The value of data and information

An investment in advanced data collection technology returns value far beyond meter reading and billing. The traditional view of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is that it provides reductions in meter reading costs and improvements in meter reading operations. While this is true, it is far from the whole story. The greater story is the exploding …

An investment in advanced data collection technology returns value far beyond meter reading and billing.

The traditional view of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is that it provides reductions in meter reading costs and improvements in meter reading operations. While this is true, it is far from the whole story. The greater story is the exploding value of infrastructure-wide usage information. In truth, data that is collected for $1 today will be worth orders of magnitude more in the future. This is possible by transforming data that is currently used for billing purposes into information with strategic applications along the interdependencies of a fully realized smart city infrastructure, one where a full value chain is optimized and performing against this connected and shared data.

Five areas in which AMI data can be used include:

  • Improving revenue cycle services through increasing operating efficiency, increasing the efficiency of field staff, and improving revenue assurance.
  • Managing the local distribution system through the immediate reporting of any outages, planning system improvements, forecasting load and usage, and correlation against other smart infrastructure usage patterns.
  • Managing deregulated/customer choice environments through improved forecasting, reconcilement and settlements, improved outage detection and reliability, meeting new data requirements, integrating renewables, and preparing for retail competitiveness along the entirety of the customer value chain.
  • Delivering new services including updated billing options, monitoring and data delivery services, consulting and other services, submetering, and alternative wireless communications avenues.
  • Delivering value to the end customer by identifying usage patterns, providing monitoring and data delivery services, allowing for submetering, giving customers billing options that best suit their needs, and integrating customer-facing servicing and response systems such as dedicated webpages or smart phone applications.

The new uses and new users of information have forged a new economic reality in today’s smart city infrastructure. Information – the ability to gather it, manage it, distribute it, correlate it, action it and maximize its value will be key arbiters of success in the fully connected marketplace of the 21st century. That’s why we’ve included comprehensive analytics in our DataSCAPE™ product as well as scalability in the system to enable expansion along a connected smart city infrastructure within our Delta Smart Grid Network™.

Social issues are important too

All year long we believe business needs and social issues should not be mutually exclusive. With another holiday season here, our belief in that concept is underscored. Business models should not only provide positive economic outcomes for our customers, but they should also address social issues in the larger community – especially in underserved populations …

All year long we believe business needs and social issues should not be mutually exclusive. With another holiday season here, our belief in that concept is underscored. Business models should not only provide positive economic outcomes for our customers, but they should also address social issues in the larger community – especially in underserved populations around the world. And, while we work toward that end, we are each supporting the communities in which we live and operate. I’m proud that Delta’s employees prioritize making a positive impact where they live. Whether through donating goods, money or time, Delta’s team makes a concerted effort to highlight the importance of social issues while we work to empower the communities we serve.

If we can help communities to build out infrastructure in the right way, we can empower and enhance the economic positions of our customers. And, in parallel, we can address critical social issues by enabling broader access to a world of knowledge and economic opportunity otherwise inaccessible to many of these same communities. This in turn enables opportunities for those in underserved populations to empower and better their own futures. Specifically:

  • Education – Wi-Fi empowers the community, giving them an opportunity to learn, grow, and gain access to new information and skills.
  • Microenterprise/Local economy – The DSGN provides the platform to explore business ideas, research, and turn concepts into reality.
  • Community Infrastructure – Delta brings communities into the digital world, providing a foundation for optimized infrastructure and energy resources while enabling global, digital citizenship.

We are incredibly proud of our employees and the work we do with our partners around the world to not only help improve their businesses, but also help communities grow and thrive.

Connected Societies

We know that access to the internet has the capability to economically propel communities around the world, as my colleagues previously shared regarding emerging markets and rural America. But how do we take that access and convert it from individual use to a truly connected society? The community in Delft, South Africa provides us with …

We know that access to the internet has the capability to economically propel communities around the world, as my colleagues previously shared regarding emerging markets and rural America. But how do we take that access and convert it from individual use to a truly connected society? The community in Delft, South Africa provides us with an example.

