Brian Huey from Sprint took the time to answer InnovatingSMART's questions regarding communications support for Smart Grid innovators and entrepreneurs. Check out Brian's detailed answers below. THANK YOU, Brian!
And check out The Sprint Open Solutions Conference Nov. 2-4, 2011, in Santa Clara, Calif. Registration is now open for the conference -- Half-off early-bird pricing through August!
How would entrepreneurs interested in developing SmartGrid solutions in conjunction with Sprint go about engaging with your company?
The best way for entrepreneurs and developers to contact Sprint is to first browse our M2M Website(http://m2m.sprint.com) and then click on the “contact us” link.
Are there any particular solution areas you are directing your partnership / investment attention to, short-term and/or long-term, with regard to SmartGrid?
Unquestionably the energy and utility industry is experiencing significant challenges today and is currently in a transformational state. There is unprecedented convergence of new communications technologies to enable key enterprise applications, the need for greater operational excellence, focus on cost containment, as well as meeting ever increasing regulatory demands. Although the traditional model of a vertically integrated utility still exists, utility executives will be challenged in partnering with 3rd party application and service providers, diversification of energy supply (base, peak, and renewable), enabling the consumer in making smart energy decisions, and the eminent challenges of supporting electric vehicle transportation in the future. Whether public or private, utility priorities will likely remain the same…safety, operational excellence and superior customer service, regulatory compliance, however, new enabling technologies for the connected worker and digital utility-of-the-future will be ever present.
Sprint’s focus is to provide comprehensive 3G & 4G network services and secure VPN connectivity options through our DataLink managed service for the various applications surrounding Smart Grid. Common applications are Automatic Meter Infrastructure (AMI), Distribution Automation (DA), Demand Response (DR), and Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA). Other emerging applications such as Building Management, Home Energy Management and Electrical Vehicle charging, are increasing becoming a component of the Smart Grid and encouraging Sprint and Utilities to collaborate. Sprint is also heavily engaged in the industry standards activities, ecosystem of technology providers, and strategic application partnerships. There is an evolving intersection of the Telecom services provided by companies such as Sprint to the integrated communications needs of utility companies deploying Smart Grid applications going forward.
What standards or pre-standards are you tracking/helping to develop in the SmartGrid space? What technology elements might you be focusing on as part of Sprint’s response to the need for SmartGrid solutions?
We track several standards and industry organizations that direct the utility industry. We follow the activities in UTC, NERC/FERC, SGIP, NIST as well as activities in Zigbee Smart Energy Profile and similiar energy management technologies.
How does Sprint support and engage with entrepreneurs?
Sprint supports developers and entrepreneurs through a variety of programs:
1. The Sprint M2M website (http://m2m.sprint.com) is an excellent resource for developers and entrepenurers. We publish case studies, profile solutions and provide resources on how to engage with us and launch solutions.
2. We sponsor and participate in tradeshows, both national and regional, and invite partners to showcase their solutions in our booth in areas that are VC focused and Vertically Market focused. We have tradeshow events planned in all of our major vertical markets, such as Smart Grid, Transportation, Healthcare to name a few.
3. Sprint embraces an Open strategy enabling world-class M2M solutions. Sprint encourages developers to create innovative apps on multiple platforms including Android, webOS, RIM/Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Java. Through our Open-Network-Execution approach, we can serve customers as their primary M2M partner. Our value proposition is built on streamlining the process of deploying M2M solutions, while enabling customers to tap into our extensive M2M ecosystem, where they can choose from a broad selection of applications and expertise to support their specific objectives.
4. Each year developers gather at the Sprint Application Developers Conference to hear from Sprint executives and industry experts to learn how to leverage the full suite of open development capabilities. Sprint Open Solutions Conference, typically held in the 4Q in the San Francisco area. Additional information is available at http://developer.sprint.com/site/global/community/events/2011devcon...
5. Last fall, Sprint opened the M2M Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif., which is a dynamic and interactive environment where ideas, knowledge and technology come together to produce wirelessly enabled M2M concepts, products and solutions. The Collaboration Center brings together Application Developers, System Integrators, Device/Module Manufactures, Solution Providers, Sprint Partners, Engineers and customers to rapidly develop proof of concepts and test connected devices before submitting for certification. Representatives from partners companies and from across Sprint work side-by-side to rapidly bring new M2M solutions to the utilities industry, as well as other segments. Additional information about the Sprint M2M Collaboration Center is available at: http://m2m.sprint.com/engage-with-us/collaborationcenter.aspx
6. Sue, I also invite you to look at our recent new release "Sprint’s Growing M2M Partner Ecosystem Expands Options for Businesses and Consumers," http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1833
Brian M. Huey
Business Development and Strategy – Smart Grid and Utilities
Sprint. America’s Favorite 4G Network.