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Friday, 18 September 2009 05:32

Cisco goes after smart grid market

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Cisco has ramped up significantly its efforts to be a major player in the smart grid market with the launch of its 25 member smart grid ecosystem, the formation of a customer technical advisory board and the creation of a new smart grid business unit.

According to Marthin de Beer, senior vice president, Cisco Emerging Technologies Group, "Cisco is making important strides toward enabling an end-to-end, highly secure Smart Grid communications infrastructure that will help utilities, business and consumers better manage and reduce energy consumption. Together with our partners, and with input from utilities around the world, we will develop open, IP-based solutions that will help make the Smart Grid and all of its benefits a reality."

Laura Ipsen has been named senior vice president and general manager for the smart grid business unit. "She will be responsible for executing on Cisco's Smart Grid vision and strategy, developing and building a complete product and services portfolio, and communicating to our customers, partners and shareholders," said de Beer,

Cisco says the members of the ecosystem include system integrators, technology vendors, power and utility integrators, service providers, and services and sales vendors. "They will work with Cisco to support interoperability testing and enable industry migration to an IP-based infrastructure for smart grids and energy management applications, all the way from generation to businesses and homes," according to Cisco. "This effort will help reduce the cost and complexity of deploying multivendor smart grid communications infrastructure solutions for both utility companies and ecosystem members.

The initial members are Accenture, AeroScout, Arcadian Networks, AREVA T&D, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Capgemini, Coleman Technologies, EMC, Echelon, EnergyHub, GE, GridPoint, Infosys Technologies, Itron, Landis + Gyr, OATI, Oracle, OSIsoft, Pulse Energy, Proximetry, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), SecureLogix, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Skyline-ATS, Telvent, Verizon, Watteco, Wipro, and World Wide Technology.

Cisco says the technical advisory board, Grid Security Services, will help Cisco align its service, support and product direction to its customers' specific business and mission requirements. "It will give customers the opportunity to influence Cisco Smart Grid product and solution development road maps through a technology-focused forum."

Cisco has also joined the ZigBee Alliance to help drive the adoption of IP-based communications in smart grids and says it will support and participate in the development of ZigBee smart energy public application profile technology and products.

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