A chance meeting between two companies at a trade show can have unplanned positive effects on a huge scale. In this case, they transformed the way one does business in Thailand and may ultimately alter the way utilities around the globe program their meters.
Those two companies are Itron and EnSight+. Itron delivers its affiliates everything from advanced metering infrastructure and reading to smart city and industrial IoT solutions. EnSight+ supplies a suite of custom services for utility providers worldwide. They have collaborated on a series of projects that has leadership on both sides of the partnership excited for the future.
It was less than a year ago that Itron first deployed the EnSight+ work order management solution across five of its affiliated companies throughout Thailand. Since then, and in concert with the software, EnSight+ has supported the Thailand-based affiliates with inventory management, auditing, and ongoing support and maintenance, as well as new developments and customizations that are introduced in real-time.
Beginning with that first trade show introduction, Itron leadership came away impressed with what EnSight+ had to offer and the company’s ability to tailor a solution that solves Itron’s most pressing problems. To ensure the solution checked all the right boxes, Senior Manager of Operations, Robert Duval, personally collaborated with EnSight+ Chief Executive Officer Lee Schwartz and Chief Operating Officer Josh Collins to develop the custom solution.
In the future, the EnSight+ software could potentially play a pivotal role in the installation of as many as 20 million utility meters across Thailand, a number that represents 99% of the country’s utility customers.
Prior to partnering with EnSight+, Itron was not equipped to support jobs of that scope. A spokesperson for Itron said the company’s former software provider lacked the ability to customize the solution and failed to keep up with its evolving business model.
Development of the customized software did prove challenging, given the project’s tight turnaround times, ongoing language barrier and requirement to integrate with multiple systems of record. EnSight+ developers traveled to Thailand and worked on-site for 30 days to alleviate those concerns, which led to a smooth implementation.
While most of today’s software platforms exist in a cloud environment, the specifics of that particular development dictated that EnSight+ create a replica of the structure as an on-premises solution in Thailand.
Additionally, the team needed to build an app that would only communicate on Thailand’s local utility’s private network, adding a layer of complexity not found when connecting to most mobile service providers.
Work order management software provided by EnSight+ has historically demonstrated an increase in efficiency by 37%, reduced error rates by nearly 90% and improved arrival times by 28%. Itron and its affiliates are expected to net similarly meaningful improvements through the EnSight+ integration.
The partnership was so successful for both sides that Itron has since made EnSight+ the first authorized software solution provider for programming meters.
The two have also co-created an evaluation and improvement meter programming tool valued at more than $100,000 that’s accessible to any meter service provider using the EnSight+ solution and servicing Itron meters.
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