As the premier event where utility professionals gather from more than 50 countries, DistribuTECH is viewed in certain circles as “the CES of the power industry.” This week thousands will meet and network in San Antonio, Texas for the annual DistribuTECH conference. Recently, I caught up with Verizon’s vice president of Energy and Utilities, Mike Brander; and Marty Uczen, director of Verizon Corporate Strategy for Energy and Utilities, both of whom are headed to the show.
“We’ve had a dedicated focus on the energy and utilities industry as a critical infrastructure for more than a decade, and with several members of our team having worked in the utilities industry, participating at DistribuTECH for the last several years has been a key part of our involvement, said Brander. “It’s an important show, not only because of the convergence of the latest smart metering technologies designed for the power industry, it’s also a gut check on how these disruptive technologies are being adopted to help transform business models.”
For Uczen, who joined Verizon from Duke Energy, the industry has reached an interesting inflection point.
“The traditional model of the power industry is under attack. Anemic demand for electricity has been a persistent issue for the industry for some time. Energy efficiency and non- traditional sources [such as solar and wind] are also eating away at demand growth,” said Uczen. Regardless of these headwinds, Uczen says that the industry’s responsibility to provide power and uphold the reliability of the nation’s grid remains unchanged, which is forcing power companies to enhance their aging infrastructure.
“At the end of the day, utilities need to demonstrate a return on their investment as they continue to invest in their business operations and infrastructure. Rather than stonewall change, the industry is trying to figure out how it can participate in this disruption to usher in new business models [to the extent that they can] to help drive customer experience and better business outcomes,” Uczen continued.
If you are attending DistribuTECH this week, be sure to check out our booth, to learn more about how Verizon is helping utility companies modernize aging infrastructure with machine-to-machine and intelligent networking technologies, address regulatory requirements such as NERC CIP, drive customer experience and operate in a secure environment.
For more information on Verizon’s solutions for the energy and utilities industry, click here.