The Delft government and the Mzansi Digital Republic (MDR) are working to implement public Wi-Fi to boost the local economy. MDR’s aim is to create digital citizens with the vision of unlocking the knowledge-based economy. To do that, they consider a multi-faceted approach to power, IoT infrastructure and internet access, connected devices, online community, e-commerce, and online support. Through their disruptive model of realigning the value chain of consumption and actualizing new opportunities for business, employment and social engagement, MDR is connecting the society in Delft in ways that haven’t been done before. As a result, local tech businesses have grown, generating local employment, facilitating digital commerce and ushering in local economic empowerment, thereby preventing a large amount of money from trickling out of the community.

In general, connected societies like the one developing in Delft will open opportunities for more collective action in regards to single-issue movements, while open government initiatives and access to public sector data will lead to more transparency and citizen-focused public services. The critical backbone to a connected society is a robust communications infrastructure that can support the required level of community connectivity. The Delta Smart Grid Network comes to mind as a solution—it fills in the gaps left by current telecommunications providers through the building of a community-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Broadband Internet in Rural America

Last summer, our team wrote about the Digital Divide and how the Internet can empower and propel emerging markets. While we’ve seen some progress on connectivity solutions in the past year, there is still a way to go—and it’s not just emerging markets that would benefit from more affordable, reliable internet access. According to the …

Last summer, our team wrote about the Digital Divide and how the Internet can empower and propel emerging markets. While we’ve seen some progress on connectivity solutions in the past year, there is still a way to go—and it’s not just emerging markets that would benefit from more affordable, reliable internet access. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 34 million people in the U.S. lack access to broadband internet—23 million of those people are rural Americans. And while an increasing number of schools have high-speed connections, approximately 41 percent of schools (47 percent of American students), lack the connectivity to meet the FCC’s short-term goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff.

As with emerging markets, rural Americans would benefit from reliable, affordable broadband access. State and local officials see broadband access as essential for economic development, access to educational opportunities and access to “telemedicine” so that rural patients can use the Internet to consult with medical specialists in urban areas.

The main obstacle to broadband access in rural America is cost—that’s where the Delta Smart Grid Network (DSGN) comes in. As a pioneering 2.4 GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi-based wireless wide area network (WWAN) that reduces the need for telecommunications infrastructure build-out, the DSGN delivers broadband Internet to the populations served by its utility customers, while also creating opportunities for IoT engagement and monetization by its telecommunications partners and OEMs. This leveraging of the electrical grid and the providing of a sufficient return on investment to electrical utilities and associated partners entices the private sector to get involved, thus overcoming cost obstacles and enabling consumers of electricity to have broadband Internet access.

Doing well by doing good

With the holidays upon us, many of us at Delta are thinking about how we can “give back” and have a positive impact on our communities and the greater world. At our core, we at Delta believe business and social issues should not be mutually exclusive—which is why so many of us take time from …

With the holidays upon us, many of us at Delta are thinking about how we can “give back” and have a positive impact on our communities and the greater world. At our core, we at Delta believe business and social issues should not be mutually exclusive—which is why so many of us take time from our busy professional schedules to give back during this season, and throughout the year.

Whether making monetary or goods donations to organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, local schools, churches and veterans organizations, or donating our time at local food banks and senior citizen centers, our employees are doing well by doing good. That same spirit is reflected in our company commitment to empowering sustainable business models that not only provide positive economic outcomes for our customers, but also do good for the larger community – especially in underserved populations around the world.

If we can help communities to build out infrastructure in the right way, we can empower and enhance the economic positions of our customers. And, in parallel, we can address critical social issues by enabling broader access to a world of knowledge otherwise inaccessible to many of these same communities. This in turn enables opportunities for those in underserved populations to empower and better their own futures. That’s especially significant in places like sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population are without access to electricity and many do not enjoy the same digital connectivity many take for granted in developed regions.

From an educational standpoint, a digitally connected community is empowered to learn, grow, and gain access to new information. This access also provides a platform for communities to explore business ideas, research, and turn concepts into a reality. And finally, it helps brings communities into the broader digital world, enhancing their position as a global digital citizen.

We are incredibly proud of our employees and the work we do with our partners around the world to not only help improve their businesses, but also help communities grow and thrive.

Click here to learn more about Delta, and share your thoughts and questions with us here.

