CGI and GE team up to shape the digital energy grids of the future

07 September 2018 Authored by Consulting.ca

Montreal-headquartered global  IT and business consulting firm CGI has signed an alliance agreement with diversified multinational conglomerate GE to build and implement electric grid software for utilities clients in North America. The solution will have a strong emphasis on robust cybersecurity.

With awareness and enthusiasm growing around both renewables and smart energy systems that can efficiently respond to shifts in consumer demand, more utilities firms are looking to get into modern, digital, integrated, and secure energy grid control systems. Digitalizing grids, however, entails advanced, connected technology that increases the risk of breaches and cybersecurity risk. For example, Ukraine’s power grid has been hacked and downed on a number of occasions in the course of its ongoing geopolitical conflict with Russia. As such, operators of highly-connected, digital grids need to be well-equipped, implementing strong defenses, analyzing risks, and monitoring for threats in real time.

Canadian technology consultancy CGI and US conglomerate GE – a pioneer in traditional utilities and innovator in digital energy solutions – have thus teamed up to develop and implement electric grid software in North America. The alliance will “focus on real-time grid operations and controls, critical infrastructure, and cybersecurity,” according to a statement from CGI.CGI and GE team up to shape the digital energy grids of the futureGE will contribute its portfolio of digital technologies which safely manage, analyze, and improve electricity transmission and distribution. Its solutions boast Industry 4.0 technologies like machine learning, AI, and advanced analytics. Meanwhile, CGI will add its considerable experience in supporting the operational technology and information technology systems of utilities clients. One of the globe's largest independent IT and management consultancies, CGI delivers end-to-end IT services based on strong cybersecurity and agile capabilities.

"The energy grid of the future will demand an integrated, secure and agile system," remarked Jim Walsh, CEO of GE Grid Software Solutions. "CGI's experience with utility business processes combined with our proven digital energy portfolio will provide exceptional customer outcomes and help do so in the most cost-efficient way."

Commenting on the alliance agreement with GE, CGI’s Canada President Mark Boyajian said, “CGI's local delivery centers will provide GE with access to utility experts and best practices in the agile development and integration of grid operation solutions. In addition, our cybersecurity capabilities will help address the increasing threats utilities face as they pursue their digitalization journeys."

The utilities-savvy consultancy was recently awarded a €41.9 million contract to build and support an electricity information exchange for Fingrid Datahub Oy, a subsidiary of Finland’s electricity transmissions operator Fingrid Oyj.

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