What Utilities Want and Need From Software and Analytics

Aclara recently released AclaraONE™ (One Network for Everyone), a next-generation SaaS solution that allows users to access and analyze data collected from meters and other devices on electric, water, and gas distribution networks. AclaraONE is unified, scalable software that allows customers to design a configurable solution that will grow with them as their requirements expand.

Back at ACE17, Aclara talked to Travis Kennedy of Water Online about its strategy for AclaraONE and other new and future developments. What follows are some highlights from the interview, but you can listen to it in its entirety here.

(Questions and answers are edited for space.)

Question: Can you walk us through what AclaraONE exactly is and how is it serving utilities?

Aclara:  It’s a way for us to provide a holistic user experience for all the services that Aclara offers, giving our customers, whether the employee is a customer service representative, or working in the meter shop, or responsible for billing, one system that is shared by everybody.

We also have a centralized data analytics engine that can crank through the data that we get from the AMI network and can serve up information in ways that are meaningful and relevant for the day to day jobs that employees are doing. What that does is gives us a lot more flexibility to work on messaging, to work on providing and pushing up information that meets the needs of employees’ day-to-day jobs. Traditional systems, old systems, and even old Aclara systems were designed such that the data was there but you had to search for it. You had to know what you were looking for.

AclaraONE has a really great dashboard. A lot of graphical interfacing, mapping, alerts, and information that’s being pushed up or bubbled up to the people using the systems, so there’s no more looking around. It’s very easy, it’s intuitive, and it’s pretty seamless, which is what we’re going for. So it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, doesn’t matter what part of the network you’re responsible for or what function you play in the utility. You have one solution that gives you everything you need.

Question: Give me an idea from your standpoint, what trends you’re seeing in the realm of analytics.

Aclara:  Data analytics right now is the buzzword. Everybody’s talking big data, IOT, big data analytics. They want to know what does it mean, and what we try to do is work with our customers to help them really understand not only what it means, but what we are trying to with the data that we have, and how can you take things that are maybe trapped in old, legacy systems that you have in the utility. How do we mine that for relevant information that helps people do their jobs better?


Want to learn more? Listen to the interview here. Other topics covered in the interview are:


  1. What utilities are looking for in software today
  2. How to reach millennials working at utilities
  3. How Aclara works with utilities like Avista to create a dialogue with customers.
  4. How water utilities use data to find problems on the distribution system.

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