The Impact of Smart Metering on Vendor Interoperability in the Utility Industry

In January 2008, the ZigBee Alliance, a global industry organization driving the development and adoption of the ZigBee short range wireless M2M communications standard, announced the availability of the Smart Energy Application Profile. This profile is an application-level standard that enables inter-vendor interoperability of ZigBee-based equipment targeting the utility advanced metering market. The ZigBee Alliance is energetically targeting the utility industry as a key market opportunity. The advent of the Alliance’s Smart Energy Application Profile raises the question of how important vendor interoperability will become in the utility industry in the coming years (particularly with the growth of advanced metering and the smart grid) considering that the industry traditionally has not been particularly concerned about interoperability in the past? In this ABI Insight, we examine this question and offer our conclusions about advanced metering. Is it going against traditional practices and encouraging the growth of vendor interoperability in the utility industry?

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