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5 posts categorized "Case Studies"

2010.04.12

CSC study foresees more opportunity as grids get smarter

FALLS CHURCH, Va. --(Business Wire)-- A study released today by CSC found that business and IT executives at the top 20 utilities and retail energy providers worldwide are finding opportunities for growth as new smart utility and meter-to-cash advancements are unveiled. Participants of the 2010 Smart Utility and Meter-to-Cash Study reveal that there is optimism in the utilities sector about implementing new technologies to support the “smart grid,” but that the business processes to support them are just beginning to take shape.

The study, commissioned by CSC and conducted by leading analyst firm, IDC Energy Insights, in the winter of 2009-2010, queried business and IT executives from leading utilities from Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States about their major initiatives, objectives, expected payback, readiness and challenges. IDC Energy Insights is a division of International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

Responses indicate that smart utility and meter-to-cash technologies are creating significant amounts of data and analytics for customer intelligence, which allows utilities to study consumer reaction to pricing, identify potential revenue leakage, forecast customers’ ability to pay and limit unbilled usage through move-in/move-out disconnections. Despite these advantages, less than half of the top 20 utilities are currently applying analytics to energy consumption, but utilities executives across all regions believe that with the proper planning, organizations can achieve desired profitability goals in a relatively short amount of time.

“Smart meters and a diversity of transmission and distribution grid sensors are generating volumes of data, and this has the potential to have a profound effect on the business,” said Jill Feblowitz, practice director, IDC Energy Insights. “Surprisingly, utilities executives indicated that they are not yet at a point where they’re making full use of this data.”

The study also showed that utilities recognize that they must do more to adopt new meter-to-cash processes to drive the bottom line. New remote connect and disconnect services can send an automated notification to customers of possible shut off, which creates a more open lines of communication with the customer and enhances their service experience. The availability of new data through updated meter-to-cash systems tells providers more about customer credit history, payment history and consumption will support improved approaches to credit and collections.

“A critical component of successful planning is a comprehensive, long-term roadmap for the smart enterprise that takes into account changes in technology, business processes and customer interactions,” said Robert E. Welch, president, CSC’s Chemical, Energy and Natural Resources Group. “CSC is working with its clients to ensure they are prepared to implement smart technologies and keep their business moving forward.”

More key findings from the interviews conducted for the study include:
  • Smart grid investments are strong across all surveyed regions regardless of whether or not utilities have received stimulus funding
  • Utilities embracing a comprehensive network strategy will benefit from scalability capabilities as new application deployments increase
  • Short-term planning will result in overspending, thus a long-term vision of enterprise architecture that considers changes in business processes and customer interactions is essential
  • Smart grid security will be a major focus for utilities and this provides a huge opportunity for security services outsourcing
“The move to smart energy provides utilities with the opportunity to improve competitiveness, profitability and customer satisfaction. ROI can be realized more quickly than many utilities recognize. The average payback for investments in smart metering/Advanced Metering Infrastructure is just six years. The average ROI period for dynamic pricing is even faster, just three years,” added Welch.

For more information, visit visit www.csc.com/2010SmartStudy.

2010.04.08

Goal Setting, Real-Time Feedback and Social Engagement Key Drivers for Smart Grid Adoption

GroundedPower Submits Behavior-Focused Recommendations for California Smart Grid Initiative

NEWTON, Mass. --(Business Wire)-- GroundedPower, creator of the interactive customer engagement system (iCES) for consumer-driven energy management and efficiency, has urged the California Public Utilities Commission to encourage utilities to adopt web-based technologies that appeal to self-identified consumer motivations beyond price signals. According to GroundedPower’s formal comments, consumer acceptance and adoption are among the top challenges utilities face with moving to the Smart Grid. This is especially true in California, where consumers in some areas are already rebelling against what they perceive to be higher costs related to the technology.


In response to the California Public Utilities Commission’s request for commentary on the state’s Smart Grid deployment plans and the best methods for providing access to electricity prices and usage, GroundedPower writes that “while price is an important motivator, it is just one of a number of factors that encourage consumers to save energy.”

GroundedPower argues that consumer engagement is fundamental to the next generation of energy efficiency and demand response applications, particularly in a Smart Grid environment. The Company notes that price as a lone motivator may overlook the significant potential of other factors, such as improving the environment, competition, cooperation, peer comparisons, learning and recognition and rewards.

Additionally, GroundedPower recommends that the Commission provide flexibility to utilities to encourage adoption of new and innovative technologies, including those related to web portal and other communications vehicles. In pilot applications, GroundedPower has found that consumers who are engaged, motivated and empowered to achieve energy efficiency goals will have greater recognition of the importance of demand side management. This is displayed in both the level of savings being achieved and in anecdotal information showing increased favorability toward the program sponsor or utility.

