Hamid Akhavan, CEOThe utility business bears the responsibility of providing consistency in availability and reach of services throughout the entire area under coverage. A utility provider’s unit—be it electricity or gas—envelopes a complex labyrinth of assets right from the source, along the transmission and distribution network, to the end consumer’s territory. Utilities are increasingly responsible to effectively manage these assets for performance and safety. The IT CIO is being called on to provide specialized skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and its integrations to serve a wide variety of required applications. In addition, the CIO is being asked to manage the overall costs while increasing the sophistication of skills and capability to work with their business clients. To add to all this, these fast-paced projects require a rotation of skills and knowledge to match the project lifecycle.
The lifecycle demands probably involve data organization through deployment, customization and integration capabilities. The goal of UDC is to offer a comprehensive range of solutions and services focused on providing an integrated GIS for advanced gas and electric business applications. Hamid Akhavan, CEO, UDC notes, “UDC has marked its stature in the utility business by solving various business problems on behalf of our customers through a full lifecycle asset management services for gas and electric utilities. We believe we provide value to the CIO in being able to find extensive experience, complete lifecycle capabilities, proven skills and cost-effective solutions.”
UDC’s expertise and services revolve around solution design, data management, application development and integration for utility firms. The UDC portfolio includes tools and frameworks that can be shared with clients to boost solutions in terms of speed and effectiveness. This toolbox leverages learning and investment from peer utilities. UDC’s Digital Utility framework suite offers framework tools for gas and electric utilities—from generation and storage to utility meter. “Our framework solutions or tools are recently providing gas and electric compliance capabilities that include all business flows in the process including reporting,” Akhavan says.
Akhavan elaborates further on the Gas Compliance Manager, an indigenous framework solution that optimizes the utility facility by providing efficient asset maintenance capabilities.
The tool with its interactive and user-friendly interface makes planning, creating, monitoring, and reporting for planned work activities, effortless
“The tool with its interactive and user-friendly interface makes planning, creating, monitoring, and reporting for planned work activities, effortless, so as to help the customer achieve favorable levels of gas compliance,” explains Akhavan.
Since its inception, UDC has been serving a number of prominent clients in the utility sector, including Sempra, Southern California Edison, KCP&L, and the Pasadena Water and Power and We Energies to name a few. In one instance, the North Californian utility provider, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) presented a gas distribution use case. The client wanted to migrate their framework from multiple systems to a single system for managing all their assets and enhancing safety. “We partnered on a gas distribution system called Pathfinder, which consisted of a browser interface, providing Gas Service Records, Service notes, and SAP information in a mobile environment,” explains Akhavan. “Users can look at the information and collect the details necessitated by their daily activities, and proactively assign field operations and retrieve the information from the field.”
Akhavan prides on the fact that UDC offers a full lifecycle of services—on par with high standards in terms of capability and talent in both electric and gas sectors—that follow their clients’ business predicaments with utmost precision.
With a well-defined roadmap set ahead, UDC aims to provide superior service by helping utility clients to solve their business issues. Very often, business leaders are caught at the crossroads of high expectations for their utility firms and having to meet them within their budgetary grants. To this end, “UDC will continue to uphold its proficiency in building highly cost-effective and productive utility solutions,” assures Akhavan.