Focus on co-creation at Powel Days 2017

Communication, human relationships and curiosity were key ingredients at this year’s Powel Days. These are all important elements in co-creation, the process that gave the name to the event, "CoCreate". Additionally, there was also the usual new launches and several examples of innovative ways of utilising new technology.

Customers from all our various business areas were invited to Powel Days. All in all, approximately 750 people participated: employees, partners, exhibitors and, first and foremost, customers from eleven countries.

After a joint opening session, Powel’s energy customers from Metering, Smart Energy and Asset Performance gathered at Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, whilst Powel Construction and Powel Water convened at Clarion Hotel & Congress.

A human approach and innovation                                               

First up in the plenary session was design anthropologist Anna Kirah who spoke passionately about the importance of a human centric approach. Serial technology entrepreneur Alf-Egil Bogen was up next. He shared his thoughts on how his curiosity and a joy of creating has had a great impact on his success.

The focus on people and innovative thinking served as a good introduction to what was to follow. Many of the subsequent presentations over the two days had elements of these topics.

One of the main messages from Anna Kirah was the importance of understanding other people's point of view when we develop solutions. For Powel, co-creation and design thinking are both key elements in this process. Together with our customers we identify and understand what their real needs are, and by doing this are we able to find the right answers and thus the optimal solutions.

In our experience, the right work processes, cooperation and the willingness to think in a new way are important elements in creating success stories. Technology is our tool, but solutions are created by processes.

Both Powel employees and customers spoke about co-creation processes during the various sessions, where innovation and digitalisation were also key themes. Norconsult, TrønderEnergi, the municipality of Stavanger and Axpo were just a few of the customers who spoke about specific projects they have executed in close cooperation with Powel.

Digitalisation and change for the energy sector

Powel’s EVP Smart Energy, Arnt Sollie highlighted the growing need for digital competency in the energy market, together with the importance of speed and agility. In a time of substantial changes in the market, there were also a lot of talk on the importance of being able to analyse patterns of change in energy consumption and finding new ways of optimising assets.

Smart Energy, the most international of our business areas, welcomed customers from as far away as Columbia to this event, and representatives from several large, international customers contributed with presentations. Uniper spoke about how they took the leap into the cloud and Italian Enel spoke about investments within innovation and digitalisation that will support their strategies in both operations and asset management. Energy trade was another key topic and visitors had the opportunity to learn more about the newly launched Algo Trader.

Naturally, Powel Metering’s sessions were largely focused on upcoming changes relating to the rollout of smart meters and Elhub, a data hub that will encompass all metering data for electricity in Norway. In Scandinavia, Denmark have come the furthest in this process and attendees from Norwegian and Swedish grid companies got a first-hand experience account from Poul Berthelsen of NRGI Danmark.

Asset Performance sessions were also very focused on changes within the industry and how we approach them. There were several examples of co-creation projects from customers and the SaaS platform www.powel.net was launched by VP Asset Performance Kjetil Storset.

User experiences and news

Powel Construction and Powel Water had their conference at Clarion. As is custom for the two business areas they hosted a pre-event on Tuesday, which was part social, part presentation. This year, the MeTroVann project was presented, a project between the municipalities of Melhus and Trondheim and a good example of co-creation to start the conference with.

Over the next two days, digitalisation was a recurring theme for both business areas, both from a broader social context and in relation to our solutions specifically.

Digital data, standards, BIM and seamless data flow are important topics in the new, digitalised world of construction. Gemini Connected was launched at Powel Days 2016 and this year, new users could hear how the platform responds to many of the needs of the industry. One of the first to start using the platform, contractor firm Dokka Entreprenør, also shared their experiences. 

At Powel Water’s session, customers were presented with news in Gemini VA, the management and documentation solution for water and wastewater networks, as well as the brand new solution Private Facilities. Several customers took to the stage to speak about experiences, challenges, and co-creation with Powel.

In addition to presentations that focused on our software solutions, the session also included an overview on the importance of both the water industry and water in general from Terje Tvedt, professor at the University of Bergen, and Chief of Security at Powel, Mike Loginov.

Security, data analytics and Powel’s Innovation Award

The conference gave participants the opportunity to get acquainted with Powel Security Services and Powel Data Analytics. These two departments are tasked with ensuring that we are always in front when it comes to data security, machine learning and data analytics, whichever the business area.

Water and Metering customers heard Mike Loginov’s thoughts and experiences around information- and cyber security. Chief Analytics Officer Mozhgan Tavakolifard spoke to Smart Energy, Asset Performance and Metering customers about some of the enormous strategic possibilities that exists in machine learning, advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Good technology partners are important for any business working with software and both Microsoft and Esri were represented at Powel Days. A host of other partners also had stands at both hotels.

As is custom during Powel Days, the winners of Powel’s Innovation Award were announced during the conference dinner. This year’s three very worthy winners were the water and wastewater department at the municipality of Bergen, grid company Eidsiva Nett and Uniper. All three have worked closely with Powel on demanding, innovative and exciting projects where digitalisation and streamlining have been important drivers. Those three are just some of our customers that have experienced the value of co-creation.

Powel would like to extend a thank you to all speakers and participants. We are looking forward to working with you on new co-creation projects.

See you again next year!