Transforming Enterprises with Connected Technology

“Aeris has been carrying a vision to transform small to large businesses with IoT and connected technology. We have been addressing challenges faced by businesses in emerging markets and developing countries and finding right technology solutions that help customers delivering enhanced customer experiences and implementing strategies to increase revenue”, asserted Rishi Bhatnagar, President Aeris India & Mr. Asit Goel, VP Engineering, Aeris, India in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of BW SmartCities World. Excerpts as under:

How had been the responses to Aeris Communications in India and its solution in Indian market so far?

Aeris Communications is a leading IoT technology provider with over two decades of experience and domain expertise. We offer future proven IoT solutions and services for various industries such as Automobile, Finance, Insurance, Healthcare, Fleets, Agriculture, Smart Manufacturing, Personnel Safety and Security, Electric Vehicles and Utilities, worldwide. We started our operation in India in 2016 and leverage our global footprint and domain knowledge to design right-fit and affordable IoT solutions that address the specific needs of Indian businesses.

We deliver end-to-end IoT solutions and services for small to large enterprises and enable them to deploy IoT solutions & services quickly with minimal investment by offering flexible business and commercial models considering the price-sensitive Indian market. While the adoption has been slow initially, by executing lot of proof of concepts and live case studies, we were able to gain the confidence our customers. Our IoT solutions have gained momentum in the market, especially during the lockdown as the businesses started to realise the benefits of remotely monitoring, tracking and controlling assets – movable and non-movable, anytime and from anywhere.

Please elaborate to us in details about Aeris’s recent solutions for utility providers - their productivity, their target customers and way forward.

Aeris has been carrying a vision to transform small to large businesses with IoT and connected technology. We have been addressing challenges faced by businesses in emerging markets and developing countries and finding right technology solutions that help customers delivering enhanced customer experiences and implementing strategies to increase revenue. Through our technology platform and dedicated IoT and M2M services, we strive to improve the business efficiency of our customers fundamentally. 

Our Utility solutions portfolio consists of

Intelligent Building Management System for managing, monitoring and tracking resource consumption within buildings. We offer a unified platform for monitoring and control of various parameters in a building for all utilities and integration - precision control, automation, safety lockouts, energy savings and advanced information management systems to enable take corrective actions. The solution not only helps reduce operational inefficiencies and manual labour costs but empowers facility management with smart tools and solutions to improve productivity and intelligent decision-making with intelligent real-time and historical information at hand. It also prepares businesses with the flexibility to integrate future solutions with the existing scalable platform and reduce wastage of precious resources. Additionally, it optimizes energy consumption and reduces operational costs, with early detection of faults, reduce damage to and increase the life of costly assets such as DG and Water Pumps by monitoring and alerts. The platform provides:

  • Near Real Time Energy Monitoring & Management
  • Smart DG Management
  • Smart Lights Management
  • Smart Management of HVAC (ahu)
  • Smart Water Tanks & Pumps Management
  • Smart Environment Monitoring

Smart metering solution from Aeris was introduced to enable Utility companies to provide prepaid and post-paid metering to its consumers, enable online billing without any manual intervention and predicting revenue leakage due to power theft. Utility companies are enabled by Aeris to manage power distribution better, and consumers gain real-time information on their power consumption status. Aeris Smart Metering Solution enables communication with a range of meters. It can collate and transmit data to a control/monitoring station to feed into a real-time dashboard that gives information on the prevailing power consumption pattern. The solution provides an agile platform to manage smart meters with ease. From communication to consumer engagement, this solution covers all bases and delivers unmatched benefits for both utility firms and consumers. 

Aeris Grid Power Supply Monitoring Solution for Cell Towers provides accurate information on the availability of grid power supply to cell tower operators on a 24x7 basis, by ensuring that all instances of grid power failure were always made available to teams within the cell tower operator’s organization. This information can be leveraged to cross-check invoices raised by backup power suppliers. The solution not only ensures accurate billing for backup power consumed but monitors backup power usage remotely, guaranteeing transparency in cell tower operations. It also helps monitor power consumption trends across towers.

What are the objectives behind these solutions? 

India’s power sector in the present day is facing a lot of problems like AT & C losses, inefficient distribution and transmission system because of age old infrastructure and power theft. The advanced energy management and integration of renewable energy resources are critical for country’s development. The government alone cannot take initiatives for complete change of electrical equipment across the country. Most of India’s power distribution companies, lose money on every unit of power sold due in part to theft, inadequate billing and selling below cost to poor and agricultural consumers. The debt levels limit their ability to adequately meet the power demands of existing customers or add new consumers in a country where millions of households don’t have electricity, but where power plants also remain underutilized. There is a strong need for changing the operations and control of the electrical equipment in India.

