Silver Spring will work with your IT staff and your system integrator to tie the SilverLink applications securely into each of your business-critical smart grid systems, such as:
- Meter Data Management
- Asset Management
- Customer Information and Billing
- Demand Side Management
- Engineering Design
- Outage Management
- Distribution Automation
- Workforce Management
- Portals, including the Silver Spring CustomerIQ™ portal
We also can help you do much more than just enable SilverLink applications to communicate with your existing systems: We can help you automate and improve many of your current business processes.
In addition, Silver Spring can help integrate SilverLink applications with the new programs and devices you’re planning and launching to stay ahead of the political and economic pressures you see coming: for example, prepayment and innovative pricing agreements (such as demand pricing structures and TOUs), distributed generation products and renewable credit programs, and HAN products and services that enable your customers to take more control over their consumption (for example, programmable thermostats, in-home displays, energy web portals, and dynamic pricing programs).
Silver Spring will help you define the business requirements, scope the work, and provide guidance and assistance to your IT and system integrator teams. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore how SilverLink applications not only enables your smart grid but also can help “smarten” your existing and new business services. Whether you plan a simple smart grid system integration or more in-depth process changes, we’ll stay on hand to help you configure SilverLink applications and provide testing support and troubleshooting.
After designing where to place the network devices to ensure excellent and sustainable performance, Silver Spring trains your deployment teams on RF issues, as well as how to use our field tools and install meters with Silver Spring NICs and Silver Spring Access Points, Relays, and the Bridge family. We accompany your field ops or contractors in the field for the early part of the deployment and assist in troubleshooting problems thereafter as the deployment continues.
With our smart grid installation support we work with your meter vendors to obtain device information and import it into Advanced Metering Manager. And we enable your staff to provide Advanced Metering Manager with location information and other required data about each meter and other devices as they get deployed in the field. As each meter, Relay and Access Point is deployed, the smart grid network “sees” it – the Silver Spring tech support team monitors that process to identify and help resolve problems if they arise.
Our tech support team is also forward looking. They have a deep knowledge of the dependencies between deployed hardware, future deployments, and updates in the software (such as device firmware and Advanced Metering Manager) that may arise. They work with your staff to avoid most problems and help troubleshoot the ones that can’t be avoided.
You know your service territory better than anyone, but we know how to deploy smart grids in difficult and varying terrain. Your meters are in urban, suburban and rural locations. Some of them are in underground vaults and meter lockers; others are in malls or high-rises. Mountains and valleys intersect your service territory. Some neighborhoods are home to the kinds of foliage and ground cover that complicate wireless communications, and your region is prone to certain weather extremes that play havoc with even sturdy equipment.
At the start of every project, we apply our mesh network design and deployment expertise to your GIS databases and your meter location data. We create a scalable mesh network design plan for how to implement an efficient and effective communications network within your service territory. So where should we put our Access Points and Relays to assure you of complete and reliable network communications with your customers’ devices? How many Access Points, Relays, and Bridges will you need? Which wireless carriers will best suit your needs to obtain optimal but cost-effective coverage?
Depending on the operating model you’ve chosen, Silver Spring is responsible for:
- Providing technical support and smart grid maintenance to your staff as they use SilverLink to manage the day-to-day business of distribution automation, reading meter data several times per day, remote disconnect and reconnect, outage/restoration management — and, depending on your configuration decisions, implementing Demand Response, dynamic pricing, and/or home area networking.
- Alerting you to data collection problems and helping you track down the source of those problems.
- Monitoring the performance of your smart grid network and the hardware in your smart grid data center.
- Tracking trends that affect your network and hardware, including projecting capacity constraints and other problems before they happen.
- Ensuring that your smart grid network is not just secure from man-made threats (for example hackers and terrorism) but also backed up and fully protected from natural disasters and machine failures.
To the extent you’ve chosen to shoulder these responsibilities yourself, Silver Spring can train your staff, either as part of our open-enrollment courses in Redwood City, California, or in classes dedicated solely to your employees, if your attendance numbers and budget allow.
Adopting a smart grid solution does not eliminate monitoring and maintenance, but it does mean you can do a lot more from your office without rolling a truck.
To prepare your staff to work with SilverLink, Silver Spring offers a rich set of smart grid training courses.
- Application Training: A set of courses that train the utility employee end user of Silver Spring application tools. IT staff involved in managing your smart grid should all take these classes to get solid grounding in the functions and capabilities of all aspects of the SilverLink application suite.
- Administrator and Role-based Training: These sessions address the different needs of your IT staff, based on their roles, for example administrators, business ops, IT ops and network ops. All will learn the relevant “best practices” for all the smart grid tasks associated with their functional roles.
Of course, custom smart grid training is also available if the specifics of your smart grid solution require training beyond our basic courses. If and when your utility decides to take SilverLink hosting, we’ll provide professional services to ensure a complete, effective knowledge transfer to your staff: advanced transition-focused training, and daily on-site help from Silver Spring experts.
Typically employees from multiple customers attend Application Training as well as Administrator and Role-based Training sessions, hosted at or near the Silver Spring headquarters in San Jose, California. However, we are open to holding sessions dedicated solely for your employees and locating them at your site, if your attendance numbers and budget allow.