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Impact: Smart Visakhapatnam City Operations Center

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Background

Visakhapatnam (also commonly known as Vizag) is a port city in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the largest city in the state and its IT capital, with a population of 2 million. Visakhapatnam was ranked eighth among the first 20 cities to be selected as part of the Indian Government’s Smart Cities Mission. Its smart city program is being driven by Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Limited (GVSCCL), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) created by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC).

The program includes a wide range of proposals to improve the city’s sanitation, livability, safety and security, transportation and mobility, water supply, reliability of power supply, and lighting infrastructure as well as improving government services and local amenities. GVSCCL estimates that around $220 million will be required over 5 years to meet its plans for infrastructure and service improvement split between grants from the Smart Cities Mission, matching funds from the city, and other investments.

Solution Delivered

As part of the smart city program, the GVSCCL has deployed a City Operations Center that provides integrated management for a range of city services. The Operations Center is based on an Integrated Command Control and Communication (ICCC) solution provided by Fluentgrid by deploying its Actilligence® urban platform.

The city’s goals for the operations center include increased sanitation and health, public safety, traffic accident reduction, improved administrative efficiency especially about revenue collections, and e-government services, and better preparation for disaster management. The plan is for the operations center to integrate with a wide range of city systems include city surveillance, traffic monitoring, street lighting, waste monitoring, and utility systems, as well as core financial and management systems.

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Overall 23 city systems are integrated onto the platform. An executive dashboard provides an integrated view across department-level systems and overall performance. Data is also collated across systems for analysis to understand activity patterns and abnormal events, provide timely alerts on actionable events and convert them into incidents mapped with configurable Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Vizag operations center data is also integrated into Andhra Pradesh state-wide real time governance system (larger state-wide version of command center).

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As a further extension of its smart city ambitions, GVSCCL has installed smart poles in 50 strategic locations across the city. The smart poles support several functions including provision of Wi-fi hotspots, weather monitoring, air quality monitoring, CCTV, panic button and public messaging. The smart poles are integrated into the City Operations Center. Overall, 15 smart elements are integrated with the City Operations Center. Other potential applications include acting as small cell locations for extending cellular coverage in the city.

Benefits

Some of the benefits realized so far include

  • City wide revenue collection numbers have greatly increased, with overall efficiency increased by 43%
  • Citizen grievances response and closure rate has almost touched 99%, with dramatic improvement in SLA adherence (Increased from 5% to 27%)
  • Effectively used the City Operations Center to bring the spread of Dengue under control within the city, and swiftly mobilize various departments to treat the identified cases with utmost attention and care

Outlook

While Vizag City Operations Center was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Sri. N. Chandra Babu Naidu in the month of Feb 2018, the journey so far has been very impactful, and on a path to successfully realizing the overall envisioned benefits.
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In his own terms GVMC Commissioner M Hari Narayanan said, ‘a city cannot be smart without the basic stuff such as sanitation, livability, public safety, transportation and good governance’. He envisions the City Operations Center eventually become a platform for good governance while addressing the ever-changing aspirations of citizens and minimizing the problems faced by city administration, in the process it empowers citizens to move forward, ecosystem and industry to flourish.

Fluentgrid Limited is Technology Partner  at ‘India Smart Grid Week’ (ISGW 2018)

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We take pleasure to let you know that Fluentgrid Limited is Technology Partner at the 4th Edition of International Conference and Exhibition ‘India Smart Grid Week’ (ISGW 2018) from 5th to 9th March, 2018 at Manekshaw Centre, Dhaula  Kuan, New Delhi. 

Webslide ISGW-2018

 

Integrated Command and Communication Centre Commissioned at Visakhapatnam

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We are pleased to share information on successful commissioning of the Integrated Command and Communication Centre (ICCC) of Visakhapatnam (a.k.a. Vizag) Smart City by Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the honorable chief minister of the sunrise state Andhra Pradesh.
The command center solution was developed and implemented in record time with Fluentgrid CCC product, leveraging its rich off-the-shelf functionality coupled with the underlying intelligent, robust yet flexible Actilligence® platform. The solution enables real-time monitoring of civic issues, water and power supply, city and beach surveillance, traffic management, air quality monitoring, solid waste management and the like. The IoT enabled smart bins with volumetric sensors, used for solid waste management, can be monitored in real time for effective cleanliness of the city.

