It’s probably an understatement to say that we live in a time of significant change.  This is certainly for the Power and Utilities industries as the energy ecosystem evolves from an industry centered on an environmentally unfriendly business model to one that embraces renewables, much cleaner fossil fuels, the smart grid, demand response and other forms of generation that support sustainability.

With this change comes significant new complexities as the planning and operational issues will be much different and challenging. Utilities traditionally invest in new IT systems on the justification of reduced operational costs but in the face of an uncertain future having an IT infrastructure in place that enables corporate agility and flexibility may be the most important IT strategy a Utility can adopt going forward.

That’s why we in the Power & Utilities Group at Microsoft think the common information model (CIM) is so important. We are participating in its advancement too, hosting the CIM User Group December 15 – 18 in Redmond.

I won’t go into all the details but the CIM Users Group is dedicated to the promotion of the portability of existing applications and to the promotion of the ease of installation of new applications through the use of such standards as the common information model, message bus, and common data access specification.  Unlike a protocol standard, the common information model (CIM) is an abstract model that may be used as a reference, a category scheme of labels (data names) and applied meanings of data definitions, database design, and a definition of the structure and vocabulary of message schemas.

So what does all of this mean? CIM offers improved ability to adapt to business changes and increased business complexity. That’s the value of CIM and is exactly what is needed in the challenging times that we have ahead of us. We hope to see many of you at the meeting and may the CIM be with you! - Jon Arnold

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REDMOND, WASHINGTON, USA

Event:                         Microsoft Common Information Model (CIM) Users Group Meeting

Location:                    Redmond, WA, USA

Dates:                          December 15-18, 2008

Website: http://cimug.ucaiug.org/Meetings/Redmond2008/default.aspx

Presence: Microsoft is hosting the event and speaking in several sessions.

About: Microsoft is hosting the Common Information Model (CIM) Users Group Meeting to offer our customers and partners the opportunity to interact on CIM developments. CIM is an international standard for modeling the information exchanges required in Utilities. The CIM Users Group is a key standards activity in the Utility Industry and we encourage your participation if at all possible.