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Thu 1 Mar 2007 12:00 AM

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New technology adoption vital for industry

Utility companies should be at the forefront of new technology adoption, according to network management firm, Cisco.

Utility companies should be at the forefront of new technology adoption, according to network management firm, Cisco.

The company said the transformation to internet protocol-based (IP) networks, especially in communications, has become vital because of the possibility of sudden change within the industry.

“While enterprise management systems can survive the odd software bug or virus attack, any failure in the process control network…can have catastrophic effects and even claim lives,” said Eyad Alqadi, Cisco’s vertical sales manager.

“Technology is an enabler and can provide fundamental improvements for organisations operating in the [utilities] sector,” added Tarek Ghoul, Cisco North Gulf country manager. “It can deliver an experience that has a direct impact on enhancing operational efficiency, optimising cost structures and boosting overall business agility,” added Ghoul.

IP networks carry voice, video and data all on the same network. This has the advantage of ensuring the company has reliable availability of information and applications. Additionally, the speed of an IP network means that the problems of disruption are minimised. Ghoul thinks adapting the communications infrastructure to IP technology will ultimately save costs and deliver the manageability needed to improve business activities.

Alqadi added that the growth of the internet has established IP as the de-facto standard. He said, for the region’s power sectors, IP networking will allow interoperability and drive data sharing.

“New technology is seen as a key element in delivering these cost savings,” he said. “When a relatively small investment in technology can drive a dramatic return of investment in terms of increased production or extended life of an asset, this is clearly of interest to any company.

Alqadi said the trend for utilities companies to adopt new technologies such as wireless, unified communications, and security, is expected to continue for the next ten years.

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