Charting a Course for the Next Generation Smart Grid

More than a century of development has established the foundation for a safe and reliable electric grid. But, our increasingly digital landscape and world of connected devices has demanded even further innovation to reach that next generation of the grid: the smart grid. So, while we are empowered more than ever before with the data …

More than a century of development has established the foundation for a safe and reliable electric grid. But, our increasingly digital landscape and world of connected devices has demanded even further innovation to reach that next generation of the grid: the smart grid. So, while we are empowered more than ever before with the data and knowledge to improve the world around us, outdated energy infrastructure and old technologies are essentially holding the world back.

Advancement to the next generation smart grid is a critical next step for our current systems to better communicate and work together efficiently. That means establishing a reliable and stable communications network that leverages analytics while also providing a wireless, secure and mesh-enabled environment.

That’s where Delta comes in, and we’re already proving to be a disruptor in the industry. I founded this company fully aware of some of the current challenges facing the energy sector, but confident that great strides could be made to channel some of these exciting innovations happening all around us in this digital age – and we’ve done just that.

With our Delta Smart Grid Network (DSGN™), we are making those great strides and charting a new course for the next generation smart grid. Not only are we providing utilities with the tools needed to keep pace, but our technology can bring connectivity to millions around the world—especially those in developing countries who need it most.

That’s a significant motivator for us here at Delta and one of several reasons why we are passionate about what we do. The implementation of ground-breaking technologies like ours can empower underserved populations to better their future, and allow those emerging markets to grow and prosper.

Together with our customers, we are realizing the potential of a smarter grid and empowering them to tap into the innovation opportunities that surround us. In doing so, we see a bright future for utility operations and each of the communities that they serve.

The Digital Divide: How the Internet can empower and propel emerging markets

Since the Internet’s inception decades ago, its far-reaching impact on the world is undeniable. More than 3.7 billion people are now connected around the globe, which has strengthened the flow of information, increased communication, and enabled the growth and success of countless enterprises and industries. Despite this undeniable impact, a large percentage of the world …

Since the Internet’s inception decades ago, its far-reaching impact on the world is undeniable. More than 3.7 billion people are now connected around the globe, which has strengthened the flow of information, increased communication, and enabled the growth and success of countless enterprises and industries.

Despite this undeniable impact, a large percentage of the world still does not have access to the Internet, especially in developing countries. This lack of Internet connectivity inhibits individuals and organizations from learning, growing and developing their digital economies, ultimately creating a deep divide between urban centers and rural districts.  In short, many believe that this lack of connectivity may even slow the economic growth in some developing regions.

The second most populated country in the world, India, has only about 30 percent of its population Internet connected. At the same time, it provides an example of how expanding Internet access helps to elevate both individuals and a country as a whole.

In 2001, only seven million people in India were connected to the Internet. Today, the country has over 391 million users. Some believe that this increase in Internet availability has allowed India’s small businesses to realize greater economic achievements. For example, doctors are able to expand the scope of their geographical activities, and students are able to gain access to otherwise unattainable information.  Internet access is also enabling visually and physically challenged students at the Balagangadharanatha Swamiji Blind Residential School in India to expand their educational opportunities. In fact, one student has been so inspired by the ability to learn more through the Internet that he’s now building an app that can help other blind people with health-related information.

It’s a similar story in South Africa, where Internet access is improving, but remains well behind the global standard. Approximately 16 percent of the world’s population lives in Africa, but the Internet serves only about 9 percent of that population.

The roll out of public Wi-Fi in Delft, South Africa is another critical example of how increasing access to the Internet can open up opportunities for many. The expansion of public Wi-Fi has enabled local tech businesses to create jobs in the community, thereby boosting the economy and stemming the outflow of residents who were leaving the area.

Fortunately, new technologies can bring about a resolution to a lack of Internet access worldwide and allow emerging markets like India and South Africa to grow and prosper.

At Delta, we understand the importance of increasing access to the Internet to support these underserved populations through our Delta Smart Grid Network (DSGN™) – a singular, standardized, and scalable network that enables these communities to not only optimize power delivery, but also build out a Wi-Fi network, essentially creating a large hot-spot.

Through this critical Internet access, we are providing the opportunity for these communities to expand education, develop new enterprises and, ultimately flourish.