September 17, 2009, 5:26 PM — Cisco is lining up partners in its smart grid initiative, an effort to upgrade utility information infrastructures with Cisco routers and switches.
Cisco is creating the Cisco Smart Grid Ecosystem to help accelerate the adoption of IP for utility communications networks. The members of the ecosystem include system integrators, technology vendors, power and utility integrators, service providers, and other vendors who represent various elements of the smart grid infrastructure, Cisco says.
The ecosystem currently includes 27 companies, including Accenture, Cable&Wireless, Capgemini, EMC, General Electric, Oracle, SAIC, Siemens, Verizon and Wipro. Interestingly, IBM is not on the list even though Cisco and IBM are engaged in a smart grid project in Amsterdam.
Cisco also formed a Smart Grid Technical Advisory Board made up of utility and energy companies from around the world. The board is intended to help Cisco align its product direction to customers' requirements.
Cisco is already working with Canadian utility ENMAX to help accelerate the company's deployment of Cisco Smart Grid and related energy management technologies.
Lastly, Cisco says it is also providing security services to utilities and participating in the ZigBee Alliance to help standardize IP-based communications within the energy industry.