Technology + Innovation

Thursday, March 14, 2019

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM
De-“mist”-ifying the Cloud: Five Major Cloud Myths Debunked
Speakers: Priya Emmanuel, Managing Director, Cloud Strategy, KPMG LLP
Jeremy Babcock, Senior Applications Analyst, Snohomish County PUD
With the abundancy of information and hype being generated around the cloud today, it is natural to be “foggy” on what the cloud is and is not, along with understanding some of the complexities of running your business operations in the cloud. This session de-“mist”-ifies the cloud by providing a deeper understanding of the business value and benefits of cloud models by exploring responses to questions such as What is the Cloud?, How quickly is cloud adoption accelerating? and What major factors are driving cloud adoption?

Five major cloud myths are also debunked including:
1. On premise workloads are more secure than cloud solutions
2. All workloads belong in the cloud
3. “Private cloud”/virtualization is just as good as public cloud
4. Public cloud is cheaper
5. IT skills and staffing in the cloud don’t need to change”

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Scaling the Agile Wall: Opportunities and Challenges for Utilities Adopting Agile Practices
Speakers: Mark Drewes, Manager – Analytics Center of Excellence, Salt River Project
Andrew Braeger, Enterprise Architect, Tacoma Public Utilities
Agile practices like Scrum and Kanban are heavily practiced by organizations in many customer-centric industries: retail, banking, software, and even government. But in utilities, adoption of agile practices has been much slower. In this session, Mark Drewes of Salt River Project, and Andrew Braeger of Tacoma Public Utilities, will share their lessons learned of applying agile thinking and practices in utility settings where legacy mindsets and processes are the norm. They will share an overview of common agile practices, insights on what works well, and how to cope with agile adoption barriers.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Robotics and AI: The Next Generation of Labor
Speakers: Mahendra Goyal, Director – Digital Transformation | Intelligent Automation, KPMG LLP
Kim Wagie, Director, Digital Transformation & Continuous Improvement, Arizona Public Service Company
Andrew Storms, Vice President, Product, New Context
Christopher Lawson, Principal Investigator and Cyber Security Engineer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
As Power & Utility (P&U) organizations enter a new generation of technology enablement and talent management challenges, they struggle to keep pace other ‘millennial-driven” industries in terms of talent acquisition, digital disruptions and insightful, analytical, and forward-looking decision making. However, with the maturation of innovative technologies, the advent of robotic process automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have created opportunities for P&U’s to bridge all these challenges that have plagued them for so long. During this session we will discuss:

1. Demos: What do we mean when you use the phrase, “robotics”?
2. What are the different classes of Robotics / Machine Learning / AI and how are they different?
3. What are the expected benefits of Robotics / AI and where should P&U’s focus?
4. Topic Spotlight: Machine-to-Machine Automated Threat Response (MMATR)
5. P&U Panel Q&A: An opportunity to ask other peer P&U’s about their robotics journey, the benefits realized, and the lessons learned

Friday, March 15, 2019

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Utilities’ Next Top Talent: Technology Changing the Workspace
Speakers: Lisa Fix, Director of Customer Service, Clark Public Utilities
Philip McLemore, Director, People and Organization, PwC
As utilities modernize to keep pace with changing technologies and customer expectations, they will have to compete for talents with new and emerging non-traditional utility skills. How can the industry adapt and do things differently? This session will look at how telecommuting could help bridge this challenge. We will look at some of the issues around this new type of employee and what can be done to overcome those issues.

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
The Value of Innovation
Speakers: Mark Warren, Director, Business Innovation & Measurement, FortisBC
Amir Tabakh, Manager of Efficiency Solutions Engineering & LADWP La Kretz Lab, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Dawn Jurgensmeier, Manager, Information Technology, Grid Modernization, Salt River Project
Today innovation is quickly becoming ingrained in business values at many organizations. Utilities are no exception. This moderated panel brings together various innovation experts to discuss what ideas they’ve implemented at their organizations, how they foster creative thinking, handle risk and weigh the benefits.