Aeris aims to help the utility companies by

  • Providing the highly scalable data ingestion platform
  • Predictive and prescriptive analysis for assets health monitoring, revenue leakage and line losses
  • Billing with no manual intervention of meter readers, which means accurate and timely billing with no under or over billing,
  • Manage power distribution better with smart meters which also help consumers gain real-time information on their power consumption status.
  • Providing single view with a unified platform for monitoring and controlling various parameters in a building for all utilities.
  • Help cell tower operators with accurate information on the availability of grid power supply to avoid excess billing by backup power providers.

How is IBMS helping in real time monitoring?

The Intelligent Building Management System (IBMS) acts as a unified platform for Monitoring and Control of varied solutions in a building for all residents and resident welfare associations. The solution helps in near real-time monitoring and decision making by reflecting instant load on grid/DG and recording total consumption of the current day and current month. This helps in optimized and cost-effective usage of DG set, which helps in reducing the energy consumption of buildings by 30% 

How is Aeris Communications in India looking to align their solutions at par, seeing that the Indian government is pushing for innovation in utility sector. 

Utilities in India which are primarily governed by state governments are going for faster adoption of Digital transformation which will enable states to attract more investment as well as improve the ranking of the country in “Ease of doing business”. 

Digital transformation for Utilities typically means ensuring 24*7 supply to their customers and  near real-time demand and supply management of electricity which will enable utility company to correctly assess the demand for purchasing the power which will lead to purchase of power at optimized rates, SLA driven approach for monitoring the power supply at the sub station and at transformer level, Timely bill generation for end consumers with almost no manual intervention, analysing  the power theft and projecting the revenue on monthly, quarterly and yearly level and tracking that against revenue collection.

Aeris has enabled partners and have developed various utility IOT solutions like Smart metering (Pre-paid and Post-Paid), Feeder monitoring, high value asset monitoring and Billing solution to enable utilities for their digital transformation journey

Going forward, how is Aeris planning to help the government at centre and state in catering to the smart city mandate?

A smart city needs to have three features of being instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, which will be possible when all the governing and civic bodies running and managing the city have a centralized command and control centre. The significance of high calibre data in empowering smart cities cannot be underestimated. The smart cities command and control centres act upon the vast streams of data produced every minute of the day in the data platforms, as citizens engage with Web and/or mobile devices using connected networks. Given this context, new approaches to integrating big data streams from sensors, IoT devices and networks are needed to exploit the big data generated towards fine-tuning solutions, data driven decision making, improve service delivery, and engage stakeholders better. Spatial and sentiment elements can be harvested at various levels from data streams and analysed separately. The harvested data minus details that might identify the source or reveal aspects of citizens can be made available to approved entities like the government that can use it to forecast trends and patterns associated with resource consumption, service use, etc.

Monitoring public services and facilities is a crucial charter, involving a unified system developed for governing public administrations by technology providers. The objective of such systems is not only to deliver smart access to public services but additionally to create a maintainable infrastructure. Aeris technology has been helping various State-run agencies in smart waste management, and management of law and order as well as disaster management services. 

What are the key challenges that you face while operating in Indian market? How do you plan to mitigate these challenges?

Key challenges in India are as follows

  1. The implementation of Utility solution faces some difficulties such as lack of shared standards and compatible infrastructure among departments and agencies. 
  2. Privacy and security are critical barriers in implementation. The assurance from the government will not suffice unless accompanied by technical solutions, transparency of procedures and independent auditing
  3. Resistance to change at the ground level in government organizations
  4. Non availability of qualified personnel for preparing the vision, collaborating with various stakeholders, defining the roadmap for implementation and ensuring the implementation in timely and cost-effective manner

Aeris is a global company operating in US, Europe, Japan and India and have huge experience of operating in developed and developing countries. Aeris solutions are based on the best and widely accepted architecture and top technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Bigdata with a focus on security by design.

Aeris works with its customers in consultative implementation approach where the focus is on to guide the stakeholders regarding the benefits to them, their end customers and their organizations. Aeris has a huge experience on working on various products and our teams are well equipped to work with our customers in collaborative mode where we work with them to help them in defining their road map and implementation strategy and plan of action for that.