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Why do Smart Metering programs require unique testing strategies...

Any Advanced Metering Infrastructure deployment consists of several building blocks. An end to end deployment consists of solution components from various vendors, legacy CIS or ERP systems, and sometimes systems supporting offshoots of AMI programs. This very nature of an assembled solution requires a comprehensive and detailed testing strategy from the very initiation of the transformational program....

In our experience, following are the key points that need to be kept in mind while planning for testing of an AMI program.

  • Identifying the critical functionalities and right resources for testing
  • Timely identification of key non-functional requirements, such as Performance and Security
  • Interoperability between systems following standards
  • Test automation can save lot of time and unnecessary effort
  • Tools can accelerate testing and reduce effort for repetitive testing
  • Need for thorough reviews of test conditions and scripts
  • Testing needs to focus on Impact of AMI components on the rest of the infrastructure

We have seen AMI deployments go completely off-track because of incomplete test planning and execution. The plan has to be taken up upfront during design activities itself, not on a reactive basis when systems start showing signs of stress or failure.

Few other issues that need to be considered during design include:

  • Not effectively integrating the AMI solution into the rest of the infrastructure
  • Not thinking through how to get 'good' data into the systems
  • Data management - synchronization, alignment and quality
  • Data is retained in silos and not available to everyone who needs it

If the test plan is well-developed and executed, chances are the implementation will be smooth and realization of ROI will be faster.

Keep on following our blogs on this topic for the next few days...

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