Oracle releases new BI solutions for utility industry, signs deal with City of Los Angeles

In an announcement last week, Oracle said they had signed a deal with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), to replace its legacy customer information system. The deal comes just days prior to another company announcement, that will make Oracle business intelligence and analytics products more widely available for the utilities sector.

LADWP is the nation’s largest municipal utility, providing water services to nearly 700,000 customers in Las Angeles and power services to about 1.4 million electric customers. The Oracle implementation will improve customer service, billing processes, field services and meter data management to support possible smart grid initiatives, Austin Beutner, LADWP general manager, said in a statement.

“By choosing Oracle, LADWP is advancing its IT standards to be on par with those that first class commercial enterprises demand. This information system will allow LADWP to better manage its operations,” he said. “We need this system to support smart grid, smart customers and all of our programs. All of our customers will see the results in more timely and informative billing.”

The deal comes as Oracle announced a new release of analytics product for the utilities industry. Oracle Business Intelligence for Utilities will allow utilities to organize data from across the enterprise into reports, conduct ad hoc queries, in-depth analyses and deploy proactive notifications and alerts. The new BI platform will also deliver intelligence across maps, charts and mash-ups – using graphics that make it easy to absorb complex data and to grasp relationships (i.e. between an outage event and its location). Utilities can use these near real-time visuals to improve decision-making and to update customers and first responders more quickly on situations like outage restoration, said Rick Nicholson, president of IDC Energy Insights.

“As utilities address the data management challenges associated with the smart grid the next big challenge will be turning the data into useful information that can enable improvements in decision making. Business analytics will be key to overcoming this challenge,” he said.

Oracle is also releasing an advanced outage analytics solution, designed help utilities glean intelligence from their outage and distribution management systems. Plans to release several new business intelligence modules over the next year are in place to support some of its other applications, the company indicated.

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