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Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get Hey, once
again, welcome to industrial talk, thank you very much for joining the number one industrial related podcast in the universe that celebrates you and I'm pointing right at you, you industry hero from around the world, you are bold, you are brave, you're daring greatly. You collaborate, you solve problems, you innovate. I think I've pretty much named them all off, and you're making my life and the lives of many from around the world a better place. Thank you very much. All right. Sabine, is in the hot seat, the company is seated. She is the CEO of grid solutions there. And I just have to give you a heads up. We were on site at distributech. And so this is the interview that happened there. Let's get back. Yeah, see this, this platform? I'm telling ya. It's an ever expanding industrial ecosystem of problem solvers and leaders? How about that, put that in your bank? All right. Again, I want to make sure that you understand this is a series. And this is a series that we were very fortunate to be on site at distributech. And it was a great, great event. And if you're in the utility space, or energy space, or digital transformation space, this is a this is an event that you need to put on your calendar for next year. There's a lot to see a lot of collaboration, a lot of people are just, you know, they're, it's, it's a really exciting time. If you're in the utility world, boo. There's a lot of big thinking going on there. Before we get into that interview, we are brought to you industrial Talk is brought to you by capital logistics, and IoT world now capital logistics i i love the conversation that is around supply chain. And you know, as well as I do, that you need a trusted resource company, that person that can help you with your logistics challenges. If it's big, no big deal. If it's not no big deal, Cap logistics, have you covered, go to cap logistics.com Find out more you will not be disappointed in. And I've had the great honor of working with IoT world. And they never disappoint you go on to IoT dash world.com. And they put together some great content. Because we're all about learning. We're all about growing, we're all about educating. And as I'm telling you right now, the way the industry is working or going it is fast, and you need to keep current. And you need to listen to people like like Sabine, who have just the fingers on the pulse of what's taking place, go out to IoT Dash World. Find out more again, great company, great people, all right, on site. This is this was a great extravaganza. And so my background is in utilities. I was a transmission lineman, many of you know that I was, I dealt with a lot of renewables anyway. I was a kid in a candy store. And then when somebody likes a beam comes up, and I get the opportunity to be able to talk to her about the challenges that are happening within the grid like we take it for granted as consumers, we just sort of take it for granted that when I come into a room, I flip a lightbulb that's on and everything's fine. I don't think beyond that. Well, I do just because I was in the utility industry. However, we have some really unique opportunities and challenges that companies like Siemens, and Sabine and her team are really addressing, and really trying to find that solution. That really, in essence, we don't know anything about it, right? We're just consumers. But it's an exciting time. Now you're gonna hear some noise. It's going to be a little noisy back there because we're right on site on the floor, and just having a great conversation about what's happening with Siemens. So enjoy the conversation because I certainly did. I used to be it's been great to be able to run you down. Lucien, who's standing right in front of me. He's the one that has been burning all the calories. Try to find you. Not me.
It's been busy times and a lot of great conversations here anti tech. So yeah,
so you had a good conference. Conference? Absolutely. This is your first time here.
It is. It is I just counted. i It's my 10th Inlet, which is the European equivalent. It's my first tech. Can you believe that? No.
Well, this is my first time to you know, my background in utilities. It's like a kid in a candy store here because there was a company out there that had a I pulled top switcher and I said, Are you kidding me? Let me go look at it. And I'm touching it. And I'm going, Wow, that's fantastic. stupid stuff. Amazing. All right, so you're here, Siemens is here, got a great presents got a great solution. Talk to us a little bit about that product launch that you mentioned ever. So briefly on May 5, talk to us.
Absolutely. And it's actually not only a product launch, we reveal our strategy and an entire suite of products. We call that the grid software suite. And that goes from planning to operations and maintenance of grids. And the Tweak to it really is that we think it from A to Z. So plan to operate, maintain.
What was the sort of that? You know, genesis of that conversation? Because you're one of the challenges that I see here is, I need if I was if I was a utility, if I was just whatever, I'm looking for a trusted resource, a person, something that I know that I need to do this, I need to venture into this new, Brave New World, but I need somebody to be able to sort of bring us through, was that part of the thinking behind it and saying, hey, somebody needs to be getting it. We need we need it all the way through?
Absolutely, I think what we realized is that, it is a very, very tough challenges that utilities and especially distribution and transmission companies are facing, because that transformation is nothing that anybody has ever seen before. So the that challenge, we feel that by and large, the industry is leaving our customers a little bit too much alone. So we said, we got to embrace the point of view of our customers.
