Throughout the Power & Utilities value chain we see data being generated faster than ever before. Whether it’s advanced plant analytics, operation data from the smart grid, smart metering, electric vehicles, or new views of the customer though behavioral analytics we are seeing a tsunami of data that Utilities are trying to manage. The challenge is turning this data into information that Utilities can use to improve their operations, benefit their customers and stakeholders.

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To meet these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities, we are very pleased to announce that the latest version of the world’s most widely deployed data platform, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, has been released to manufacturing. SQL Server 2012 helps address the challenges of increasing data volumes by rapidly turning data into actionable business insights. Expanding on our commitment to help customers manage any data, regardless of size, both on-premises and in the cloud, we also disclosed additional details regarding its plans to release an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure.

At the same time we released a new impact study on the potential benefits of upgrading to SQL Server 2012. The study reports a potential return on investment of up to 189 percent with a 12-month payback period.

Last, but not least, we demonstrated new record-breaking performance benchmarks for SQL Server 2012 through partner and Microsoft led testing that underscores SQL Server’s ability to scale across the enterprise.

Those interested can find more information about this week’s announcement here or download an evaluation copy of SQL Server 2012 at the SQL Server virtual press kit site.  Managing the increasing data volumes by rapidly turning data into actionable business insights is one of the biggest challenges for Utility CIOs in the 21st Century. We really have taken a major step forward in helping to solve this challenge with Microsoft SQL Server 2012. – Jon C. Arnold