October 19, 2023

Achieving cost-effective system management for electric utilities

For utilities today, effective management extends beyond individual assets – adopting a system management approach stands as the cornerstone for future-oriented utility decision-making. Assets are crucial components of a utility's infrastructure, but it's the integrated system and its operations that determine operational efficiency and reliability. This paradigm shift from conventional asset management to comprehensive system management is changing the way utilities evaluate and select their software tools. In this blog, we'll discuss the challenges utilities face with major software providers and reveal how utilities are strategically managing their systems without breaking the bank.

Challenges: Navigating Utility Hurdles with Major Software Providers

For years, utilities have been drawn to industry giants like IBM and SAP, assuming that their sheer size would inherently meet all their needs. However, the nuances of electric utilities extend well beyond the scope of conventional asset management solutions. Let's explore the hurdles utilities encounter when dealing with major software providers:

1. Misaligned focus on asset management
While these software systems excel at overseeing individual assets, primarily performing administrative tasks, they fall short when it comes to holistic system management. Achieving comprehensive system-wide management requires an entirely different solution architecture capable of modeling the intricate interdependencies of assets. This is the real need for utilities today, as their systems grapple with a multitude of renewal, capacity, and resilience requirements.

2. Traditional market segmentation
The asset management solution market, historically segmented by ERP, EAM, APM, AIP, PPM, and other categories, has never truly grasped the core needs of utility planners. Their objective is to seamlessly transition from raw data to a variety of short and long-term planning products. However, this segmented approach often necessitates juggling multiple asset management solutions, rather than a singular, comprehensive solution tailored to the specific demands of transmission and distribution (T&D) assets.  

3. Lack of system and risk simulation capabilities
Comprehensive system management requires the ability to simulate various scenarios for forecasting and risk mitigation. In the ever-evolving realm of electric utilities, having an automated risk register that updates in real-time can be a "game-changer". Unfortunately, no major platform offers this essential feature.

4. Prohibitive costs and reduced agility
Often, software giants come with a hefty price tag and may lack the agility that utilities desire, especially when it comes to catering to specialized requirements. Case in point: A client once required a seemingly straightforward data field customization, only to be met with exorbitant quotes from major technology providers.

So, where should one turn to find a solution that comprehends the depth of system management in electric utilities? This question lies at the heart of our client's journey, as they sought to address the specific challenges within their utility. We will explore the solution they embraced to navigate this intricate landscape successfully.

The ENGIN Advantage in Utility System Management

In our exploration of the challenges faced by electric utilities in managing their systems, one software that has emerged is ENGIN. ENGIN doesn't just manage assets—it manages entire systems. This distinction offered our client a clear-cut path forward when looking at the solutions available on the market.

1. Unified approach
In a time when utilities are vying to consolidate hundreds of disconnected applications, ENGIN emerges as the beacon of integration. It seamlessly merges previously segmented functionalities into a unified solution that caters to the unique needs of T&D planners.

2. Holistic system management
Beyond individual asset tracking, ENGIN provides a 360-degree view of the entire system, ensuring efficiency and reliability. This all-encompassing perspective is the key to ensuring operational efficiency and reliability, which are indispensable in the ever-evolving electric utilities sector.

3. Innovative system simulation & risk management
Boasting state-of-the-art simulation capabilities, coupled with a real-time automated risk register, ENGIN ensures utilities remain several steps ahead.

4. Agility & affordability
ENGIN's commitment to understanding and addressing the unique requirements of electric utilities results in a solution that combines agility, configurability, and cost-effectiveness – qualities that often elude industry giants. This means that utilities can adapt to changing conditions swiftly and economically.

5. By planners, for planners
At its core, ENGIN is a product of planners insights and expertise. This insider perspective ensures that every feature and every tool is fine-tuned to address the genuine needs of utility planners – making ENGIN a truly planner-centric solution.

Next Steps

As the electric utilities sector evolves, it's imperative to align with tools that truly understand and cater to the shift from asset management to system management. ENGIN by Engineered Intelligence offers a holistic, intelligent, and planner-centric approach to system management. With ENGIN you’re not just managing assets; you're mastering systems.


Ted Zalucki is the CEO and co-founder of Engineered Intelligence Inc, an infrastructure analytics technology company. Ted has 10+ years of hands-on experience in the T&D sector working within several utilities and as a consultant across North America. His expertise includes advanced analytics, investment planning, asset management, risk modelling, productivity, process optimization, construction management, design supervision, operations, and regulatory filings and defense. Ted’s background is in Industrial Engineering and Financial Engineering, he holds an ELITE certificate from the University of Toronto and is a practicing Professional Engineer.

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