What are managed services, such as those available to water utilities from Neptune Technology Group? Simply put, they’re system monitoring, data handling, and storage services, offered at one simple and comprehensive yearly fee, that a utility no longer has to worry about, because they’re taken on by a systems hosting provider. And in Neptune’s case, the data is managed using Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s top cloud services provider*.
Keeping Watch on the Data so Utilities Can Keep on Task
Efficient and secure web hosting from a giant such as Amazon gives Neptune the ability to offer water utilities an extra degree of confidence in the management and storage of their data. And just as AWS has actual, live managers at the helm of web security, Neptune has its own internal managed services team in place on its end, monitoring the utility’s hosted system performance to ensure total reliability and accessibility of the AMI system.
As part of its managed services, Neptune also includes a continuous-use license for the software, thereby eliminating the need for large upfront capital spends to access the software. From an ongoing use perspective, Neptune relieves the water utility from having to manually download and install new operating system, security, and software updates, an often complicated process. New versions are updated and applied automatically, eliminating the downtime that would otherwise be necessary on the part of the utility. And yet another major benefit of managed services is the elimination of the need to make large capital investments in server and network hardware. As software increases in complexity and performance and as the data load grows, so does the computing power required to support it. Having a cloud-based solution allows the utility to isolate itself from those computing hardware changes and instead task Neptune to leverage the distributed power of AWS to adapt quickly to increased computing needs of our applications. Of course, all of this also helps eliminate costs – not only the costs from time diverted from other necessary tasks but from the possible need for IT personnel and expensiveon-site infrastructure as well. No worries about outgrowing an undersized server. No need to pay for server upgrades or a replacement.
In the near future, the managed services offered to Neptune water utility customers will go even further to reduce infrastructure costs by taking advantage of existing public communication networks. In addition, those utilities will have opportunities for time and labor savings that result from the ability to communicate directly to radio frequency meter interface units (RF MIUs) in the field. With the ability to tell 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; remotely turn on or shut off water for individual accounts; and use the more-frequent metering information feeds for internal water use studies.
In more than one way, Neptune’s managed services give water utilities their space. First, there’s increased (and virtually unlimited) server space in a highly-secure yet accessible cloud, which eliminates the need for on-site infrastructure. And second, because their network is continually monitored and software enhancements are automatically updated and applied, utilities are free in their space to do their primary tasks of reducing Non-Revenue Water, aiding conservation efforts and optimizing customer service.
Water and Finance Management Webinar
“Managed Services - A Host of Data Solutions, a World of Utility Savings”