Elster Hosts 2008 EnergyAxis® User Conference in Phoenix, Arizona
Raleigh, North Carolina
Elster, a world leader in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and integrated metering and utilization solutions to the gas, electricity and water industries, concluded its second annual EnergyAxis User Conference last week at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Resort in Phoenix, Arizona to rave reviews.
The three-day event armed EnergyAxis AMI users with information about the latest trends and best practices in customer service, grid reliability, revenue assurance, flexible pricing offerings as well as demand response programs. Additional topics included information updates on electric, water and gas endpoints, communications options, system software advancements, customer experiences in remote disconnect/reconnect and large system information technology architecture, prepayment solutions, outage management, home area networking and rural and low density deployment.
“We are quite pleased with attendance at the 2008 EnergyAxis User Conference,” said Sharon Allan, president, Elster Integrated Solutions. “The user group is an opportunity for continued partnership between Elster, customers, strategic partners and distributors. We find it imperative to continue to share information and provide education to our user community as well as collect direct feedback on how to better serve their business needs. Together with our partners, Elster is committed to delivering timely solutions to meet our customer’s needs.”
Utility customers from the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, as well as Elster business partners conferred during the conference to share knowledge and real world experiences, discuss industry trends, receive product updates and share their experience and plans for realizing a truly smart grid. A strategic direction panel discussion provided a tactical EnergyAxis roadmap with a development timeline for system updates and new product rollouts.
Work sessions also addressed available and new WAN technologies, site planning, the regulatory environment, outage management, system software integration, demand response, smart grid applications, as well as water and gas product highlights. ABB and Burlington Hydro were featured panelists in a discussion on Elster’s Advanced Grid Infrastructure (AGI). The AGI initiative is being used to improve technical energy loss evaluations, non-technical energy theft investigations and improve feeder modeling, planning and operations. Burlington Hydro is currently participating in a pilot project with Elster and ABB to integrate AMI metering data with distribution feeder analysis modeling software to realize an advanced grid infrastructure that is more effective in outsmarting energy loss.
Attendees opting to participate in an additional day of the conference received training in Metering Automation Server (MAS) technology—enterprise AMI software that integrates with utility backoffice systems—and a special workshop for Elster’s international customers conducted in Spanish.
Among the highlights of this year’s conference was the direct participation by members of Elster’s newly launched Partner Network program. These strategic Elster business partners exhibited and demonstrated functional uses of their technologies and services that enhance the value and benefit of Elster’s EnergyAxis System to EnergyAxis users.
“Interacting with our customers, understanding their challenges and sharing with them our vision and direction are imperative to maintaining successful, long-term relationships,” said Allan. “Having our business partners available to demonstrate their products and services generated excitement and a spirit of collaboration with customers and our partners alike.”