National Investor-Owned Utility | Energy & Utilities

Building out a new utility infrastructure for the modern age

What We Did  

With increasing customer expectations and technology infrastructure approaching the end of its useful life, a national investor-owned utility needed to reevaluate its technology strategy and implement their smart grid. The implementation began by expanding a pilot program of smart meters across avast service territory. In addition to the smart meters, the utility evaluated its carrier services and deployed a private telecom network to address the risk of carriers ending support for critical applications. The utility partnered with West Monroe to: 


  • Evaluate its leased carrier inventory 
  • Upgrade the private network to support new devices 
  • Drive operational improvements through standardization and automation 
  • Expand its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project 

$8M+

in annual O&M savings after deployment

$1.5M+

in annual savings from assessment 

250+

locations with upgraded infrastructure

Project Timeline

2
MONTHS
Data Platform design and rapid pilot
4
MONTHS
Iterative, prioritized use case delivery
3
MONTHS
Governance and operating model refinement
3
MONTHS
Large-scale reporting launch, training, and change management to transition

The Challenge 

When telecommunications carriers announced plans to end support for analog circuits connecting the utility’s real-time network, the utility knew it needed to modernize its grid to maintain communications and avoid unsafe operating conditions and outages. 

But the utility couldn’t simply swap in a new carrier technology—an upgrade involved installing new infrastructure, maintaining engineering specifications, and powering new devices. 

Faced with a daunting task, the utility worked with West Monroe to assess risk, to develop a request for funding, and to deploy the upgraded infrastructure.  

An Undeniable Approach 

West Monroe began with an assessment of the business risk.  

West Monroe then crafted a business argument to request funding from regulators and address legacy connections. With funding approved, the team got to work and established a project management office to provide governance and deploy the new infrastructure. 

Over the next five years, West Monroe’s team led the deployment of wired and wireless technology to replace connections across the utility’s territory.  

Returns You Can Measure 

The utility saw returns at every phase of this project. After the initial investment and multi-year deployment, West Monroe helped save $8 million annually.  

During the assessment, West Monroe uncovered $1.5 million in savings by disconnecting inactive connections – some of which had been inactive for over five years.  

Overall, our team standardized technologies across several operating companies and created an effective governance process to monitor and control new connections requests.  

Additional benefits of the upgraded infrastructure included: 


  • A digital, IP-enabled, real-time network 
  • Increased bandwidth and improved reliability 
  • Quicker response time and more flexibility than the legacy carrier networks  

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