Yes

​​​​​​​​​​​Advanced Metering

  • Selecting and Implementing AMI Technology
    • What to ask potential vendors
    • Benefits of various technology choices
    • Planning and preparation for enterprise-wide impact
  • Upgrading/Refreshing your AMI Technology
    • What use ​cases do you need to support in your AMI system
    • What to look for in a second-generation system
    • How to handle the migration to something new while extracting value from existing assets
  • Benefits Beyond Basic Meter Reading
    • Distribution operations benefits including smart sensors, street lighting, load management, consumer program enablement
  • Extracting value for data collated – integration with other systems, data analytics

Broadband

  • Planning for Broadband
    • ​M​odeling and Feasibility
    • Funding (Borrowing options, state/federal grants, etc.)
  • Deploying Broadband
    • Network Design considerations
    • Pole Attachments (rates, issues, and opportunities)
    • Project and construction management considerations
  • Operating Broadband
    • Building a broadband team – competencies, training, etc.
    • Network Maintenance and Service Restoration
  • Use cases
    • SmartGrid Impact/Enablement
    • Broadband Backbone (for utility communications / substation connectivity)
    • Consumer Broadband
    • Emerging use cases (Smart Community, Agriculture, Internet of Things, etc.)
  • Technologies
    • Fiber to the Home, Fixed Wireless/LTE/5G, Satellite, etc.

Communications

  • Employee and/ Member Notification Solutions and Who’s Doing What?
  • Telephone Systems & Services in the Cloud
    • In House or Cloud VoIP
    • Do not allow subcontractors in your VoIP cloud service agreement
    • Comparison of vendors
  • Call Center Chat Services
    • Member engagement tools to expand contact alternatives
    • Integrate with phone system and customer website
    • Queue management
    • What are the options out there and vendors?
    • Utility IoT
    • Use of SMS texting for outage reporting
    • Use of automated Facebook/Twitter services to communicate
    • OMNI Channel communications platform

Cybersecurity

  • Cyber Insurance, pros/cons, and other considerations
  • What Does a Secured IP Network Look Like?
    • Orientation and groundwork and stage setting
    • Segmenting SCADA and other business-critical systems
  • The Axis of Physical and Cybersecurity
    • How cyber-threats can impact the security of your facilities and infrastructure
    • Review scenarios and best practices for assessing and protecting access to network devices, buildings and equipment
  • Use of modern frameworks to secure your cooperative, like NIST, MITRE, RC3
  • Policy creation and adoption
  • Incident response plan
    • how to create
    • Recovering from an incident
  • Defense in-depth strategies
    • Peer review - Tabletop discussion/panel discussion
    • Defining through policy and practice information sharing
  • Vendor Cybersecurity
    • What policies need to have in place?
    • How to allow vendors to access systems?
    • What policies should Vendors provide?
    • What happens if the vendor has a breach?
    • How to keep track of employees who want to use cloud-based vendors?

Data Analytics/Data Mining

  • Innovative ways to assess data for improving utility operations and planning
  • Big Data
    • What infrastructure is out there now to work the data, Cloud server farms
  • Dashboards
    • Operational, reliability, and business case dashboards
    • Actionable success stories – Use cases
    • Internal creation of tools versus package purchases
    • How to use dashboards for board member communication/management

DER

  • Non-Wire alternative
  • Microgrids
  • IEEE1547 – Using full functionality
  • Integration of DER
    • Planning for DER
    • Planning tool - is solar a firm resource?
    • Unanticipated outcomes, positive and negative
    • Lessons learned
  • Increased DER with new technology
    • Philosophy and implementation of new devices with DER
    • System monitoring and control
    • reliability and system protection
    • power quality
  • New Business Structures in a DER Future
    • Identify needs of members
    • Providing services and options economically
    • New service/revenue streams
    • Member side technology advances (sensors, etc.)
  • Storage
    • Emerging Technologies - not limited to battery storage
    • Business case on declining costs
    • Residential, community and utility-scale
    • Storage Management of Large Static Files
    • Storage backup, and media management of Huge/Static Files –
    • In House or Cloud Services?