“The Vizag command center project integrates with about 15 departments in the city demonstrating more than 60 use cases for improved city governance and disaster management.”

Fully loaded smart poles with environment sensors, public wi-fi access, public address system, surveillance cameras, variable message displays, emergency call box and smart lighting support the administration and public at large during peace time as well as in emergency situations.
The ICCC is a manifestation of human senses as it monitors the urban daily life through cameras and sensors (SEE), has the cognitive ability by analysing the data and arriving at actionable intelligence (THINK) and initiate appropriate actions using machine learning algorithms (DO), in a coordinated and systematic manner based on the rules and SOPs defined. Responsive cities are the next step in the evolutionary cycle of smart cities where the SEE-THINK-DO paradigm is leveraged to deliver real time governance in smart cities.

“The Visakhapatnam Command Center implemented by Fluentgrid integrates over 20 smart elements besides eGovernance and ERP systems as well as the state level Real Time Governance (RTG) center.”

The command and control center aligns with the Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s vision of 360 degrees urban real-time governance. It ensures convergence of information between various departments through the ICT platform thereby driving administrative efficiency and accountability with transparency.
The project also includes an open data portal for transparent data sharing with all the city stake holders. Open data facilitates an innovation eco-system for students and citizen entrepreneurs to develop apps on the platform delivering new use cases for citizens and the city administrators.

“Speaking on the occasion Mr. Murali Krishna Gannamani, MD & CEO of Fluentgrid Ltd., thanked the city administration, partners and employees for making this possible with coordinated efforts against tight deadlines. He reaffirmed his commitment to further empower Vizag with the best of smart city technologies in the days ahead.”

Background

Back in 2016, when Visakhapatnam city was getting ready for 100 Smart Cities Challenge of India, Fluentgrid helped them setup an interim command center in record time, integrating 11 smart elements and applications in all. It was the first of its kind city operations center in India that integrated not only the smart elements like water SCADA, environmental sensors and LED street lights, but also egovernance applications like municipal revenue assurance and citizen grievance management. The interim command center also integrated our patented beach safety poles for situational awareness and emergency warnings to the public. This project was a game changer as it projected Vizag city as a tech-savvy contender and eventually Vizag won the smart city challenge in the very first round.
Enthused by the success of the interim command center, the Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Ltd (GVSCL) released an RFP in Jan 2017 for a full-fledged integrated command and communications center to include peacetime city operations center, disaster management center, multi-channel citizen engagement center besides citizen mobile apps and mobile workforce management. The scope of the smart city project for Fluentgrid comprised of ERP and E-governance applications, ICCC and a whole lot of smart elements like fully loaded smart poles, Traffic Management, etc.
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Fluentgrid wins TV5 Business Leader Award

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The TV5 Business Leader Awards was constituted to recognize and reward the most exceptional businesses and entrepreneurs with their inventive thinking, innovation and inspiration.

Fluentgrid has been chosen as the “IT Leader of the year 2017 (AP – Large)” in IT Category by Jury members of the TV5 Awards Committee.

TV5 Award

 

The TV5 Business Leader Awards are considered the biggest awards show in AP and Telangana. This show was pioneered as a tribute to the enterprising visionaries who are building, growing and expanding businesses with their passion for excellence.

Fluentgrid wins THE BIZZ AMEA 2017 AWARD

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Fluentgrid has been adjudged Winner of The BIZZ AMEA 2017 Business Award organized by the WORLD CONFEDERATION OF BUSINESS (WORLDCOB).

WORLDCOB headquartered in Houston, USA is a Worldwide Chamber of Commerce that has been contributing to global business for the past 12 years, with more than 3000 members in over 120 countries from continents such as Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia. It recognizes good business practice on a global scale through the business award THE BIZZ, which is offered every year.

The business excellence evaluation criteria set out by the evaluation committee was on Business Leadership, Product and/or Service Quality, Management Systems, Innovation and Creativity, Corporate Social Responsibility and other accomplishments.

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Speaking on the occasion Mr. Murali Krishna Gannamani, MD & CEO, Fluentgrid said that it is really encouraging to win yet another Global Award from WORLDCOB and this only motivates us to set bigger goals to achieve in the years to come, while thanking the WORLDCOB Board of Directors for selecting Fluentgrid for this honor.

