The UTC TELECOM conference wraped recently and the Connected Grid team has had a great time on-site! It’s been exciting for us to demo key components of our product portfolio and connect with many of our core audiences. Centered on the theme of “delivering your future,” the sold-out event served as a great platform for us to discuss Cisco’s efforts within the utility industry and the migration of the grid into a fully IP-enabled world.  

Earlier this month, we announced expanded offerings to further drive grid security and increase automation for enhanced grid operations. Leveraging our layered security approach (based on our GridBlocks reference model), we’ve continued to develop an architectural framework to execute on a security strategy that addresses both physical and cyber security concerns. Grid security isn’t something will happen overnight. At Cisco, our goal is to provide a forward-looking roadmap that enables the industry to fully address this critical issue.

We’ve also expanded our substation solution, with several new offerings that further bridges the gap for utilities going through their own IP transformations. Products including the Cisco 1000 Series Connected Grid Switches and Aggregation Service Router (ASR) 900 Series will help our customers deliver greater visibility, control and overall management of grid assets.

The team has received great feedback from initial testing phases we conducted with customers. In one particular case, one of our utility customers faced the challenge of enabling a scalable, secure and efficient grid that addressed regulatory requirements. In partnership with Cisco, the customer implemented different offerings to help drive these objectives. I’m happy to say that we’ve been seeing great results. In addition to improved visibility into grid operations, data logging, and platform flexibility, the customer has been able to address the changing regulatory landscape while leveraging a comprehensive security approach.

The need to protect critical national infrastructure will remain a pressing issue in the energy industry. As utilities push forth on efforts to modernize their electrical grids within an IP-enabled world, the threat landscape grows increasingly complex. Core to Cisco’s DNA is the priority we place on listening to our customers, understanding the intricacies of their environments and ultimately providing the technologies that will enable increased innovation and peace-of-mind. It’s always been our belief that IP-based protocols will transform the utility industry. By connecting the previously unconnected in the Internet of Everything, we open the doors to vast opportunities within the grid that can promote real, tangible benefits to society and the means in which energy is delivered.