The utility of the future will likely operate a fully digital system. Digital transformation can begin with quick moves to improve efficiency and expand the customer base, but as the transformation builds momentum, it opens deeper digital opportunities across a wide field.
Despite it being a massive undertaking, the opportunities created by data collection and exchange are greater than the challenges faced by utilities. Embracing the change allows water companies to develop new product and management options, thus improving customer relationship management, optimizing management at the asset level, and supporting efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
Utilities around the world are increasingly open to fully-fledged digitization. Apart from the financial, human and environmental advantages, the coronavirus crisis has made clear that remote management and monitoring are of crucial importance. This allows processes and activities to be maintained, including billing and customer service processes, and helps to overcome mobility restrictions and minimize risks for operators.
For those companies that were not yet technologically mature, the crisis has served as a catalyst to see the need to digitize processes and foster automation. Smart water technology is even helping to fight against the pandemic. The early detection of coronavirus outbreaks is possible thanks to near-real-time pictures of how the virus is spreading in the neighborhoods of different cities. This is what GoAigua SARS Analytics does. The early warning system identifies the sources of the pandemic and alerts public authorities, integrating all relevant information in a single management point.
For all digital transformation to be possible, legacy systems must be integrated with next generation tools, and departmental silos must be overcome. GoAigua technological solution collects information from all distributed data sources in the utility, allowing for a continuous integration of SCADAs, GIS, ERP, AMI, CMMS, IoT sensors, and other systems already in place. It is a proven technology that has been deployed by 400 utilities globally to improve operation and maintenance, asset management, customer experience and resilience.
Digital transformation: a matter of leadership
Building on 130 years of experience in water management, the company Idrica spun out of Global Omnium and is now a leader in digital transformation for the water industry, providing GoAigua technology and services for water cycle management on a global scale. Our aim is to support utilities in their digital transformation route, turning it into an attainable goal. Technology gives companies the necessary tools to face the future, which is still uncertain, with guarantees.
Article by Chema Nebot, Head of Business Development at Idrica
Chema Nebot is a Telecommunications Engineer by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), he has a Master’s degree in the specialty of radio communications from the École Supérieure d’Electricité (SUPELEC) in Paris.
He has always been involved in the technology sector, as head of business development for different telecom multinational companies. He currently leads the divisions of sales, marketing, tenders and documentation at Idrica.