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African Utility Week (AUW) 2019, the leading power, energy and water event, kicked-off at The Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town on Tuesday, 14th May 2019.

The AUW, which is currently underway, features a Transmission and Distribution Knowledge Hub and explores the future of transmission and distribution in the face of technological disruption, distributed energy and climate change. The practical, case study-driven hub combines the best of vendor innovation with real life utility scenarios in order to help demonstrate how to overcome challenges and achieve industry objectives.

Speaking on behalf of Vodacom, Lawrence Juku, Executive Head for Vodacom Business IoT said: “It’s an honour for Vodacom to be a part of the 19th annual African Utility Week, which is known for being the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professional. We’re especially keen on exploring the strides that have been achieved within the IoT and telecoms space, sharing the latest solutions with some of our industry leading experts.”

Giving insights on IoT (Smart Asset Management), smart energy strategies and the acceleration of customer service, Juku said, “digital customers are essentially digital employees, employees who exist within the digital business. The trends that we’ve observed point to a greater digital emergence in the world. There’s a change in demographics, there’s a higher, greater expectation around new services and new technologies that are being deployed into the world, all of which are changing how the world sees and interacts within the OT and IoT environment. Most of the drivers that are currently in the market involve evolving technology, regulation, data privacy, the IoT and data analytics, big and artificial intelligence. That is now driving the change in the market.

Most of these changes that support the OT and IT convergence are around interoperability and standards whereby IT and OT convergence relies on interoperability standards to achieve integrated utility systems. You need a data orchestration platform that pulls all this together, because you’re dealing with disparate systems and platforms that are integral in driving digital customer experience and digital utilities. Any utility is focused on deliver service, while ensuring revenue sustainability. OT and IT convergence will deliver efficiency and agility to utilities, support the Fourth Industrial Revolution and, at the end of the day, increase the use cases for IT deployment and support smart asset management across the sector,” Juku.

The theme for day one of the event focused on grid management, with the aim of boosting resilience. The theme for day two is digitalisation, including topics such as IT/OT convergence, data analytics and cyber security. Whilst the theme for day three examines smart deployment case studies, best practices and lessons learned from Eskom and the various other municipalities.