In my recent post, on my attendance to the Enterprise Partner Summit (EPS), I mentioned my meetings with some of the partners that offer innovative cloud technologies to the benefit of the Public Sector.
A topic that came up on several occasions during this event was the fact that Public Sector entities today have to address not only the overall goal of “Doing More with Less”, but they also have to combine this objective with strong attention to the environment and energy consumption.
Cities around the world increase to grow in population, and by 2050 they will be home to more than 70 percent of our population worldwide. And in order to achieve the sustainability of the society as a whole, it is an important task to consider how to keep cities economically and environmentally sustainable. One step to achieve this goal is to focus on more energy-efficient cities.
One of the partners I met with during EPS is Logica. They are working with the environmental goal in mind and they have a solution called Integral Maintenance of Public Spaces (IBOR), which is a cloud based solution using Windows Azure, Microsoft Silverlight, and Microsoft Surface 2.0 to allow remote management of public environments to achieve maintenance cost saving up to 20 percent and energy cost savings up to 40 percent. You can read more about the work Logica does with the City of Utrecht in the summer issue of Touch Magazine.
Another great solution addressing this specific issue is from Spain. The Spanish ISV Sayme has created a solution called Sensbee, which is a complete wireless sensor network with a range of functionalities to minimize energy waste and maintenance costs in street light management in the range of 15-20 percent. This solution is also built on Windows Azure, and it emphasizes the capabilities that cloud technology can offer societies in this area.
The concept of “Smart Grids” has more and more focus from governments across the globe, not just benefitting cities as a whole by investing in smart electricity grids, but also by involving citizens in this process. In France, Alstom, a leader in power generation and Microsoft partner, has enabled a smart grid solution on Microsoft cloud technology. The Alstom smart grids are now enabling cities like Nice, Grenoble and Bordeaux to develop ‘eco-neighborhoods’ where citizens can monitor their power consumption in real time, thanks to the new Power Cloud system.
Germany too, is on the forefront of this development, with the solution Stromboxx from T-Systems. Stromboxx is an app for smartphones, which can give a precise indication of the savings potential of a company or home, thus enabling people an active control of wireless heating thermostats, and moving forward it will also enable savings to be made during energy consumption.
I believe cloud technology is such an important part of enabling governments with tools to achieve the necessary efficiencies in regards to energy reduction, and Microsoft partners play a crucial role in this. They build brilliant solutions which allow energy consumption and environmental sustainability to go hand in hand with reduced costs. I think we will see many solutions moving forward, and I welcome this development!
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