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August 22, 2012

Cisco News - Meralco and Cisco Sign Smart Grid Deal in Manila

By Cheryl Kaften, TMCnet Contributor

Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and Silicon Valley-based Cisco Systems (News - Alert), Inc. are collaborating on the design and development of an intelligent communications network, which will serve as a foundation for a smart grid in the Philippines.

According to Marthyn Cuan, Meralco's vice president and chief information officer, the goal is to achieve higher efficiency in utility operations and deliver better services to customers.

Meralco, based in the is the capital city of the Philippines, is the nation's largest distributor of electrical power, serving 25 percent of the domestic population – or more than five million customers. Cisco is a global, leading-edge networking provider.

"Legacy grid infrastructure, rising power generation costs and emerging technologies are driving the company to pursue a new and more intelligent distribution network. We needed an IT infrastructure that is robust, flexible, and highly secure yet cost-effective,” said Cuan, who also spearheads the company's business process and systems transformation. “In an industry made even more challenging [by] deregulation, we remain committed to the interests of our stakeholders: to provide our customers with the best value in energy, products and services and at the same time to run the business (for our investors) effectively and efficiently."

At the core of the smart grid transformation is the use of an intelligent communication network as the platform that enables grid instrumentation, analysis and control of utility operations – from power generation to trading, to transmission and distribution, to retail. 

On August 22, the smart grid deal between Meralco and Cisco was signed in Manila by (back row, left to right) Ruben Benosa (Meralco), Marthyn Cuan (Meralco), Stephen Misa (Cisco), Raymond Ravelo,( Meralco) Ramon Segismundo (Meralco), Mario Louie Castaneda (Cisco), Edgar Ventanilla (Cisco), Marnie Tolosa (Cisco); and (front row, left to right) Alfredo Panlilio (Meralco), Les Williamson (Cisco), Oscar Reyes (Meralco), Patrick Veron (Cisco)

"We are collaborating with Cisco, given their heritage in transformative technology, and having been consistently recognized in the IT industry as a leader in networking technology with a broad line of innovative products. Most importantly, they approached us from a solutions perspective," continued Cuan.

“We are excited to collaborate with innovative industry leaders like Meralco, who are pioneering the way energy utilities are driving new service models,” said Stephen Misa, managing director for Cisco in the Philippines.

“Cisco is in a unique position to help lead energy organizations make the transformation to smart grids,” Misa added. “From a technology standpoint, our Connected Grid portfolio includes industry-leading networking equipment, computing platforms, integrated software services and professional services that cover the spectrum of functional requirements for a scalable, reliable and highly secure smart grid. The products span the different segments of the grid from the generation facility infrastructure to the data center to the smart meters – creating a true end-to-end, converged and interoperable solution."

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Edited by Braden Becker

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