Yesterday’s grid managers used a discrete set of distribution software and hardware— operations technology (OT)—to ensure the safe, secure, reliable flow of power. Elsewhere in the utility, business departments used separate information technology (IT) applications to address financial and customer needs. Rarely did the two groups work closely together.

Today, emerging customer and community needs require close coordination between grid operations and customer-facing departments. Communities want the cleaner environments and lower costs obtainable only when customers use electricity more efficiently. Customers, in turn, want to generate power from on-site renewables and sell excess production to the utility. They want more options to conserve electricity and check daily consumption against budget goals, and recharge electric vehicles.

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