Itron Utility Week 2015 kicked off this morning with a great general session! We hope you had a chance to watch the livestream, but if you weren’t able to join us, you can learn more about additional livestreamed sessions here.

During one of our first breakout sessions of the morning, we caught up with Simon Pontin, chief technology officer at Itron and Steve Steinhilber, vice president, Global Partner Organization – Vertical Ecosystems at Cisco, to discuss how utilities will benefit from standards-based multipurpose networks. The advent of these new networks are creating service provider communities and driving the continued development and expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.

Pontin highlighted the benefits that the single multipurpose IP network brings to utilities, including an innovative ecosystem with open standards and interoperability that allows more devices and apps to engage and interact. With increased network connectivity and reliability, the multipurpose network creates new opportunities for innovation, advancement and IoT.

In its current state, IoT enables people and devices to connect in more meaningful ways and leverages data for decision making and increased process efficiency. Although the industry is experiencing an explosion in connectivity, 99 percent of the world is still not connected. Steinhilber noted that as more devices connect to the IoT, it provides multiple opportunities for utilities to not only create value for customers but that the converged networks enable utilities to respond to changes and innovate.

Additionally, it was noted that together, Itron and Cisco are offering the world’s largest standards-based network platform for battery-powered devices and are working towards a common based network for powered and non-powered devices.

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