May 29, 2014

iFactor Announces Intent to Join Utility Effort to Develop Open Standard for Sharing Power Outage and Restoration Information

TEMPE, Arizona (May 29, 2014) – iFactor, a premier developer of mobile apps, real-time outage maps and multi-channel alert systems for the utility sector, has announced its intent to support the development and use of a voluntary open standard for publishing power outage and restoration information through its software solutions.
This announcement was made on May 28 during the White House Energy Datapalooza. As part of the same event, utility companies Duke Energy, BG&E, ComEd, PECO, SDG&E, Southern California Edison, and National Grid announced their intent to develop and use this standard for publishing outage and restoration information. In conjunction with the Datapalooza, Google announced its intent to work toward using the open outage data in its Crisis Maps and other Crisis response products.
“Our deep involvement in the dissemination of outage information from utilities to their customers puts us in a unique position to help guide the development of the data standard,” said Shazir Khan, President and CEO of iFactor. “We support the industry’s objective of making this information more readily available for disaster relief efforts, and look forward to using our expertise to streamline the process.”
The initiative was developed in response to a challenge set forth by the White House Office of Science to come up with ways to improve disaster response and recovery efforts. The publishing of outage information as structured data in an easy-to-use and common format, in a consistent location, is aimed at making it easier for a wide set of interested parties—including first responders, public health officials, utility operations and mutual assistance efforts, and the public at large—to make use of and act upon this important information, especially during times of natural disaster or crisis.
As part of the voluntary open standard initiative, iFactor has agreed to take a leading role by sharing its expertise in data integration with utility back-end systems, and by helping to educate the utility industry about the initiative. As a first step, participating vendors and utilities are forming committees to define and document the data standard, combining expertise across regions and systems.
About iFactor Consulting
iFactor Consulting develops customer communications solutions for the utility sector, delivering information to more than 100 million people in North America through deployments at more than 40 utilities. iFactor’s solutions are changing the way utilities approach customer communications, allowing utilities to leverage connected technologies such as the web, mobile web, and smartphones to interact with the customers’ channel of choice. Visit www.ifactorinccom for more information.
Alison Copeland, iFactor Consulting