One of the biggest challenges faced by many enterprises worldwide, including governments and utility organizations, is implementing smart meter technology. Today, SAP’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or SAP AMI, is acting as a game changer, offering utility companies the perfect platform to provide energy-related solutions intelligently and efficiently.
The implementation of SAP AMI allows utility companies to offer on demand support in managing meters remotely. SAP AMI acts as a bridge between the meters and the back end system, which reduces the total cost of ownership for the enterprise. All the enterprise needs to do is to adopt a SAP utilities system, enabling it to carry out multiple advanced processes available in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Here is an insight into SAP AMI and the five-point definite advantage of implementing SAP AMI.
An overview of Advanced Metering System and SAP AMI
At its core, Advanced Metering System is one that is designed to measure and collect real-time information, allowing enterprises to analyze their needs and performances. Advanced metering systems use advanced devices such as smart electricity meters, gas meters, smart water meters, etc. Advanced Metering Infrastructure enables effective communication between the back end channel of the enterprise and its advanced smart meters.
SAP AMI is a service that offers integration services for utility enterprises between their metering processes and backend systems. The background for SAP AMI can be traced from the inception of SAP AMI Lighthouse Council formed by SAP and seven participating utility companies. The objective of formation of SAP AMI Lighthouse Council was to address the need for an AMI from the back office to the meter. The core objectives of SAP and its participation with utility companies were to devise a channel allowing integrating SAP portfolio for market-leading AMI systems.
Multiple advantages of implementing SAP AMI
SAP AMI is allowing enterprises including public utility companies to take the next technological leap in their smart metering systems. Here are some of the core advantages that enterprises adopting SAP AMI can get compared to enterprises still doing business the traditional way.
1: Effective free flow communication
One of the essential advantages of implementing SAP AMI is that it creates a free flow of communication between the meter and the back end channel. AMI ensures that more reliable information is communicated as it automates the entire meter reading process without any manual intervention.
For enterprises that opt for implementation of AMI, usually Master Data Exchange (MDE) is automatically enabled between the SAP backend and a Meter Data Unification and Synchronization system (MDUS system). This ensures enterprises get access to information related to certain pre-selected activities transmitted as per their needs. As a result, enterprises are able to offer services like installation, removal, or replacement of the meter device to bring about any changes in the device in real-time.
2: Automation of time-consuming manual tasks
With SAP AMI, automation is the name of the game. All manual practices like installation of a new meter to checking feasibility of installation, reconnection, or disconnection requests are now automated thanks to SAP AMI.
For instance, power companies using SAP AMI can now offer commercial and industrial units accurate and relevant information about their electricity usage and subsequent costs. This can ensure big enterprises using high volume of power can manage their energy usage swiftly and save on both costs and energy.
Power companies can read meters remotely, eliminating any travel time for manual meter readings. The use of SAP AMI also allows for much more accurate readings, ruling out the manual error in various meter-related tasks.
3: Mapping Advanced Meters in the SAP system
SAP AMI allows mapping of advanced meters or devices as device information records. This effectively allows the organization to communicate using AMI and use the Plant Maintenance (PM) component in an unprecedented way. A smart device, like a smart meter for example, corresponds to one dedicated piece of equipment in the plant maintenance.
By creating a device in the SAP utilities, the system automatically creates a piece of equipment in PM which is uniquely identified. This results in getting accurate device information records including customer information and billing cycle reports.
4: Enhancing AMI Capabilities
Adoption of SAP AMI enables enterprises to enhance the AMI functionality available in the SAP utility systems. Effectively, enterprises can carry out processes in an advanced metering infrastructure including advanced meter readings and disconnection and reconnection of advanced meters. Back-end operations linked to smart meters allow for messaging protocols allowing to instant request operating state for all linked meters.
5: Offering of attractive price conditions for consumers
With SAP AMI enterprises are able to offer billing services based on actual usage by checking data consumption and meter reading remotely. By reducing manual operations, enterprises are saving costs which can be passed on to end users in terms of attractive price conditions.
Conclusion: SAP AMI is helping utility companies bridge the important back end channel with their metering devices. It is no surprise that SAP AMI is today one of the most popular technology tools helping Digital transformation consulting companies take the next technological leap.