HomeFeatures/AnalysisInterview with Corrie Vermeulen, director, Africa Utilities Technology Council (AUTC)

Interview with Corrie Vermeulen, director, Africa Utilities Technology Council (AUTC)

Let’s start with some background about the Africa Utilities Technology Council

The Utilities Technology Council was founded in the United States by utility companies focusing on a core set of common values, which have proven to be applicable to utilities around the world, and has led to utilities establishing UTC’s international regions in America Latina, Canada Europe and recently Africa.

These common values include:

  • Members support for the fundamental transition from isolated Telecoms and IT strategies to an environment of converged IT/Telecoms Operations to guide the transformation of our industry and its ability to serve customers and communities
  •  Members contribute essential Technical Expertise on core business, process and technology challenges
  • Members guide Policy, Regulatory and Strategic Approaches that enhance the ability to deliver critical resources that are reliable, safe and responsible to the needs of society
  • Members raise the role of telecommunications and ICT to corporate, industry, and government leaders
  • Promoting Market/Business development opportunities for member companies to drive innovation and a reliable ecosystem of partners, technologies and solutions.
  • Members lead by establishing themselves, and the UTC organisations they represent, as trusted resources, and therefore enhance the ability to infuence policy and regulation, technology innovation, and organisational best practices.

What kind of projects are you involved in?

Guiding utilities on IP/MPLS (also referred to as packet networks), cyber security principles and guidelines, spectrum frequency allocations to utilities, especially for the purpose of creating smartgrids, commercialisation of utility telecommunications Assets.

What is your vision for this sector?

The vision of AUTC is to create a community of multiple utilities from different sectors that can support each other through collaboration on matters/issues and challenges of mutual interest.

You will host technical workshops at the upcoming African Utility Week – can you tell us more about what your message will be?

The workshops include sessions on:

  • Commercialisation of utility communications assets:
    Many utilities across Africa own or are investing in optical fiber networks. It is a known fact that utilities only need so much bandwidth and in many cases there is excess capacity that can be leveraged into commercial markets to generate additional revenues.
  • Cyber security in utilities:
    Cyber Security has become one of the highest priorities for utilities across the world.
  • Packet networks for utilities:
    The traditional digital telecoms systems are being replaced by IP/Packet solutions. This session will provide insights into technology decisions when utility operational networks are refreshed / replaced.

See here for more information: http://www.african-utility-week.com/workshop-programme

Why did you decide to partner with African Utility Week?

We found a lot of synergies between ESI/Spintelligent and AUW especially because of the focus on the electricity and energy/utility sectors. We bring additional content/topics to the AUW whereas Spintelligent and AUW provide us with exposure.