Conference: Metering, Billing, CRM/CIS Latin America 2005.
Location: Sao Paulo
Presenter: Michele Marzola

Many Utilities have studied AMR and have had a hard time to arrive at a convincing business case.

But take the process a step further with automatic meter management (AMM) and a solution is now available for a significant improvement in utility business, says Michele Marzola, vice president of IBM Global Services and global general manager of AMM Solutions.

ENEL in Italy has already implemented a full scale AMM solution which delivers benefits to more than 22 million Italian customers and delivers a 4 years pay-back to ENEL.

There are many sources of benefits that can be demonstrated in field by Enel: increase in field force productivity; better handling of customer billings; elimination of electromechanical meter revisions and maintenance; elimination of commercial losses. The last one looks particularly important for Utilities in Latin America. 

With AMM utilities are able to monitor energy efficiency at the single substation level every 15 minutes, Marzola says. Advanced analysis permits the identification of suspicious patterns and the zooming in on possible leaks. However, increased revenue yield will be realised only by acting on the identified leaks and monitoring eventual returns for illegal practices. And in turn this requires the development of efficient management practices, supported by both regulations and field-force automation systems.

In addition, he adds, AMM will make available a huge amount of new data to understand and manage the needs of various utility stakeholders, such as customers and regulators. Tailored contracts and services, actual billing, real-time low cost operations will improve the meter-to-cash processes. Effective network planning and management will drive towards intelligent network models. The constraints of energy generation will be limited and better addressed based on socio-economic priorities.

In his presentation ‘Automated meter management: the future has already started:’ Marzola will describe in detail the role of AMM in revenue protection – a technology, he says, that may enable Latin American utilities to skip the intermediate steps in the transformation path that western countries have undertaken in the last decade and step into the leading edge practices of the 21st century.