DISTRIBUTECH, TAMPA, Fla. 22-JAN-2008 05:00 AM - Oracle today announced the availability of Oracle(r) Utilities Network Management System Release 1.8.0, an integrated suite of real-time operations technology applications designed to improve network reliability, maximize asset utilization, reduce outage durations and increase customer satisfaction.
This new release builds on the product's market leadership1 in outage management with new enhancements to help utilities improve distribution management, including new applications for Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration, as well as Volt/Var Optimization.

Oracle Utilities Network Management System Release 1.8.0 leverages Oracle's application infrastructure - including Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware - to provide a unified application and technology operating environment. This combined application and supporting technology enables utilities to leverage new functionality to support their intelligent grid roadmaps.

"Maintaining high performance and service levels requires the visibility to anticipate and respond to dynamic usage requirements," said Quentin Grady, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. "Oracle Utilities Network Management System allows utilities to provide rapid and cohesive responses to performance issues, and it serves as the foundation for expanded services and enhanced operations."

Expanding Distribution Management Functionality
The Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration application within the new release integrates with distribution automation and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. The application automates fault isolation and determines how to efficiently restore service. It also initiates closed-loop switching actions within 60 seconds - without requiring dispatcher interaction, enabling utilities to quickly reduce the number of customers experiencing sustained outage durations.

Oracle's Optimal Power Flow Engine enhancements feature Volt/Var Optimization to minimize system losses. Volt/Var Optimization provides enhanced insight during system load changes - providing system operators with additional flexibility and responses for managing peak load conditions.

Oracle Utilities Network Management System Release 1.8.0 also features Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Integration Adapters to support Intelligent Grid and Smart Metering solutions. The integration of AMI technologies into Oracle Utilities Network Management System provides the ability to communicate with meters to enable restoration verification. As a result, utilities can reduce the number of truck deployments when power has already been restored to the meter and receive more comprehensive outage extent notifications from meters reporting that power is off. Oracle's field-proven interfaces are based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) implemented with Web services and exchanging MultiSpeak(r)-compliant extensible markup language (XML) messages.

Expanding Security and Data Modeling Capabilities
Oracle is providing additional capabilities to help utilities enhance system security and comply with industry mandates. New Oracle integration to Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) provides utilities with consistent user name and password administration and management within the system. Simplified user access for Oracle Utilities Network Management System provides single sign-on to all network management system applications.

To help utilities streamline reporting to Public Utility Commissions on overall system and reliability performance, Oracle Utilities Network Management System Release 1.8.0 also improves the accuracy of data models and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through: * The introduction of Oracle Utilities Business Intelligence to support visual metaphors for enhanced data mining and industry standard IEEE P1366 reports * Support for post-outage correction and detailed audit trails * Modeling of Automated Throwovers (ATOs) behavior for manual and auto return control schemes for reliable network configurations that accurately present, manage and control the complexities of Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) * Support for life-cycle changes to GIS data for construction-pending states through previews of facilities to be installed or removed from the electrical network and plans for commissioning or decommissioning equipment

"Oracle is well-positioned to support utility objectives through our best-of-breed products and integrated application infrastructure that delivers the performance, flexibility and scalability required to enhance services, streamline operations and achieve other business goals," said Linda Jackman, vice president of product management, Oracle Utilities. "Oracle Utilities Network Management System Release 1.8.0 reflects Oracle's ongoing commitment to provide utilities with focused applications that address specific challenges, as well as broad solutions that provide the platform for the next generation of operations and services."

Pricing and Availability
Oracle Utilities Network Management System Release 1.8.0 is currently available. For additional product information, including pricing, please visit www.oracle.com.