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7 Key Takeaways from DistribuTECH International 2019
7 Key Takeaways from DistribuTECH International 2019

Several Primera employees had the pleasure of attending the 2019 DistribuTECH Conference held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, where they heard from some of the world’s leading pioneers in Smart Grid technology. DistribuTECH is the utility industry’s leading transmission and distribution event that offers attendees an array of workshops and sessions, and over 300 represented utilities showcasing cutting-edge technologies and their latest products and service offerings.

According to the 2019 post event wrap-up, this year was a record-breaker for DistribuTECH. With over 12,000 attendees, representing 75 countries in attendance, this future focused group of pace-setters leveraged many opportunities to exchange fresh ideas, debut new product lines, and share valuable experience and respected insight into the next generation of utility business. This year’s conference proved to be a productive venue for sharing knowledge and networking with like-minded individuals, all eager to learn and embrace potential.

One of our very own expert consultants, Bobbie Tolson, attended the three-day event with several other members of our Consulting team and shares the following thoughts and key takeaways from DistribuTECH 2019:

“Every person has a role in exercising the power of disruptive thinking and unreasonable provocation.”[1]

The adage “necessity is the mother of invention” continues to be true regardless of the era of humanity. What has shifted, however, is the rate in which technological advances are spurred due to the need for industrious solutions. Disruptive, emerging technologies are everywhere, and they propose both threat and opportunity. Threat to the status quo of managing operations and sensible business practices. Opportunity to create incredible solutions through a distribution of services, an “eco system[2]” of product and service providers to help carry the weight of advancing while managing sustainable operations, yet also preparing for the next wave of emerging requirements.

Be it customer satisfaction, asset management, or ensuring reliability, here are my top seven ways to factor your own distributed resources, provoke unreasonable solutions and exercise disruptive thinking:

  1. Transform from within by cultivating a culture of innovation, enabling in-house ideas.
  2. Customer data is key, so start with the customer and work backwards.
  3. Fast, reliable communications is fundamental for action, especially since customer data is key, in the world of IoT.
  4. Create a solution ecosystem by partnering with companies, like Primera, to bridge the requirements gap, optimize operations and deliver sustainable results.
  5. Be willing to define new roles.
    • In the grid, this looks like automating grid optimization through forecasting and rebalancing.
    • In the marketplace, automated bid matching offers increased flexibility to the end user/consumer.
    • For data, the use of analytics accommodates regulatory and societal shifts.
    • In user acceptance, understanding that clichés should be challenged. They often result in exciting, motivating, and highly profitable solutions that resonate with the user.
  6. Green is good. Didn’t I just say that clichés should be challenged? If we’re all honest with each other, green can be disruptive or intimidating, especially in a world where technology may feel like it’s surpassing your own innovative ideas for embracing change. Whether green represents a project status on-track, a “go-live” for a new product or service or renewable energy sources, Primera Consulting understands the value of managing change, solid planning and governance, agile approaches for execution, and savvy awareness of emerging technologies.
  7. Retain authentic networking by finding valuable partners with like-minded values and business goals.

Whether the catalyst for change is caused by our aging infrastructure, regulatory compliance or streamlining the customer experience, Primera’s gratification in the endless journey of learning coupled with our appetite for growth has positioned us to assist in bringing industrious solutions to fruition within our client’s competitive landscape. Since connection has been at the core of everything we do, we take pride in being able to cultivate the ecosystem of distributed service offerings by partnering with others who are eager to learn and embrace potential. For more information on Primera’s consulting services, click here. For more information on the DistribuTECH Conference, click here.



[1] Williams, L., (2019). DistribuTECH Keynote Session, New Orleans, LA  https://sensus.com/sensussketch/visualizing-dtech-2019/#sensussketchkeynote2

[2] Weber, M., PSEG (2019). How PSEG Embraced the Outage Data Initiative to Share Data with Comcast, New Orleans, LA


7 Key Takeaways from DistribuTECH International 2019

Members from our Consulting Division (pictured left) spent three days learning about the latest challenges and opportunities facing the utility and renewable industries. Our author, Bobbie, is second to the left in the main photo and also pictured above.