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Meralco and Cisco collaborate on Future-Ready Energy Utilities for the Philippines

Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the Philippines' largest distributor of electrical power, and Cisco are collaborating on a holistic approach to providing reliable computing and networking infrastructure as a foundation for operations on a smart grid. Investing in enterprise computing and smart grids will enhance automation and intelligence at critical points within the Meralco network, which will enable the company to achieve higher efficiency in utility operations and deliver better services to customers.

"Legacy grid infrastructure, rising power generation costs and emerging technologies are driving the company to pursue a new and more intelligent distribution network. We needed an IT infrastructure that is robust, flexible, and highly secure yet cost-effective. In an industry made even more challenging with deregulation, we remain committed to the interests of our stakeholders: to provide our customers with the best value in energy, products and services and at the same time to run the business (for our investors) effectively and efficiently," said Marthyn Cuan, Meralco's vice president and chief information officer, who concurrently spearheads the company's business process and systems transformation.

With decades of innovation in power distribution, the 109-year-old Meralco is again leading the way for utility companies in the region by using technology to develop a future-ready energy company for the Philippines.

At the core of the smart grid transformation is the use of intelligent communication networks as the platform that enables grid instrumentation, analysis, and control of utility operations from power generation to trading, to transmission and distribution, and to retail.

"The past 18 months have been fantastic for Meralco. We saw record energy volume growth and we have passed our 5 millionth customer. As our customer base increases, the corresponding demands for quality power and services necessitate that we improve current capabilities. We are collaborating with Cisco, given their heritage in transformative technology, and having been consistently recognized in the IT industry as a leader in networking technology with a broad line of innovative products. Most importantly, they approached us from a solutions perspective," continued Cuan.

"We are excited to collaborate with innovative industry leaders like Meralco, who are pioneering the way energy utilities are driving new service models. Cisco is in a unique position to help lead energy organizations make the transformation to smart grids. From a technology standpoint, our Connected Grid portfolio includes industry-leading networking equipment, computing platforms, integrated software services and professional services that cover the spectrum of functional requirements for a scalable, reliable and highly secure smart grid. The products span the different segments of the grid from the generation facility infrastructure to the data center to the smart meters, creating a true end-to-end, converged and interoperable solution," said Stephen Misa, managing director for Cisco in the Philippines.

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