Not all DCC Adaptors are the same.

With the new DCC milestones agreed, and the Joint Industry Plan recommending that market participants select their means of DCC connectivity by the end of May, the DCC adaptor marketplace has been re-invigorated. There are a number of solutions enabling DCC connectivity, each with their own unique selling points and associated costs. And there is much consideration for each DCC end user in terms of identifying the solution that is right for their business. But are all angles being considered here, and are you future proofing your estate to be agile in moving with regulatory change, customer demands and ageing platforms? Many solutions come bundled within a larger managed service; a suite of tightly connected software to support other facets of your business.

But is this a safe approach? … What happens when you wish to transition away from some of these components? … And what will the impact be on your existing data flows via the DTN or indeed the impact on your existing systems? … Especially as the opportunities from adopting and embracing DCC supporting capabilities becomes apparent.

With the Government’s initiative to install smart meters within every home by 2020, there is no getting away from the fact that smart metering will need to become a key facet of Energy business’ operations, and so should form a key aspect of the long-term corporate strategy and business plan. With this in mind, a well considered IT strategy ought to reflect and support this, and should be underpinned with a set of strong architectural principals based on agility, ease of integration, single sources of truth, separations of concerns and loosely coupled design.

Aprose Solutions consultants have supported many world-class programmes of IT enabled business change, providing architectural design and assurance to public and private sector organisations. From our experiences, we find that by taking an holistic approach to enterprise architecture, the fundamental root causes of struggling programmes become clear. Once these issues are understood, we are able to work with our clients to develop a roadmap to transition them to a desired future state. Much of the complexities and failures we see often relate to underpinning monolithic systems, which have grown over the years to incorporate more and more functionality, whilst becoming increasingly difficult to manage. We like to refer to this as the sticking-tape approach!

So, when we set out to design a DCC Adaptor, we wanted to take these experiences and ensure that we are able to steer our clients away from succumbing to such programme and technology delivery pitfalls. Likewise, our experiences of working within GB Smart Metering have helped us understand what clients want from a DCC Adaptor; a simple, smart and highly cost effective alternative DCC adaptor solution. The feedback we are getting around the ASe-i proposition is more than positive. It is not only the lower cost point that is attractive but that it is built from the ground up, with security, simple connectivity and a robust architecture at the heart of its design.

Forward thinking organisations who want to be able to innovate, and who encompass sound architectural principles see ASe-i as a means to simply connect to the DCC, taking their pain away … now and for the long term!

We’d be interested to hear what other experiences people have had in planning their DCC adaptor approach and indeed their views on where the market may lead us next. It’s certainly exciting times and whether or not we can all agree on the direction smart metering should take, it’s certainly here to stay.

Chris King
ASe-i Delivery Lead

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