Distribution Automation

  • What advanced programs are utilizing or facilitated by Distribution Automation and what impacts has Distribution Automation had on your Cooperative?
  • Real-time distribution system monitoring and analysis
  • Intelligent automation and control
    • Fault location, isolation, service restoration (FLISR)
  • Outage prevention
  • Demand-side management
  • Distributed energy resources monitoring and control
    • energy production, storage, and management
  • Different use cases may be best suited for different technologies
  • How should cooperatives do the assessment – application for which technology/communications platform

EV’s

  • Rate Design
  • Effect/Planning for EV’s on the Distribution System
  • Fleet Charging Stations
  • Load Control
  • Federal Grants Available for EV Charging Stations / Buses

Facilities Management; Logistics, Maintenance Innovations and Best Practices

  • Physical security
  • Warehouse layout for improved efficiencies
  • Barcoding and other innovative processes (for ordering, charging, tracking materials), etc.
  • Purchase guidelines for new technologies, products, services: broadband, fiber optics, drones/UAS, solar, etc.
  • Charging and tracking materials
  • Building inspections and preventative maintenance
  • Disaster planning and recovery

Fleet management

  • Establishing specifications for digger derricks and bucket trucks
  • Vehicle tracking/GPS devices
  • Maintenance records and software
  • Payload securement

GIS Solutions

  • The Power or Operation Dashboards
  • Integrating O365

IT Operations

  • Designing an ICS (Industrial Control Systems) Disaster Recovery Framework – SAN framework
  • Automated Offline and Offsite Backups
    • vendor selection and services available
    • shared service model
  • Managed Security Service Providers
    • how to properly select an MSSP
  • Automation of Patch Management with Worked Examples
    • free & low-cost tools & services
  • Weighing benefits between Cloud and On-Premise solutions (O365, AWS, Google)
  • Expanded use of Office 365 services throughout the cooperative, ie OneDrive, SharePoint, etc

OTHER

  • If you would like to propose a session topic that you don’t see listed but feel it would be of interest to the TechAdvantage audience, you can submit it here under the “Other” category.

Procurement/ Supply Chain Management

  • Workflow Automation
  • Contract Management Systems
  • PO systems
  • Vendor Management Systems
  • Storm stock packages
  • Pole and other inspections – steel, concrete, wood, etc.
  • Penta replacement – alternatives and evaluation process

Procurement Policies, Standards and Processes

  • Ethics
  • Record retention and the effects of going paperless
  • Quality Control (Supplier Certification, etc.)
    • How to evaluate quality
  • Procurement Authority
  • Inventory management
  • Assessment practices; Performance criteria
  • Change management; Continuous/Process Improvement
  • Audits

Procurement/Supply Chain Management – Contracting and Negotiation

  • Delegation of spend
  • Preparing for bids; Competitive bidding plan
  • Negotiating terms and conditions
    • ​Uniform Commercial Code
  • Contract administration

Procurement/SCM - Cost and Finance

  • ​Spend Profile, cost/benefit analysis
  • Financing and leveraging strategies
  • How accounting controls the impact of the procurement work order processes

Regulatory Issues

  • Impacts of climate change/weather events/Fires/ETC
  • Report on TX weather event
  • Critical intrastate interdependencies
  • Implications of FERC 2222
  • Executive order on securing the bulk power system

Risk Management /Compliance; Strategic Planning and Forecasting

  • Legal Issues
  • Security evacuation planning; Contingency planning
  • Oil Spill Response and Containment Strategies
  • FEMA do’s and don’ts
  • Buy American: Do’s and Don’ts

Strategic Sourcing and Vendor Management

  • Analyzing and evaluating sources; Vendor Rationalization
  • Insource vs Outsource
  • How materials are sourced
  • Logistics of transporting raw materials, products
  • Vendor relationships: development, recognition, performance evaluation, exit state

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