Today is an exciting day.

Our Microsoft Global Utilities team is gathered in Redmond with more than 70 executives from worldwide utility companies, partners and systems integrators discussing the future of the Smart Grid and reviewing case studies that highlight Microsoft technologies aimaget work. The turnout is fantastic and indicative of the type of demand that’s being created by the challenges the utilities face.

The goal of our Utilities Summit is ambitious – to understand the challenges utilities face and to offer guidance on the technology that provide scalable, simple solutions for electric grid operations, generation, sales and services, and regulatory compliance. Our summit schedule is jam-packed, with presentations and panel discussions from representatives from Five Point Partners, American Water, AGL Energy, Center Point Energy, San Diego Gas & Electric, Accenture, Itron, OSIsoft, Mainstream Renewable Power, Southern California Edison, BC Hydro, Eskom, CLP and, of course, Microsoft. As you might imagine, there’s tremendous energy in the room. (pun intended)

Our partner Telvent, which is also presenting, took the occasion to release a major announcement about its alignment with the Microsoft Smart Energy Reference Architecture. As Telvent’s CEO Ignacio Gonzalez notes in the press release:

“Telvent and Microsoft are leading providers of information technology solutions in the utility industry, and our offerings complement each other in a manner that allows utilities to make smarter operating decisions. Our alignment with Microsoft creates an opportunity for utilities to easily integrate multiple information-gathering systems, while ensuring the creation of a secure smart grid platform.”

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And indeed, SERA is a large part of the discussion today, as we work to help utilities make use of this useful guidance document for the transformation of their company. But the transformation isn’t limited to utilities. As the Telvent press release demonstrates, our partners are changing the way they do business using SERA as their guiding document:

Telvent is leveraging the SERA framework within its own technology offerings for the smart grid industry including distribution management, SCADA, outage management, geographical information systems, and meter data management. Additionally, Telvent serves on the SERA advisory council, which focuses on turning mass amounts of data into meaningful information.

These sorts of industry engagements really guide our work and inform our investments. We sincerely thank all the participants who have travelled from the four corners of the earth to our Executive Briefing Center for these meetings. It’s our hope they enjoy their time as much we are enjoying the pleasure of their company. – Jon C. Arnold