Lodha Group’s Palava Smart City ranked India’s No. 1 by JLL

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Lodha Group’s Palava has been ranked India’s No. 1 City to Live In by Jones Lang LaSalle.

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The Lodha Group’s Palava has been named as India’s No.1 emerging city by Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) proprietary research report “Livability Quotient – A Paradigm Shift in India’s Emerging Cities”. The report studied the performance of as many as 10 emerging cities and towns before coming to the conclusion.

Fluentgrid is proud to be partnering with Lodha Palava group for Smart City Solutions.

Click here to read the news article.

Click here to read our case study on Lodha Palava.

Vizag’s first women Hackathon on Smart City, supported by Fluentgrid

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Girls in Tech Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization  in association with Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and US Embassy, Hyderabad organised the first all women ‘She Builds Tech – Smart City Hackathon’ in Vizag, spanning two days, 19-20 August, 2017. The event was held at Green Park Hotel and was supported by Fluentgrid, IBM, Bayer India and Wave Labs with major focus on collaborative governance, improved accessibility to physical infrastructure, eco-friendly solutions for smart city and Tech Nari – empowering women in technology.

Fluentgrid, one of the sponsors of the event, assisted Girls in Tech Foundation through its Corporate Social Value (CSV) division. On this occasion Mrs. Vani Gannamani, Director, CSV remarked that Fluentgrid believes in impactful technology that reaches every nook and corner, and for the right impact of technology, it is noteworthy to support initiatives like the Smart City Hackathon.

300 students from some of the top universities of AP and Telangana took part in the event. The participants were motivated to build solutions with inputs from corporate mentors. The teams went thorough idea generation session, planning session, coding session and then their final work was brought to the panel of jury on Sunday. Mentors from Fluentgrid limited guided a team from Y S R Engineering College of Yogi Vemana University from Proddatur. ‘Nano Sol’ – a solar energy harnessing paint, a water grid solution, geo fencing, ‘Intelligent Ambi’ – a smart ambulance service and ‘Tour Gel’ were among the winning solutions.

During the inaugural function, the Chief Guest Mr. Y. Sujana Chowdary, Minister of state for Science and Technology & Earth sciences said that Women entrepreneurs should be encouraged to use technology solutions for driving the nation forward.

US Consul General meets CII industry leaders in Visakhapatnam

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An interactive luncheon meeting was hosted by Fluentgrid in honour of the US Consul General – Ms.Katherine B. Hadda and her team comprising of Mr.Donald F Mulligan – US Consular Chief, Mr.Geoffrey Chin – Political and Economic Associate and Ms.Annette D’Silva -U.S.Commercial Assistant, during their visit to Visakhkapatnam on the 28th July 2017 at Varun Beach Novotel.

CII Industry leaders pose with US Consul General – Ms.Katherine B. Hadda in Visakhapatnam on 28th July 2017

CII Industry leaders pose with US Consul General – Ms.Katherine B. Hadda in Visakhapatnam on 28th July 2017

Mr.Murali Krishna Gannamani, MD & CEO, Fluentgrid Ltd. welcomed all the guests and gave a brief of the historical background of the beautiful city of Visakhapatnam and how it has transformed from a small fisherman’s village to emerging as one of the major industrial hub with major Public Sector Undertakings, having a strategic naval base and is now the IT destination for the Sunrise State of Andhra Pradesh which is presently ranked No-1 state in “Ease of Doing Business”. He said that Visakhapatnam, endowed with it’s natural beauty, is becoming a major tourist destination. In light of the above and the huge local talent pool, the region looks forward to huge investments from US companies in different sectors for a mutually rewarding and long term association.

Ms.Katherine B. Hadda, US Consul General, Hyderabad thanked all the leaders for coming and thanked Fluentgrid for hosting the luncheon meeting. She mentioned that her meeting with the Visakhapatnam Port Chairman was good and that the Chairman is open to exploring better technological solutions from US for controlling the dust pollution in the Vizag port zone. She appreciated the beauty of Vizag and mentioned that Vizag seems to show promise in many industries and that US Consulate at Hyderabad will help companies and introduce wherever possible to any investment and partnership opportunities across different sectors. She encouraged the industry leaders to communicate with the US Consulate on any issues faced or any help required. Ms.Katherine also mentioned that the US Government through US Trade and Development Agency(USTDA) is funding for drawing up the master plan for three smart cities in India and that includes Visakhapatnam and for which a consortium of three US Companies was formed i.e. AECOM, KPMG and IBM. She answered few questions from some industry leaders and all the team members interacted with the industry leaders during lunch.

