particularly in tropical storm and hurricane-prone regions such as the Southeastern United States, Verizon needed a solution to help maintain cellular coverage during extensive power outages due to these types of natural disasters. That is where Verizon’s relationship with Invensys began.
Invensys, through its Robertshaw Industrial Products Division, introduced Verizon to Centeron, a wireless solution to remotely monitor and track the fuel storage tank levels of cell phone tower generators. This means Verizon can know exactly when to deliver fuel to tower sites in a more predictive way, and how much to top off current fuel levels – particularly if a storm is approaching.
In addition to the Centeron solution, Verizon saw an opportunity to enhance Robertshaw’s machine-to-machine (M2M) technology by offering a reliable network connection for remote connectivity and longevity.
Verizon introduced Robertshaw to the Company’s wireless solutions, and invited Robertshaw to visit Verizon’s CDMA Lab and Innovation Center at Waltham to learn more. In touring Waltham, Robertshaw gained an in-depth understanding of Verizon’s connectivity solutions and reviewed a future roadmap detailing how 4G LTE could enhance their solutions and enable them to present a better portfolio of offerings to their customers.
That experience strengthened the relationship between Verizon and Robertshaw, and even led to Robertshaw joining the Verizon Solutions Partner program.
As Robertshaw helped Verizon increase the Centeron devices used on the Company’s cell towers to over 3,000, Verizon also began the process of converting Robertshaw onto Verizon’s CDMA technology. Through a first-of-its-kind joint-development process, Invensys engineers worked alongside Verizon engineers in the CDMA Lab to design, test and certify their tank monitoring solutions.
Invensys gained the benefit of:
- a more widely deployed network in more remote areas,
- reliable coverage,
- upgraded communications technology over 3G CDMA, and
- working with a trusted provider and leveraging the Verizon name.
At the same time, Verizon gained just the right solution for their needs as well as more connections on their CDMA network.
Today, Robertshaw is fully engaged in the production of new certified devices, and converting their current customers to upgrade in the field, while all new solution sales are strictly on Verizon 3G CDMA network.