Last week, thousands of water industry professionals gathered at the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. It’s been a long three years since we last had an opportunity to attend this important event in person — and the excitement was palpable as colleagues and peers reunited once again.
We at Master Meter were particularly excited to share our latest and greatest solutions with attendees. From our unified Allegro Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) platform and Sonata Residential Ultrasonic smart meters to Harmony Encore, we demonstrated how we can help water utilities up their smart water tech game while solving their toughest water utility challenges.
During the event, our own Brandon Foster, vice president of sales for the Eastern Region, was a special guest on Water Online’s Water Talk video series where he discussed Master Meter’s flexible approach to metering and AMI. “It’s incredible how far the technology has come from our cellular options to our typical historic products that we’ve sold for the last 30 years,” he told host Angela Godwin. “We like to go into a utility who’s interested in AMI technology and really build a solution for them that makes sense for the utility — because not every utility is the same.” They range in size, complexity, management levels, and drivers, he explained.
It’s a particularly exciting time for utilities who have never considered an AMI solution before, Brandon noted, because “you’re starting to see utilities who are really showing the proven benefits.” These successes are demonstrating to other utilities that it’s possible to strengthen their relationship with ratepayers through transparency and communication, giving residents an opportunity to participate in monitoring their water usage while enabling the water utility to have greater insight into — and control over — their water networks.
In the past, the perception has been that AMI technology is only for larger utilities, but that is changing, Brandon suggested. “Smaller utilities are seeing that [they] can also participate,” he said. One of the reasons is the flexibility that Master Meter offers across its range of products. “Our offering gives them the ability to test the waters, test the technology, [and] get comfortable with it,” he explained. In situations where a metering network is already deployed, utilities may even opt for a Master Meter solution with an open protocol. “We can adapt to that existing meter base,” Brandon said, which allows utilities to upgrade their technology without sacrificing the investment they’ve already made.
In addition to its newer technologies, Master Meter is committed to supporting its existing product lines, Brandon explained. “We still offer all of our legacy products we’ve sold for years and years and years,” he said. “So going in, I think it’s really important that a utility knows that they’re not going to be forced in a direction to try to utilize AMI…Whether you want solid-state ultrasonic measurement [or] mechanical measurement, we’re still offering all of those products.” It goes back to Master Meter’s focus on flexibility, he said, and ensuring customers have a wide range of options for solving their metering challenges.
Stay tuned for Brandon’s full Water Talk interview in the coming weeks.