If anyone has seen the pictures of people stealing power in India, the fact that Prayas wanted to use IoT to monitor the grid seems counter intuitive. I would have expected the utilities to monitor power not the end users. However, Prayas is a Non-Governmental Organization focused on monitoring and improving the quality of power and reducing outages to the consumer.
The vast majority of rural areas around the world do not have a consistent electricity supply. Problems in the form of frequent interruptions, load shedding/blackouts, and voltage fluctuations affect everyday life dramatically and unexpectedly.
Working with Altizon, Prayas has created a monitoring tool called ESMI which stands for Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative. Deploying IoT sensors and utilizing Altizon’s Datonis platform they track the quality of voltage in real time. The result is that Prayas has managed to improve the quality of power coming to homes and businesses in India.
For this reason, Frost and Sullivan has recognized Altizon for their innovation.
I had the chance to speak with Vinay Nathan the CEO of Altizon and asked him a few questions.
CF: This sounds like an amazing effort, but more importantly it seems to be driven by gathering information at the end points. Is this a solution for a community of consumers only? How does it fit into a utilities’ IoT needs?
VN: Indeed, Carl – the value is just as much to the utilities as it is to the end consumers. Every industry requires independent audits for compliance and benchmarking purposes. This ESMI can be used by utilities to provide independent audited reports on their performance to their stakeholders. As we provide ‘always on’ continuous monitoring, the demand generation curves can be created with more predictability and problems can be localized very quickly. Utilities can use ESMI for their own digital benchmarking initiatives.
CF: The Datonis platform has AI and Machine Learning in its core. That strikes me as a key differentiator. Is that a fair claim? How does that capability translate into predictive analytics and updating?
VN: By providing AI and machine learning capabilities as part of our core offering, Altizon helps expedite the deployment cycle for end users like Prayas. What our customers get is a productized solution that removes the hassles of lifting and shifting data from disparate systems and doing a lot of work themselves in setting up the data infrastructure for machine learning. They can, at the click of a button, open up Notebooks that help them preprocess data, iteratively apply algorithms and when comfortable with their accuracy “push to production,” again, at the click of a button. Our analytics workbench is a strong differentiator for us, as it massively simplifies the entire user experience.
CF: With Prayas, the Watch Your Power site has an element of display about the power grid. Is that part of the dashboard? How does your system help Prayas get the big picture?
VN: Our Datonis’ application development framework exposes APIs to help Prayas’ quickly build dashboard views like the one seen on watchyourpower.org.
It helps Prayas automatically and accurately collect power quality and availability data at scale. This data is pre-processed, and then statistical functions are then applied on the platform to make a simplified set of higher level APIs available to Prayas.
CF: Your platform does more than energy monitoring, are there other vertical opportunities you want to highlight?
VN: Datonis is a comprehensive Industrial IoT platform, so enterprises around the world use Datonis to enable Smart Manufacturing to increase their productivity, performance benchmarking, quality improvement and overall manufacturing intelligence solutions. Datonis is also used for predictive maintenance on field assets like pumps, compressors etc…together with our 21 global partners we are helping customers across automotive, oil & gas, tire, power and many more verticals make the digital transformation shift.
Vinay, I want to thank you for your time and for sharing your success with us. Besides Frost and Sullivan, CB Insights has tracked you as an interesting start up, So I expect we will be talking again soon on other successes.
Thank you, Carl. It was pleasure speaking with you and we are excited about all the IIoT possibilities ahead that we can help accelerate for our customers.