Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Computer Science and Business Administration
The traditional industrial society is currently in a rapid transition towards a society where information and knowledge are prime assets. Information technology is the main enabler for this social change. However, in addition to an enabler, information technologv also is an integrator. Traditionally, the different producers of products, utilities and services had their own infrastructure towards the consumer. In the future, the leve1 of interaction between the provider and customer Will be so advanced, that no single producer, especially not the utility provider, can afford to construct the required infrastructure independently. Alternatively, multiple interested parties need to jointly develop a shared infrastructure that fulfils the combined requirements. Utility providers, operating in an increasingly global and dynamic market, can earn a competitive advantage by pro-actively experiment and install an inzastructure to provide additional functionality to the tustomer. Other-wise, the advantages of decreased production cost and increased customer satisfaction Will be exploited by competitors. This paper discusses the efforts of EnerSearch, a subsidiary of Sydkraft and IBM, in exploiting information technologv in two major projects. The Integrated Distribution Automation & Management (IDAM) project aims at improving the management of the utility information needs, whereas the Information, Society, Energy, System (ISES) project is more general, with the intention to provide a platform for implementing and assessing new services, products and trading. The knowledge obtained in these ongoing projects already proves to be highly valuable for determining fiture strategies in the utility market, the development of new products and services and the identification of appropriate co-operations with providers in other domains.