Neil visited the Distributech conference in Orlando in early February. Distributech brings together tech providers in the OT (Operational Technology) space.
The purpose was twofold – to learn more about the market in the US, and to represent the WITS community. The latter resulted in us being invited to use the DNP3 stand, and to make a short presentation to the DNP user group on the state of the WITS standard and its levels of adoption.
The striking aspect about the water market in the US is its fragmentation. There are 60,000 water management organisations in the US; compare that to the UK where there are around 40, with 12 servicing the lion’s share of population. This presents a challenge with progressing WITS, which is a new standard for the water industry developed in the UK due to the scale of organisations, and the sheer numbers of organisations involved.
Hot topics being discussed on the various stands were:
- The Flint, Michigan ongoing situation
- The cyber attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure (power grid, airport)
It was great to meet so many vendors in one place – to have done so outside of a conference situation would have meant spending days and countless flights criss-crossing the US.
You can’t fault the conference organisers for forward planning – Distributech 2017 and 2018 venues and dates have already been announced!