Customer Information System: Syncing App Configurations

Challenge: Real-Time Data Needed for Customer Information System

Itron needed a tool that would ensure their customers could always know exactly how much energy they were consuming and would send data to their Customer Information System (CIS). The concern was that their various applications’ configurations weren’t always in sync.

To retrieve data from Itron’s meters and send it to their CIS required a custom, time-consuming process of extracting, formatting, and identifying the appropriate action data should take. As a result, their CIS, an online tool utilized by customers to see their energy usage, wasn’t fully-accurate because it didn’t provide real-time meter readings.

An on-demand tool that would quickly sync accurate real-time meter readings and analytics to their CIS were essential for Itron to continue to provide excellent customer service.

Ideally, changes made in the CIS would be analyzed and then translated into formats that could be used across multiple internal and external systems, including Itron’s connected meter reading solutions and their analytics collection systems.

Products & Services Used:

  • Software Development
  • Integration
  • Strategy
  • Project Management

Services Continued:

  • ALM/DevOps
  • Architecture
  • .NET/C#
  • SQL

Industries:

  • Software & Services

Solution: An Adaptor to Sync Configurations

As a system integrator with significant experience working with Itron, and the utility industry in general, IntelliTect was selected to implement the meter data adaptor. This adapter would simplify the process of keeping connected systems in sync with the CIS by:

  • Connecting to and extracting configurations from the Customer Information System
  • Analyzing the configurations
  • Generating necessary configuration files

The meter data adaptor would interpret the input file and generate the necessary XML files with three different variations:

  • Baseline Configuration
  • Removals from the Configuration
  • Additions and Updates to the Configuration

IntelliTect reviewed the requirements, presented an architecture design, and delivered a solution that would process up to 100,000 records in under five minutes.

Results: A Simple Customer Information System Integration Platform

Before IntelliTect created the adaptor, Itron was unable to quickly deliver data to downstream applications. The process required a custom, time-consuming process of extracting, formatting, and identifying the appropriate action data should take.

Itron’s new adaptor saves countless hours of development time by managing the analysis of the data. Now, it only sends out the necessary changes to its customers’ application. Combining custom-code and open source packages, IntelliTect produced a product that exceeded the company’s expectations.

Utilizing agile methodologies (see IntelliTect’s development process), IntelliTect implemented more functionality while staying under budget. The adaptor created a simple integration platform between Itron’s customer CIS, their meter data collection engine, and their analytics platforms. With less time needed to process data, Itron’s resources are now free to focus on higher priority tasks.

About Itron

Itron is a world-leading technology and service company based in Liberty Lake, Washington, that assists utility customers with the management of energy and water resources.

With over 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Itron safely, securely, and reliably delivers critical infrastructure services to communities around the world.

Its products and services include smart networks, software, services, meters, and sensors that help utilities and cities better manage energy and water.