Impact: Transforming lives in Afghanistan

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Background

Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), the Afghan utility company relies on imports from neighbouring countries to meet 3/4th of its electricity needs and yet lights up only about a quarter of nation’s households. DABS has 2 about million consumers in the country.

The capital city Kabul with 2 million population now receives power 24 hours a day. USAID’s commercialization program has helped put DABS on a self-sustaining path aided by our mPower software implementations and consulting assignments.

Business Issues

  • Legacy billing system implemented in isolation without established commercial business processes
  • Very high distribution losses arising from unaccounted/ unmetered consumers, rampant power theft and poor collection efficiency
  • Non-existence of customer care processes.
  • Very low computerization and computer literacy.
  • Near absence of asset and maintenance management processes and best practices

Solution Delivered

Commercial business processes were drafted and implemented with baseline data. Legacy billing system was replaced with Fluentgrid CIS based billing system followed by automation of other commercial processes like new service release, disconnection/reconnection, revenue accounting, customer care, call center and self-service. All banks and public kiosks have been integrated to accept bill payments and mHawala mobile payments system was rolled out in association with Etisalat.

A business intelligence system was deployed in a centralized data center with ad-hoc reporting capability and visibility through executive dashboards. O&M capacity building was followed by CMMS implementation. Corporate management support program was followed by ERP implementation.

Benefits

  • System losses dropped from 70% in 2002 to 30% in 2014. Revenues increased by 15% every quarter since 2009.
  • Collection rates increased from less than 50% in 2002 to more than 90% in 2014
  • Better customer service through single window customer service centers and centralized call center
  • Corporatization and capacity building across all departments with improved computer literacy

Summary

DABS collected $220 million from the sale of electricity in 2012, an increase of 67 percent from 2010. During USAID’s commercialization project in Kabul from 2009 to 2012, DABS increased cash collections [for electricity bills] by 60 percent, decreased commercial losses from 50 to 38 percent, and increased cost recovery by 20 percent. Mobile payments system mHawala with Etisalat went live in 2013 with 100,000 registered consumers.

The commercialization program is now extended to five more provinces and plans are afoot to eventually roll out across the country in phases.

Sources:

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/linked-documents/47282-001-dc.pdf

https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/frontlines/energy-infrastructure/powering-afghanistan

Impact: Lodha Palava Smart Prepaid Metering Solution

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Background

Lodha Group envisioned its Palava City, near Mumbai, to be the largest ever private green field smart city in urban India, and one of the top 50 places to live in the world by 2020. The 18 Sq. Km. mixed use integrated city project, when completed,  is expected to house about 125,000 residences apart from office and commercial space.

Photo Courtesy: www.palava.in

Photo Courtesy: www.palava.in

Business Issues

Palava City has entered into a distribution franchisee agreement with the local utility MSEDCL to secure near uninterrupted and stable power supply in the long term. The franchisee will manage collection of electricity charges and maintenance of electrical infrastructure in Palava. In this regard, Palava City intends to:

  • Reduce the operational hassles of meter reading and posting to MSEDCL
  • Eliminate the risk of energy bill collection on behalf of local utility MSEDCL
  • Maximize convenience to Palava City residents
  • Help residents in efficient energy usage

Solution Delivered

A new concept in prepaid metering system termed as “Smart Prepaid Metering” was developed and provided to fulfill the business requirements of Lodha’s Palava City. Smart Prepaid system allows its consumers to opt-in/out for prepaid billing as and when required without changing the metering infrastructure.

Our solution offering includes smart grid elements such as smart meters, head-end system, central data server with MDMS and UHES, consumer portal and integration with other applications at Palava City including command centre, resident portal and the back office system.

Benefits

  • Unique solution in the industry enabling consumer to switch between prepaid and post-paid billing without changing metering infrastructure
  • Ensure accurate meter readings scheduled and on-demand
  • Better cash flow to utilities with payments collected in advance
  • Help consumers avoid wastage and reduce energy usage
  • Availability of smart meter data for Lodha /MSEDCL to monitor consumption patterns and respond to outages far more quickly