The dynamic utility market of today’s world is challenged by various obstacles. To prevent this, utilities are heavily investing in intelligent technology, infrastructure upgrades, renewable energies, consumer engagement tools, and social media applications. However, utilities vary among each other; hence just one solution does not fit all. This is where the Ottawa, Ontario based Harris Utilities comes into play, as its SmartWorks division helps utilities to adapt to the new technologies quickly and effectively. With over 35 years of expertise, the firm delivers a full range of robust and tailored software solutions that utilities need to engage and empower their customers, conserve and improve performance in this landscape. “Our solutions work on customer engagement, utility decision management, data analytics, and correlation across multiple systems,” explains Chris Lewis, Executive Vice President, Harris Utilities SmartWorks.

Harris Utilities’ innovation engine SmartWorks develops powerful refined and easy-to-use smart infrastructure solutions by studying the utility market. According to Lewis, smart grid is not only about smart meters, it involves all connected devices including Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) and sensors in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) that deal with the distribution and transmission networks. The insights collected from the combination of smart infrastructure and IoT sensors benefits the utility to serve its consumers better. Furthermore, SmartWorks acts as bridge between engineers, software experts, and product specialists to innovate and extract the new applications of the utility data. All SmartWorks products are available in multiple formats, cloud based or on premise, providing optionality to customers.

SmartWorks encompasses various solutions that help utilities to deliver service to their large number of consumers. SmartWorks Compass is a data management platform, which aggregates data from disparate sources within the utility and runs any form of analytics or reporting on that data. The data provides insights into user preferences. The platform includes MeterSense; the meter data management system, automated forecasting capabilities, distribution optimization, outage monitoring, and other customized reporting functions.

Our solutions work on customer engagement, utility decision management, data analytics, and correlation across multiple systems

SmartWorks VODA was introduced, to cater to the firm’s large footprint of smart water clients. This assists utilities with water conservation metrics, meter data management, leak detection, and lost revenue. SmartWorks Enterprise, an interval, and sub meter energy management portal allows large end use customers to manage their energy consumption setting alarms and automated actions for their programs.

In one instance, a water utility company’s field workers faced a challenge of fully understanding all of the data associated with the customer they were calling on. Consequently, the field workers leveraged SmartWorks application to gain the required insight. The workers had the ability to get a clear view of the premise that they were working on. All meter, SCADA, Customer Information System (CIS) and financial data was available to the field worker through their handheld tablet. The application integrated with Geospatial Information System (GIS) and filled in the gaps in information before they commenced work. The result: workers could deliver much more efficient service instantly, driving customer satisfaction, and decreasing the cost of each call made.

Harris Utilities SmartWorks plans to continue their prime focus on the municipal utility space. Addressing the southwest drought conditions and the new reality of water conservation, Lewis concludes, “We are really focused on data in both water and energy conservation management. The benefits in this area have the potential to change the way people everywhere use energy and water.”