Smart grid communications solution from
IBM and Cisco

The challenge

The need for better information networks

Utilities face unprecedented challenges. The old, centralized, one-way electrical architecture that has served the public for decades is no longer sustainable. With increasing demand, grid capacity is being stretched to the limit at precisely the same time that aging infrastructures are starting to become a real issue. In addition, environmental concerns, rising costs, security, regulations and new distributed generation and distribution models are all gaining new importance.

The solution

A smart grid enablera

The smart grid communications solution from IBM and Cisco encompasses a broad set of offerings that can help support the complete energy value chain with any-to-any communications. The solution can enable utilities to improve service levels, extend the life of assets and even increase effective capacity. Streamlining and rationalizing the network architecture can make it more manageable, more flexible, more reliable and far more cost-effective than existing approaches.

The joint solution utilizes IP technology, which allows it to carry video, data, voice or any other data stream. This enables everything from security camera video to work crew communications to travel over a single, unified network infrastructure. For example, if a problem is detected, then the sensing device can send an alert to an application to take automated corrective action such as re-routing power. At the same time—using the same network—it can send a message alerting field technicians to address the issue.

The benefits

Move toward a strategic, simplified infrastructure

Together, IBM and Cisco offer a highly secure communications networking solution for utility companies that provides an essential foundation for smart grid transformation. The solution can help provide:

The alliance partnership

Industry leadership that makes a difference

IBM and Cisco are market leaders in communications and information technology with expertise that is well suited to the rigorous and specialized needs of the utility industry. Cisco has long been at the forefront of networking technology and the key issues surrounding it, such as infrastructure and data security. Cisco brings critical IP expertise and network infrastructure products ranging from routers, switches, controllers and wireless gateways to IP cameras and security and network management software.

IBM is a pioneer in the smart grid arena and has built on that experience to establish new industry standards and best practices on a global basis. IBM also utilizes leadership in the global integrated communications and security services space to help utilities customers realize their smart grid objectives. IBM complements Cisco’s network expertise with deep knowledge of industry requirements and robust networking and security services, as well as software capabilities.

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