Over the past decade and a half, as water utilities have reaped the benefits of automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems, more and more information is collected more often. Now, utilities need readings multiple times an hour; additional leak, tamper, and reverse flow condition detection; long-term storage of historical, daily consumption data; and the capability to merge and correlate metering data with information from other water system sensors.
However, not every utility has the financial, technological, or human resources to implement the hardware or software technology necessary to store, analyze, and leverage today’s wealth of information. It can be expensive and require continual maintenance and software updates.
With massively increased server space and computing power becoming necessities, a cloud-hosted solution can easily outperform an on-site server. Now, instead of having to allocate crucial personnel to monitor a network, and interrupt business processes to seek out, download, and apply software updates, water utilities of any size can focus on key efficiencies: collecting metering data, reducing non-revenue water, and providing customer service.
“Smart” water utilities know that all the data they require will be secure and accessible whenever they need it through managed services - data handling and storage offered at one simple and comprehensive yearly fee, taken on by a systems hosting provider. And in the case of Neptune’s managed services, the data is managed using Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s top cloud services provider.
Keeping Data Management Simple and Secure
Just as AWS has actual, live managers at the helm of web security, Neptune has its own internal managed services team in place, monitoring the utility’s data network and host system performance to ensure total reliability and accessibility of the AMI system.
As part of managed services, Neptune relieves the water utility from having to manually download and install new operating systems, security, and software updates, an often complicated process. No worries about outgrowing an undersized server. No need to pay for server upgrades or a replacement. No added charges for maintenance or for new features as they’re developed and released.
In the near future, Neptune’s managed services will go even further to reduce infrastructure costs by taking advantage of existing public communication networks. Utilities will have opportunities for time and labor savings by communicating directly to radio frequency meter interface units (RF MIUs) in the field. In telling those MIUs to send in data to the N_SIGHT software suite more often, a utility can provide more dynamic services to large commercial and industrial metering customers and use more frequent metering information feeds for internal water use studies.
For more information about Neptune Technology Group’s Managed Services, visit www.neptunetg.com.