Honeywell and Verizon Partner to Accelerate Smart Grid

The News: Verizon has teamed up with Honeywell to help utilities speed up and simplify the deployment of new communication-enabled, intelligent sensors and controls for the smart electric grid. By integrating Verizon’s Managed Connectivity LTE solutions into Honeywell’s next-generation smart meters and other electric, gas, and water solutions, the two companies will drive energy savings by more quickly deploying smart electric grid technologies. These technologies allow consumers to use energy at the optimum time and help utilities manage and plan for peak demand.

Combining Managed Connectivity, which will be offered as a service on Verizon’s LTE network, with Honeywell Smart Energy software, hardware and services, the collaboration will provide utility companies with a highly scalable, fully managed, open computing and communications platform to help them manage operations efficiently and safely deliver new services to their customers. For more general information on the announcement, you can read the press release from Verizon.

Analyst Take: Verizon and Honeywell have quietly, but astutely come together to partner on solving a significant challenge to push smart grid technology forward. We have long been hearing the promise of IIoT, but the process of moving from proof of concept to broad deployment has been slowed by various hurdles from cost to security to conflicts in controls between IT and OT. Partnerships like the one announced by Verizon and Honeywell will play a role in overcoming such challenges and pushing forward the valuable use cases and potential of Smart Grid.

What Does The Honeywell and Verizon Partnership Mean For Smart Grid?

The two companies are coming together to create a secure edge compute and networking platform that empowers Honeywell to do more with its smart meters; for instance the incorporation of AI and machine learning. Given Verizon’s strong contributions to 5G deployments in certain markets, I could also see the two companies look at incorporating 5G to provide greater bandwidth, speeds and lower latency. The incorporation of 5G could truly support the transformation of Utilities by enabling more real-time analytics and other advanced industrial automation solutions.

Here are the key areas that the platform will deliver according to Verizon

  • Strong device identity and security,
  • Dynamic network authorization and access,
  • Device and application discovery,
  • Remote device monitoring and management,
  • Modem firmware and application upgrades,
  • Real-time device diagnostics, and
  • Simplified supply-chain and data access.

Overall Impressions of the Partnership Announcement Between Honeywell and Verizon

As our connected world proliferates, I believe strategic partnerships like the one between Verizon and Honeywell will be critical to enable IoT and its potential societal impacts to take effect. Honeywell certainly has the deep industrial expertise and the market for smart meter technology as well. Verizon can provide the network connectivity that simplifies the deployment while offering reliable connectivity delivered in a more seamless experience than trying to separately design, procure and build a smart grid solution and the coinciding network to support it.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.

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Image Credit: Microsoft

Daniel Newman