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The Top 6 Reasons Utility Companies Turn to Cisco

The Top 6 Reasons
Utility Companies Turn to Cisco

Cisco is a trusted leader in industrial networking.

According to IDC, 70% of large utility companies will update operations with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and analytics by 2020. Cisco’s leadership in intuitive networks, as well as its easy-to-use management tools, can streamline your operations and reduce downtime and costs. In fact, Cisco has over 40,000 IoT customers and was recently named number one in market share for industrial managed switches. Cisco supports the top Industrial Automation and Control System (IACS) protocols specific to utility applications, such as Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3), 61850, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and Profinet.

Cisco understands IT and OT (and their convergence).

IT and OT convergence is transforming the utility market, requiring a blend of technology and expertise from both organizations to optimize the benefits of digitizing the utility. Generation, transmission, and especially distribution are investing in digital technology that is transforming the grid. As a leader in enterprise and industrial networking, Cisco is uniquely positioned to help unite IT and operations for digitization initiatives that improve reliability, reduce operating costs, increase safety and security, and enhance operations.

Utility grid security requires segmentation, visibility, and automation.

Utility operations have recently become a rich target for cyberattacks, given both their national visibility and the expanded attack surface across their increasingly connected assets. Connected assets also carry the risk of physical damage, utility downtime, and breaches of customer data and intellectual property. Cisco® industrial security can help utilities segment the operations environment as well as detect suspicious traffic flows and behavior, perform security policy audits and detect violations, and identify compromised devices. Across this security posture, automation is fundamental to facilitate the scale required in an OT environment. Further, utilities can reduce risks across all OT and IT traffic by creating visibility into how, when, where, and why users and devices connect to the network.

Cisco is best positioned to meet the unique challenges of distribution field area networks.

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Cisco Field Area Networks (FANs) enable the monitoring and control of energy distribution networks to improve their reliability, efficiency, and safety. The Cisco multiservice FAN solution is a flexible, multitier architecture that enables IP network services and offers security, quality of service, resilience, and automation. The ability to converge many distribution automation use cases across a single secure FAN architecture results in a lower total cost of ownership due to reduced FAN assets, simplified outside plant infrastructure, spare and expertise commonality, and limited frequency costs. Examples of utility applications enabled by the Cisco multiservice FAN: Distribution automation, Distributed Energy Resources (DER), voltage (volt/VAR) optimization, smart meters and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), substation automation, workforce automation, connected and smart community services, street lighting, and more.

Cisco partners with utilities to solve problems holistically.

Cisco Services offers utility customers a premier consulting and technical support ecosystem that can help you more quickly realize the value of your technology investments. Whether you want to better anticipate industry changes, implement your technology, or secure your utility grid and reduce your risk, our services teams can help you make the most of your connected solutions.

Cisco works with a large ecosystem of industrial partners.

By working with Cisco, utilities also gain access to an ecosystem of industrial partners. Cisco works closely with software providers, systems integrators, and industry technology vendors and consultants to deliver complete solutions and business outcomes for utility providers. By offering utility-focused solutions such as distribution automation, edge computing, and industrial security, our partners can help utilities connect operational control and monitoring assets to improve the reliability and efficiency of the utility grid.