For example, the Company points to a pilot project on Cape Cod, Mass., for which monthly savings are averaging close to 10 percent without an in-home display, plug level monitors, time differentiated pricing or direct load control. Participant interest for this pilot program was high, with 90 percent of participants indicating they were interested in keeping the system after the pilot period. With 80 percent of participants logging on to the dedicated site weekly, it is clear that ongoing engagement is imperative to adoption of Smart Grid initiatives.

“The recognition that consumers are motivated by behavior that goes well beyond price signals is crucial to the success of the California Smart Grid. In fact, focusing solely on dollars can lead to user resistance rather than interest and cooperation,” said Dr. Paul Cole, CEO and founder of GroundedPower. “Environmental concerns, competition, community cooperation, peer comparisons, rewards and recognition and learning are proven motivators for changing behaviors related to energy use. Offering technology that enables consumers to tap into their motivations will ensure that California utilities provide users with all the right tools—technological and behavioral—to become habitually more energy efficient, and to feel favorably about electricity providers.”

For more information, visit www.groundedpower.com.

2010.03.24

Emergence of Mobile Health to Alleviate Key Health Care Industry Challenges, Finds CSMG Report

mHealth to Create Significant Revenue Opportunities for Traditional Health Care and
New Players Across the Telecommunications Industry


Overland Park, KS –- (Virtual Press Office) – CSMG, the strategy division of TMNG Global, today released its report on the state of the U.S. mobile health (mHealth) market, entitled: mHealth: Taking the Pulse. According to CSMG, while the mHealth market presents significant growth opportunities, when taking into account device, software, connectivity and overall service revenue streams, the market and ecosystem are fragmented, creating challenges for any single player to address the full breadth of opportunities.

“mHealth is well positioned to address the needs and evolution of the US health care delivery because it provides cost-efficient care delivery and increases access to quality health care,” said Rich Nespola, Chairman and CEO of TMNG Global. “The proliferation of embedded wireless connected devices and Smartphone growth creates significant transformational opportunities to deliver cost-effective and viable mobile health care options. However, broader reform of the health care industry structure is needed to reach the full potential for integrating mHealth into the U.S. health care delivery system.”

The report finds that the mHealth market will reach an estimated $4.6 billion opportunity by 2014, but will be fragmented across many solutions and device types. mHealth is already a significant market ($1.5B in estimated 2009 revenue including fixed telemedicine solutions), and is expected to grow over the next five years at a 25 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate). If certain broad health care reforms are instituted, such as pay-for-performance, adoption could accelerate.

CSMG outlines seven key mHealth technology opportunities that comprise the market including monitoring, personal emergency response services (PERS), telemedicine, mobile medical equipment, mobile health information, RFID tracking and health/fitness software.

Among other key findings of the report:
- In light of rapid rise in health care costs (already $2.5T in US and 17 percent of GDP), the FCC’s National Broadband Plan estimates $700 billion in savings over 15-25 years from teleHealth initiatives.
- mHealth will need to gain reimbursement from payers as clinical solutions. Insurance/Medicare-paid mHealth solutions offer tremendous potential revenues, but also pose business model risks if reimbursement rates are cut. New solutions must demonstrate proof of efficacy to win reimbursement codes and to date, results have been mixed.
- Emergence of affordable mass market consumer-grade health devices and software will provide consumers with unprecedented control and personal-responsibility for health.
- Given the complexity of mHealth, success will require collaboration across telecom and health care-centric players. For instance, mobile network operator and device OEMs’ market entry strategies must address build/buy/partner implications that vary by potential mHealth solution.

According to CSMG, four key drivers will influence the pace and direction of mHealth evolution:
- Mobile/connected device technology innovation drives near-to-mid-term growth.
- The appeal of mHealth will overcome short-term barriers on consumer concerns about the quality of mHealth solutions.
- Health care-specific technology developments such as adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) will remove barriers to mHealth adoption
- Broader health care industry reform will be required to reach the full market potential.

“While the mHealth market is creating significant opportunities for new players to enter the sector, there is no silver bullet for its success,” said Susan Simmons, Senior Vice President, CSMG. “Mobile network operators, device OEMs and software providers bring technology capabilities and consumer-brand assets that current health care players may lack. New collaborations and new business models with traditional health care players along with thorough evaluations on the mHealth solution approach will be key to establishing the mHealth industry for the long term.”

The report is based on executive interviews with key stakeholders in the mobile health ecosystem, including wireless service providers, health care software and hardware specialists, insurance providers, hospital systems and physician practices, as well as qualitative and quantitative strategic analysis of emerging trends and its impact on the mHealth market. The study examines the emerging dynamics of the mHealth industry and its implication for new players.

To view the full report, visit: http://www.tmng.com/mhealth or http://www.csmg-global.com/mhealth.

