The challenge

Kansas water utility WaterOne needed to migrate a portion of its meter population from an aging AMI system and move the remainder of the meter population from manual reads to AMI. The utility was concerned about managing the implementation and ongoing operations of owning an AMI network, including:

  • Securing in-house resources and equipment to support the network
  • Negotiating network locations
  • Installing and maintaining the network equipment

WaterOne decided to evaluate a NaaS model, in which a vendor would manage the network side of the AMI system, including ensuring network performance, maintaining physical assets, and securing contractual agreements with local property owners to place them. But the utility needed help building an operational and financial analysis to compare the NaaS model with a traditional utility-owned solution. The analysis would be key to gaining organizational support and moving forward with the best overall solution to meet WaterOne’s AMI needs.

The solution

WaterOne turned to the experts at E Source. Through a feasibility study and business case, E Source helped the utility compare a traditional AMI ownership model to a NaaS option that would support its business and IT requirements and meet its financial needs. Together, E Source and WaterOne decided to continue to evaluate the NaaS option during procurement.

E Source defined the ideal procurement strategy to meet WaterOne’s business needs and get detailed cost and performance information to evaluate traditional and NaaS options. E Source helped WaterOne every step of the way—from developing the RFP to negotiating the contract.

The results

E Source’s detailed systems knowledge and vast experience with major utility operational technology solutions helped WaterOne maximize its investments while minimizing costs. With E Source on its team, WaterOne successfully procured the right NaaS solution for its AMI program, enabling the utility to focus on enhanced customer service and efficiency programs instead of the daily operations of maintaining the network.

According to Brian Schade, WaterOne’s meter services manager:

Based on our experience with our first shared AMI system, WaterOne learned we weren’t and didn’t want to be in the telecommunications business. A NaaS solution allows us to focus on our core business and mission. We couldn’t have done it without E Source at our side along the way. Their knowledge of the industry was essential to our success.