Smart Grid News and Analysis

IoT World Forum 2018
IoT World Forum 2018

Opower Introduces Next Version of its Cloud-Based Platform, Opower 5: Flex


Opower, the global leader in cloud-based software for the utility industry, today introduced the latest version of its technology platform, Opower 5: Flex. Opower 5: Flex is the underlying engine that drives each of the Opower solutions, including Energy Efficiency, Customer Engagement, Demand Response, and Thermostat Management. Major enhancements in the Flex release focus on three areas: business intelligence, web extensibility, and message targeting. These enhancements are rolling out across the first half of the year.

“Our utility partners are looking for a platform that delivers increased capabilities in business intelligence, web extensibility and targeted, individual interactions with their customers,” said Dan Yates, Opower’s CEO and Founder. “The Opower 5: Flex release was built to deliver more powerful outcomes and solutions for utilities in response to that feedback.”

Enabling these platform capabilities is Opower’s continued investment in service-oriented architecture built on open source technologies including Apache Hadoop, HBase, and Hive.

“Opower 5: Flex is optimized for large amounts of time-series data and analytic processing, and can run analytics on billions of meter reads per minute to deliver customer and utility insights in real time with sub-second latencies,” said Rick McPhee, Opower’s SVP of Engineering.

Powerful visibility across the global platform
In response to utility requests for more visibility into program performance and customer behavior, Opower has launched Customer Intelligence, a business intelligence service that aggregates customer information from multiple utility systems and third-party sources alongside data on customer interactions with Opower’s digital channels. Customer Intelligence will be comported with each client’s market segmentation schemes to uncover behavioral insights relevant to other marketing and customer outreach activities at the utility.

More flexibility for utilities
Enhancements in Opower 5: Flex enable utilities to further customize content, design, and functionality to support their business goals. Using Opower’s new Extensible Web Framework, utilities can develop new functionality on the platform with simple JavaScript changes, powered by over 35 platform integrated APIs coming online over the course of the year. Additionally, Opower’s network of Certified Developer Partners, including Carbon 5, Intridea, and SCV Soft are now available to develop customized solutions for each client using these new capabilities.

“We were looking for a partner that could process data in a very quick overnight period, analyze it, and then display it in ways that would provide real value to our customers and help them save money,” said Chris Burton, Vice President, Smart Grid & Technology at BGE. “Prior to our engagement with Opower, our typical interaction with a customer was through a monthly bill. Working with Opower, we are able to deliver much more personalized communications that led to a better customer experience.”

Greater personalization behind every application
Based on extensive client feedback, Opower has built Visual Segmentation on Opower 5: Flex, a first of its kind GUI enabling rapid development of new customer segments across hundreds of variables. These segments never grow stale as they are then updated nightly, and together can enable millions of personalized experiences. “We are proud to take our data and behavioral science capabilities to the next level by measuring how utility customers behave, tailoring the experience to them, and personalizing our outreach,” said Alex Kinnier, Opower’s SVP of Product Management and User Experience. “The Opower 5: Flex release gives utilities unique visibility, choice, and speed so that they can generate the right experience for every single customer in their territory.”

Opower 5: Flex Benefits All Solutions
All 93 Opower customers are being seamlessly transitioned onto the new Opower 5: Flex platform and will have access to its improvements in visibility, flexibility, and personalization. This platform lays the foundation for continued co-innovation between Opower and its network of utility partners worldwide.

SOURCE: Opower