By @SimonCocking interesting chat with Neil Adams, Director at Sensus
Describe the company – the elevator pitch…
Sensus helps water utilities, energy providers and cities do more with their infrastructure. As an industry leader with a global reach, Sensus partners with customers to provide innovation in communications network technologies, advanced metrology, sensors, data analytics and services.
How are you different?
Sensus have almost two centuries of experience dedicated to supplying the utility sector with metrology and networks that connect communities and deliver the benefits of smart metering and smart cities. We invest heavily in R&D, spending $91 million in 2016-2017. With its acquisition of Sensus and Visenti in November 2016, parent company Xylem has brought best-in-class technology solutions together, to create a full end-to-end offering to the global water market delivering an unmatched combination of technology and services.
Begin IoT journey
Why will the company/product do well?
The Internet of Things has brought a huge global shift in technology innovation. The term “Internet of Things” covers a wide variety of different connected devices. From Fitbits, to mobile devices, to smart dustbins – and everything in between – Gartner predicts there will be a total of 22.5 billion IoT devices in 2021. Of these, nearly half a billion will be dedicated to utilities including water, electricity, smart lighting and gas and Governments and nations around the world have created their own progressive Smart City programmes. Expecting smart meters and lighting to be just another ‘thing’ means fundamentally misunderstanding the diverse requirements and security needed for connected devices. Sensus is the developer and supplier of FlexNet, the utility-grade long range radio smart networks solution. With 99.5+% connectivity, FlexNet provides utility-grade, proven, dedicated communications solutions around the globe. Unlike other networks that operate on costly power line infrastructures or low-powered, shared radio frequencies, FlexNet technology is designed specifically for utilities and offers dedicated radio spectrum that is protected by law from interference at the lowest total cost of ownership to the utility. The FlexNet communication network can support multi-utility applications, which increases operational efficiency.
Where are you based?
We have offices around the world but our headquarters are in North Carolina, USA.
When was the company launched?
Sensus has been trading for 170 years in total.
Smart cities advice
What have been your biggest wins to date?
The Sensus FlexNet solution was recently selected by the UK government as the communications infrastructure for the GB Smart Metering Programme in northern Englandnd Scotland. This network will connect 11 million homes, making it the largest smart meter network in the world. It will have a greater reach than Broadband, Mobile Networks and Freeview TV on its completion. Across the globe, FlexNet connects 37 million smart meters for over 14,000 customers. We helped Thames Water to demonstrate that customers consumed on average 12% less water with a smart meter installed – not only offering financial savings, leakage management and accurate bills, but also emphasising the sustainability of this technology. Over the next 15 years, Thames Water is installing around three million smart water meters to address the shortfall in water supply that is predicted in London by 2040. We’re helping Thames make this vision a reality.
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
We help the world’s public service providers—from utilities, to governments and cities—do more with their infrastructure to improve the quality of life in their communities.
Tell us about your team?
Sensus has 3,300 employees worldwide. Xylem has nearly 16,000 employees based in more than 150 countries. We’re a global team unified in a shared purpose and goals. We deliver advanced technology, equipment and solutions that solve our customers’ most critical challenges. Our vision is simple: We devote our technology, time and talent to the advancement of smart metering technology and services.
Smart Utility Solution
What are your long term plans for your product/company?
Together, Sensus, Visenti and parent company Xylem have an offering that is focused on better meeting utility companies’ needs, including greater energy efficiency, improved life-cycle cost and predictive analytics. The combined company is committed to continuing to invest in R&D and innovative technologies to solve our customers’ challenges. As we bring together Sensus’ technologies and analytics capabilities and Xylem’s broad portfolio, deep applications expertise and global reach, we believe this will be a winning combination for all of our customers.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
Connected devices from the likes of Apple, Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Smart Cities and the IoT
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
I’m looking to the tech giants to surprise us with the next wave of technological innovation. I don’t think we’ve seen a huge cultural shift in consumers, created by technology, since the release of the iPod by Apple, which completely changed the way people consume music and gave us something we didn’t know we wanted or needed. I’m confident the internet of things will bring about a similarly seismic shift. A crucial element could be digital wallets, crypto-currency and a fundamental change in consumer spending habit.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
We think it’s interesting to ask what the future holds for the energy industry in Ireland! Gartner analysts predict that in 2020 almost 1.4 billion connected sensors, meters and other devices will be installed in cities globally to deliver climate change and energy usage goals. With Dublin named the capital of IoT in 2014 by National Geographic, the potential is too important to get wrong. As big data and analytics become integral to the city planning process, a reliable, utility-grade network is essential for connecting every piece of the puzzle.
How do people get in touch with you?
The best place to get in touch is via our website: https://sensus.com/regions/emea/emea-contact-and-locations/
Streetlights electricity use