2010.03.17

Networkfleet, Inc. Launches New Fleet Utilization Reports

SAN DIEGO --(Business Wire)-- Mar 02, 2010 Facing tightening budgets, fleet managers are looking for ways to maximize vehicle usage and optimize fleet size. To assist them, Networkfleet today announced the availability of new fleet utilization reports for users of its wireless fleet management system. The new reports provide detailed information on each vehicle’s usage, including miles traveled, engine hours, days utilized, number of trips, and more, for specific periods of time. This allows fleet managers to analyze both under and over utilization of vehicles to maximize fleet productivity.

Networkfleet’s wireless fleet management system continuously monitors a vehicle’s GPS location and engine status. Fleet managers log in to a secure web site to access the new Networkfleet utilization reports, which include the Utilization Summary Report and the Utilization by Day Report. Users can set multiple parameters for each report. This flexibility allows them to run a comprehensive report for all vehicles on a single parameter such as “miles driven,” or an exception report such as “miles driven greater than 100” or “days utilized less than five.”

“In this economy, fleet managers are being asked tough questions about how, why and by whom their vehicles are being used,” said Keith Schneider, president and CEO of Networkfleet. “Networkfleet is working closely with customers to provide them with the information they need to make intelligent decisions that improve fleet utilization and maintain mission-critical operations.”

The utilization reports were originally developed for one of Networkfleet’s state government customers, who used the reports to successfully reduce its fleet size by 20 percent, recovering $2.3 million in operating costs. Since then, a variety of fleets, including those from local, state and federal governments, have used utilization information from Networkfleet to significantly reduce costs. The Fleet Management Department of San Bernardino County, California, is one example.

“San Bernardino County Fleet Management has always monitored vehicle utilization in order to optimize fleet size and mix, but current economic conditions and the resulting budget pressures have made this even more critical," stated Ron Lindsey, Fleet Services Manager, County of San Bernardino, California. “The Utilization Summary Report and the Utilization by Day Report are additional tools we will use to improve utilization, efficiency and reduce operational costs for the County of San Bernardino's vehicle fleet.”

2010.03.05

Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth and Telemedicine

DUBLIN --(Business Wire)-- Mar 05, 2010 Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/b0fdbf/2010_healthcare_be) has announced the addition of the "2010 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth and Telemedicine" report to their offering.

With rising healthcare costs fueling much of the debate surrounding healthcare reform, many healthcare organizations are turning to telehealth and telemedicine to lower costs and improve efficiencies while expanding patients access to services - particularly in rural areas.

How common is the use of telehealth for clinical and non-clinical purposes, and for which purposes and medical conditions is remote monitoring most often employed? Which technologies comprise a telehealth solution, and how has telehealth affected levels of healthcare access, efficiency, cost and patient compliance?

An increasing use of telehealth points to a healthcare future where no patient is left behind due to a lack of access. 2010 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine provides actionable information from 139 healthcare organizations on their utilization of telehealth & telemedicine. This 20-page resource documents trends and metrics on current and planned initiatives in the use of telehealth and telemedicine, provides lessons from early adopters and identifies emerging applications of these technologies.

This exclusive report analyzes the responses of 139 healthcare organizations to September 2009 Industry Survey on Telehealth and Telemedicine, presenting the data in easy-to-follow graphs and tables.

This industry snapshot is enhanced with commentary from Randall Williams, M. D., F.A.C.C., founding CEO of Pharos Innovations, on leveraging data and technology to engage patients.

This report provides expanded data on:

  • Current and planned telehealth and telemedicine programs;
  • Populations and conditions targeted by telehealth and telemedicine;
  • Most frequently employed applications and technologies;
  • Emerging trends in funding, reimbursement and incentives for telehealth and telemedicine;
  • Challenges, benefits and barriers related to the use of telehealth and telemedicine;
  • The impact of telehealth on healthcare delivery, efficiency and ROI;
  • The complete September 2009 Telehealth and Telemedicine survey tool and more.

Organizations who are considering an investment in telehealth and telemedicine can learn from the experiences and feedback from healthcare payors, purchasers, providers and others presented in this resource.

Key Topics Covered:

Executive Summary

Key Findings

Survey Highlights

Key Findings

Survey Methodology

Respondent Demographics

Survey Responses

  • Respondents Using Telehealth
  • Planning Telehealth in Next 12 Months
  • Purposes for Telehealth
  • Targeted Populations for Telehealth
  • Using Telehealth for Remote Monitoring
  • Targeted Conditions
  • Telecommunications Technologies for Telehealth
  • Funding Sources for Telehealth
  • Awareness of State Legislation for Telehealth Reimbursement
  • Impact of Telehealth on Organizational Processes
  • ROI From Telehealth
  • Greatest Barrier to Telehealth
  • Respondent Demographics

Prescription for Success: Leveraging Data and Technology to Engage Patients

Benchmark Survey Tool: Telemedicine

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/b0fdbf/2010_healthcare_be

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