Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Perspectives

In Europe, Grid 4EU Sets Foundation for the Smart Grid

Grid4EU is a four-year, multi-national project that comprises six smart grid projects by utilities in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. Together these projects cover more than half of Europe’s electricity supply. With an ecosystem of 27-partners, the project is focusing on smart grid solutions for renewable energy integration, grid automation and energy efficiency.  This will effectively lay the groundwork for future electrical grids, while empowering consumers as marketplace participants.  Ultimately, improving consumption management and cost-effectively achieving greater network reliability, flexibility, and resiliency.

According to Marco Cotti, Head of Smart Grids Development at Enel,

“The GRID4EU project represents the first important step in the implementation of the European Electricity Grid Initiative roadmap and we are convinced that it will become a reference for the development of Smart Grids in Europe and beyond”

Cisco is supporting two major project demos in Italy and the Czech Republic. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Utilities Roll out the Smart Grid in Canada

Recently FortisBC Inc., an integrated energy solution provider serving approximately 162,000 electricity customers in Canada, selected Itron’s smart grid solution to support the utility’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project.  This follows on the heels of BC Hydro, another Canadian utility, announcing its plan to upgrade nearly 2 million electric meters over the next two years. Both utilities expect to improve customer engagement and reduce costs through operational efficiencies, and a key technology is the communications infrastructure on which both solutions will run.

Earlier this year, Cisco helped rally the industry around the utilities need for an architectural approach based on open standards, that would address interoperability and cybersecurity across disparate systems. The Cisco GridBlocks ArchitectureTM provides such framework, and its implementation for the utility field area network is what BC Hydro and FortisBC are using to deliver multiple applications and manage devices over a common communication network. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

The Customer Experience: The New Gold Rush (Part 2)

In Part 1, I explained that both sides of the customer experience equation—what I am led to expect, and what I perceive I received—are both heavily influenced by today’s hyperconnected world. Let me recap briefly before I explain how we can approach customer experience in this new world.

Today, I can easily compare products across the globe—and get any number of reviews on your products versus any others. Perhaps even more influential are the social media networks, where those I listen to most—my friends—can quickly influence me and make or break your product. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Customer Experience: The New Gold Rush (Part 1)

There was a time when making good products was sufficient to succeed in the business world, but that is no longer the case. While making good products (or services)—things that people want and value, of a quality they expect and at a price point they are willing to pay—remains essential to the value proposition, it’s just table stakes today. What customers want are “experiences.”

So what is an “experience,” and why are customers’ expectations of that experience different from those of the past? Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Intelligent Network Delivers the Cloud

We are proud of our customers and their success in the marketplace. They are changing the way business is done by providing scalable, enterprise-grade, secure, and affordable cloud solutions. By tying together the Unified Data Center with the Cloud Intelligent Network and applying Applications and Services on top as end-to-end solutions, these cloud providers are delivering differentiated services with high-level SLAs necessary for end-users’ strategic applications. That’s what US Signal is doing for their customers.

But for some more background, last week at Structure, the conversations swirled around how to handle Big Data, the future of software-defined networking, data center compute technology, database and programming types, and open versus proprietary. Two of our CloudVerse customers, Terremark and SunGard both had strong booth presence and Terremark also had a packed presentation delivered by Jim Anthony, VP, Tier II Solution Architecture Team. Compared to last year, there was a stronger agreement that cloud providers are fully capable of providing public or virtual private cloud services with trust, scalability, and affordability, instead of companies taking on cloud internally by themselves. There are many needs for cloud services out there and that means there are opportunities to provide a differentiated service.

As such, with data usage increasing exponentially, it’s clear how important the network is for connecting the many clouds out there. Let me explain how US Signal is leveraging their expertise with an end-to-end delivery network to success in cloud. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,