Thursday, September 17, 2009

Smart grid: "IBM, Cisco Look to Tie Up Smart Grid Partners" (CSCO; IBM)

Good links for the research minded. From Greentech:

IBM has launched a broad-based smart grid software platform with utility and vendor partners, and Cisco has formed an ‘Ecosystem’ of IP-ready vendors and a utility advisory board.

Both IBM and Cisco announced new lists of partners and products for their smart grid integration efforts this week, asserting themselves as standards-setters amidst a sea of startups and utilities under pressure to standardize – and secure – as fast as possible.

IBM's software platform, announced Wednesday, is meant to tie together its various enterprise products – Tivoli, WebSphere, Lotus, Information Management – in a smart grid-specific formation.

Utility users of the Solution Architecture for Energy and Utilities Framework, or SAFE, platform include Texas's CenterPoint and unnamed others. A host of vendors including Trilliant, BPL Global, Coulomb Technologies, eMeter, Itron, OSIsoft and PowerSense have been certified or are seeking certification for it, IBM said.

The SAFE platform builds on IBM's ongoing smart grid work with various utilities, said Drew Clark, director of strategy for IBM's Venture Capital Group (see IBM Snags Another Smart Grid Deal and IBM Brings Smart Meters to Malta).

"If they have to do this integration piecemeal, it's going to be a lot more expensive," he said. "There's a sense of efficiency, and a sense of quality control," in going with a centralized platform, he said.

As for Cisco, on Thursday it announced two new partnership groups – a "Smart Grid Ecosystem" including such vendors as General Electric, SAIC, Arcadian Networks, Infosys, CapGemini, Oracle, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Siemens, Schneider Electric and Verizon (see Cisco Wants to be Everywhere in Smart Grid)....MORE