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Cisco Utilities Solutions

Cisco provides proven utilities IoT solutions that addresses broad range of use cases in substation automation, distribution automation, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), and grid security.

Proven IoT solutions for Grid Modernization

Utilities are embracing grid modernization efforts to increase reliability, reduce operational overhead, integrate renewable energy as well as keep a high standard of security and safety.

Why Now? Utilities are transforming

OpEx reduction

80% in meter operations costs. Operational Efficiencies from AMI and DA deliver cost savings and improve customer service and satisfaction.


Keep power grids safe from cyber threats and meet compliance (NERC CIP, EU NIS, etc.)


Up to 55% improvement in a number of customers affected by outages. DA and AMI improve reliability with fewer and shorter outages, faster and service restoration.

Distributed Energy Resource (DER)

DA and AMI Improve Integration of DER for grid planning and operations.

Mobile workforce

Real-time dispatching, routing, dissemination of technical information to the field force, worker and asset monitoring and reporting.

Use cases

Substation automation

Upgrading substations with Ethernet and IP based IEC61850 and SCADA can enable modern control and protection functions based on more data exchange among IEDs, RTUs and other devices. This will bring transmission and distribution reliability and efficiency to the next level. It also greatly shortens construction and auditing periods, simplifies trouble shooting by allowing faster time to value. Cisco’s Substation Automation CVD provides a thorough architecture including IEC 61850, network redundancy (PRP, HSR), timing and synchronization (PTP) and security.

Distribution automation

Distribution Automation can bring remarkable business value by reducing line loss, increasing reliability index (SAIDI, SAIFI, etc.), increase customer satisfaction, and enables smooth integration with Distributed Energy Resources (DER) through Volt-VAR control, Fault Location Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR). Cisco’s Distribution Automation CVD provides multiple networking options: public and private LTE, Wi-Sun mesh, end-to end security, easy deployment and management, and is design for secondary substation and feeder automation deployment.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

AMI can greatly help utilities to achieve business goals by saving truck rolls, enabling demand response, fast outage notification, and preventing power theft. Cisco’s AMI Validated Design is based on Wi-Sun mesh which provides standard based scalable, resilient, OpEx effective, and secure smart meter networking. Wii-Sun mesh can be the foundation of multi-service FAN to further support DA, DR, and street lighting services.

Grid security

The modern power grid has to have fortified security measures to protect from cyberattacks. The Cisco Grid Security Validated Design provides holistic cyber security architecture for substations and distribution grids. OT visibility and insight function from Cisco Cyber Vision can help you to identify and track OT devices and protocols on your network, which is the first step toward security compliance and threat detection and mitigation. It also provides and map of Cisco security products to NERC CIP requirements for your reference.

Mobile workforce

For utilities operating a large fleet and field crews, it’ll be essential to increase vehicle and crew productivity and safety by having a real time monitoring of vehicle and crew location and establishing real time communication to back offices. Especially when distributed energy resources are rapidly growing, field crews are servicing more types of devices which they need backend support, documentation or knowledge transfer. Cisco Mobile Workforce solutions feature in vehicle networking and also provide a Wi-Fi bubble to enable vehicle monitoring and remote expert applications.

Solution overview


Utilities deal with complexities of all types of OT protocols, interfaces, compliance requirements, standards, and operations overhead. Cisco IoT solutions simplify your work by providing standardized networking technologies to connect any type of devices anywhere with easy deployment and management. The Cisco Utilities IoT Validated Design also provides design and implementation guides upon validated solutions for real world use cases, which will further simplify your work and accelerate the time to value of your projects.


Utilities are essential services where security is a necessary to minimize cyber threats.  These compliance requirements including NERC CIP and NIS are mandatory. Cisco designs IoT products and solutions with security upfront as part of a wholistic security architecture with built-in security features from component to system level. Cisco Utilities IoT Validated Design provides a grid security architecture for substation, distribution automation, AMI solutions that help you protect your grid from cyber threats.


Millions of meters, hundreds of thousands of field devices, and service vehicles are quite common and need to be connected and managed by utilities in a cost-effective manner. Cisco IoT solutions are built with scalability in mind by providing comprehensive features and intuitive management tools to help you efficiently deploy, monitor and manage an enormous number of devices, network services and VPNs so that your network will be built to last and to scale.

Utilities Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs)

CVD reduce implementation and operational risks by validating and documenting the Cisco best-practice designs and blueprints for specific solutions. These are delivered through comprehensive CVD Design and Implementation Guides documenting the details of the solution, best practices and recommended implementations, including appropriate 3rd party vendor components.

Grid Security Solution Brief     Grid Security Design Guide     Grid Security Implementation Guide     DA Secondary Substation Design Guide     DA Secondary Substation Implementation Guide     DA Feeder Implementation Design Guide      DA Feeder Automation Design Guide      Utilities White paper      Utilities Substation DIG      Utilities RTU Virtual Implementation Guide

I want to move away from isolated solutions to a single multi-service architecture approach that supports all the goals and outcomes we want for our city.

Gary McCarthy, Mayor Schenectady, NY

Cisco IoT

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