Itron Teams With Microsoft, Motorola to Accelerate Decarbonization
Itron is expanding its operations by collaborating with Microsoft and Motorola to extend its grid edge solutions to reach a wider range of customers.
Under the expanded partnership with Microsoft, Itron is working to accelerate cloud adoption and the next generation of consumer and grid edge solutions for the utility and smart cities industries, combining its energy management systems with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Offering solutions including voltage monitoring, EV and solar awareness and location awareness, Itron has said it hopes to address industry problems in carbon tracking, data accessibility and clean energy matching.
“We have about 75 million endpoints under management and are quickly adding more to that,” Itron’s vice president of product management for outcomes Stefan Zschiegner said. “We are also adding more services that we manage on behalf of our customers onto these endpoints … expanding beyond what we have done in the past to bring more of our solutions to [the Azure] platform and really provide synergy savings.”
Darryl Willis, CVP Worldwide Energy Industry, Microsoft says the collaboration will enable utilities and smart cities to take advantage of cloud computing technology “in particular, edge computing—to accelerate cloud-native analytics, distribution automation, carbon reporting and provide an overall more flexible, scalable system that supports a distributed, resilient energy grid.”
Similarly, the collaboration with Motorola is expected to allow customers to expand their network reach, harnessing the mobile network’s 4G and 5G technology to offer large-scale customers like utility firms greater reach. The Motorola network’s end-to-end interoperability offers support for AI and machine learning, helping to accelerate the adoption of these technologies into our networks, as well as increasing capacity.
“As utilities and cities add more and more connected devices to their networks, the need to have increased capacity is really important,” said Tracy Morales, senior product marketing manager for Network Solutions. “So, private wireless broadband is a great compliment to mesh as it brings the increased capacity that is needed, and can be used as a really cost-effective gap-filling backhaul communications for the mesh.”
The collaborations fit within Itron’s wider aim of furthering its next-generation Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology – with its latest generation of solutions following a slightly modified approach than previous iterations, to focus on communication both on the grid and with consumers.