Based on its recent analysis of the smart grids market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Cisco Systems, Inc. with the 2012 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology. The company's Connected Grid solutions leverage Internet Protocol (IP) to implements standard-based solutions that can easily integrate various other third-party offerings.
The modern smart grid not only interconnects the seven communication domains to ensure high efficiencies, low downtime, and reduced operational expenditure, but also enables reductions in peak power consumption and related capital expenditure. However, the scale and complexity in building and designing such a system throws up various technical, financial, and feasibility challenges. A tried-and-tested networking solution is crucial to handle the vast hardware elements, supporting channels, and different topologies that come together in a smart grid. Cisco addresses these issues by properly utilizing standards-based solutions built on IP, which is still one of the most robust and standardized communications technologies.
"Because IP has been used widely in various environments, it allows utilities and grid managers to deploy a single common platform for all required needs along every domain," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shahul Nath. "This reduces relevant issues, such as designing and building closed networks for every domain, and helps to address interoperability and security issues."
Cisco's implementation of the smart grid network is based on the GridBlocks™ architecture, which enables it to undertake a modular, phased implementation of the various grid-networking solutions and build upon existing infrastructure. This allows utilities to plan their investments and deploy in a flexible way. The aim of the GridBlocks architecture is to ensure that there is a common platform for the entire grid system, which can address the future needs and requirements of the electric grid system.
Cisco's Connected Grid solutions enable grid systems to communicate with each other based on real-time information. This allows utilities to enhance transmission and distribution system automation, asset management, and grid systems monitoring. It also permits the grid managers to identify bottlenecks and further optimize the grid.
"Using open, standard-based solutions also enables various end-point hardware to easily integrate into the grid," added Nath. "This is quite important as society moves into the era of home automation and electric vehicles, which will communicate with the grid systems to help reduce and control peak power requirements."
However, the most attractive capability the company offers relates to security. Having designed and delivered solutions for governments and militaries, Cisco's ability to deliver and secure solutions is important, especially in an age where cyber threats aim to target critical infrastructure, such as power grids.
"Equally important is the fact that Cisco exhibits the capacity to adapt to the future needs of utilities," noted Nath. "The company has the greatest ability to integrate distributed and renewable power such as solar and wind power, meet the growing need from electric vehicles, and leverage upcoming technological developments in communication and semiconductors."
Overall, Cisco's offering will enable utilities and grid operators to be better prepared to face the challenges of the coming years. In recognition, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present Cisco with the 2012 Global Enabling Technology Award in the smart grids market. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has developed a pioneering technology that not only enhances current products, but also enables the development of newer products and applications. The award recognizes the high market acceptance potential of the recipient's technology.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking, is helping the energy industry modernize the electrical grid from generation to distribution to consumption with highly secure, reliable and scalable communications solutions. The Cisco Connected Grid solutions include Transmission and Substation, Field Area Network, Grid Security, Data Center and Grid Operations. To learn more, please visit cisco.com/go/utilities.
About Frost & Sullivan
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