Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘uk

Smart Grids In The UK

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Well that was a bombshell that AT&T done dropped on the American telco landscape over the weekend.

It was almost as upsetting as Arizona’s last second comeback over my Texas Longhorns in the NCAA.  At this point, my brackets are a complete mess.

If you missed the headline, AT&T announced its intent to acquire T-Mobile USA, Inc. for a cool $39B.  The blogosphere lit up at the news, but GigaOM’s Om Malik ain’t havin’ any of it, saying that everybody loses in this deal.

But that wasn’t the only news in the telco space.  Just this morning, IBM and Cable & Wireless Worldwide announced their collaboration to develop a new intelligent data and communications solution, UK Smart Energy Cloud.

This effort will support the UK’s Smart Meter Implementation Program, which aims to roll out more than 50 million smart meters in the UK.

This cloud will help provide a complete overview of energy usage across the country and pave way for easier implementation of a smart grid (Though there were no confirmed reports that the stadium lights at Stamford Bridge were flickering after Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City yesterday PM. Viva Brasil’s David Luiz, even at 21M British pounds!)

The UK Smart Energy Cloud solution will utilize the extensive experience IBM has gained from leading and implementing smart grid programs around the world and its proven enabling software and middleware. And the solution will be supported by C&W Worldwide’s extensive, secure next-generation network and communications integration capability.

IBM has a long history of expertise in smart grid projects, which range from innovative research projects to full scale deployments. In the UK IBM is currently advising three of the six largest energy retailers on transforming their business in preparation for smart metering.

Globally IBM has been involved in more than 150 smart grid programs in mature and emerging markets. Current global projects include working in Malta to create the first nation-wide smart grid and a pilot project with DONG Energy in Denmark to install remote monitoring and control devices to gain information about the state of the grid.

For more information visit the IBM energy Web site.

The Summit At Start

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Imagine your city or town transforming itself before your very eyes.

Imagine several years down the road that your city’s power systems are increasingly green, dependent more on renewable energy sources and less on carbon-based fuels.

Imagine that you’re able, almost by involuntary response, to reroute your electric car or moped around any traffic jams and reach your destination ten minutes early.

Imagine being able to walk down to the local farmer’s market to get organically grown vegetables which were grown in the same county as where you live.

Imagine your local government making material decisions about managing resources or serving the citizenry not by way of back room deals or little sunshine, but rather through open, transparent decisions driven by the gathering of community input via a social network and thoughtful, intelligent analysis of real-world data.

These are just some of the types of scenarios that may be being imagined across the pond in London at IBM Summit at Start, an eight-day national initiative in the U.K. by The Prince’s Charities to promote and celebrate sustainable living.

The Start initiative aims to demonstrate just what a more energy efficient, cleaner, and healthier future might look like, and is engaging experts and citizens from across the U.K. and around the globe to fuel this important discussion.

The IBM Summit is the business-to-business component of Start, and over the next eight days is going to engage 120 global leaders in business, the public sector, and academia to discuss the varying economic, societal, and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Each day of the Summit will have a unique theme: Cities. Energy. Transportation. Skills and People. Youth. Supply Chain. Finance. And Analytics.

On the final day of the Summit, there will be a synthesis of the previous eight days in the form of a wrap-up discussion on “Smarter Business.”

IBM CEO Sam Palmisano will be speaking and in attendance, along with a host of other luminaries from industry, the public sector and civic organizations from around the globe.

If you’d like to follow the action up close and personal, you don’t have to hop a plane to the U.K. (although it’s a lovely time of year to visit!).  Simply check out the IBM Summit at Start online press room.

You can also learn more about this type of sustainable future in a series on Smarter Cities published by The Guardian.

And if you’d like to join in the discussion, join our new People for a Smarter Planet group on Facebook, where there are a range of discussions and projects you can learn more about and even participate in.

Written by turbotodd

September 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm

i’m lovin’ it!

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IBM announced earlier today it signed a three year agreement with McDonald’s to provide a new cashless payment solution for 1,300 McDonald’s owned and franchised restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

IBM will help McDonald’s cater to the growing number of customers using credit and debit card payments by introducing an improved system that will be operational by the end of 2010.

With McDonald’s restaurants serving millions of customers every day, the IBM solution is expected to allow McDonald’s to continue improving customer experience at the counter by increasing the speed, flexibility and security of service.

Hearkening back to our security discussion in the previous post (which was, and I can’t make this stuff, titled “My Big Hack Attack.”  And I swear I had no advanced notice of this cool Mickey D’s announcement. Seriously!), McDonald’s existing strong levels of security will be enhanced even further with anti-tamper and fraud detection software installed on hand held chip and pin devices to help protect customer card payments.


The solution is going to also help McDonald’s find smarter ways to run its day-to-day operations more efficiently by centralizing business processes onto one database enabling automated settlement and reporting.

By installing these new processes, McDonald’s is also empowering its franchisees, the independent businessmen and women who own and operate the majority of McDonald’s restaurants, to view and query their own customer card data so any issues can be quickly resolved.

IBM will provide business and technology consulting services to integrate and maintain the payment solution which is being designed and built around the McDonald’s point of sale terminal. Following the launch of the new solution, IBM will host and support McDonald’s entire payment system in a secure UK data center.

The solution will be based around IBM’s StorePay and Sureswitch products to provide a complete payment service that extends from the hand held chip and pin device in the restaurant through to the back end processing on a pair of highly available IBM System p servers, which are monitored and managed by IBM’s UK Infrastructure Management Center.

The deal was signed in June 2010 and is part of a multi-phase project spread over three years to continue transforming McDonald’s payment systems.

No word yet on whether or not Ronald McDonald will get his own hand held device, but I figure the chances are good.

Written by turbotodd

August 5, 2010 at 12:30 am

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