I gotta interrupt, who's a customer in that conversation.
And the customer in that conversation? Is any grid operator?
Got it? Got it go continue. I was struggling. I'm a customer. But I'm not a grid operator.
Yeah, no. Thanks for asking. So for grid operators, I think we're as an industry not yet doing a good enough job of helping grid operators to maneuver through that transition, which is an exponential growth case of Drs. So facing that as exponential growth, I think the human brain can cope with exalted curves, right? I mean, we've seen that in COVID, you can just lose time, because if you lose time, it's already too late. Yes. So the same situation is the one that we're facing with what the grids need to cope with. And here we go. I mean, we are thinking silos, we're thinking point solutions. Here, you have a planning app, here you have an operations, and here you have that, and then we leave it to the grid operator to stitch that together. And that's really hard work. Because it's overlapping data is not flowing properly. It's hard to connect. And so that's, that's a problem we are solving for them.
You've touched on a number of points. And I think that I have to be honest, we have to talk about here on industrial talk, you know, modernization of the grid, but you're the first person that actually said, Hey, there's the customer, there's this human component, these are the, the grid operators, the the ISOs, whatever you might have. And they're the ones that have to sort of make it work because we consumer wants to flip on the light. There it is, it works. And we don't want to have the interruptions. And we're pretty binary when it comes to that, like good.
And we want to have an EV charging, we want to have a solar, we have one, battery storage, we want to have an energy community, we want to know how much we consume what we can contribute to climate, like mitigating climate change. Yeah. And
my ear bleeds when I have these conversation, because my background is sort of old school. And it was sort of that centralized generation. That's an easy model. And the utilities are very good at that. Because it's been doing it for 100 years, Siemens has been a part of that. It's just that's what it is. So I have generation of transmission. I have substations I have distribution, and so on and so forth. Now we're talking system operators, having to take solar panels, battery, EVs, and be a part of that whole mix, and then be able to do that. And that's a technology conversation to
mean Did you know it's 7x the growth of the quantity 20 37x that's exponential?
No. But that's, that's frightening to
it totally is and I mean, the transmission system operators already have a challenge because it takes that to distribution. I mean, connecting those DVRs and admitting them planning for it getting the flexibility, getting the inertia, right?
These are really sophisticated conversations. And if you have any appreciation for the love that we as consumers are, we take it for granted that our power is our power. We don't really mean if I'm a customer, I don't think about. I don't think about that. I'm very simplistic, but there is. No, you're absolutely right. It should be invisible. It should be just business as usual. The risk I see is that if we don't get this, right, if we don't, you know, partner with companies like Siemens, to make it right. If we do it wrong, the consumer sort of doesn't like that.
I mean, you will have to care, then. I mean, that's like going back to the middle age where you get get to know at which point in time you can switch something on. And I mean, middle aged, wasn't switching something on but
but if you were at that spot on the point, it is, but then we start talking about I look at it, there's a there's a there's a messaging component to it, right? Because there's a lot of incredible things that your company, people in your company others are doing that is just sort of like the unsung heroes. They're having these collaborative conversations. And it's, and they're discussing,
I would say it's the grid operators are the unsung heroes. I mean, it is really perfect. It's not us.
Well, I gotta admit, I can appreciate the pragmatic approach, because the grid operators are going to always say, hold it, I still gotta deliver power. And it's got to be reliable, and I can't just incur a bunch of costs. So it's got to be, you know, reasonable and cost. And it's got to be done safely. Right? I got to do that. Because if I don't do that, then I fail. So it's good. But are you finding that the necessity is to strive to collaborate with these, these grid operators and bring them in and say, We're going down that road?
Absolutely. And I mean, if you close the doors, I mean, grid operators will admit that they're actually not following through with connection requests of key hours. So this is slowing down the energy transition. And that the partnership is about helping to accelerate the energy transition, helping to make it easy helping to be fast and nimble to adapt, or oh, there's EVs coming up here, charging poets coming up here, more solar introduced here, or there's a kind of a big car park with a charging being built there. So God to be much more flexible than we had been in the past. And if you translate that to the technology world, then software has got to be the solution. Because software, yes, things. It does help you to operate grids closer to them limits mean, so far, we have physical limits, where you have this buffer of portion in
there. Yes, that's right. And overbuilt. Over built.
Yeah. Because you got to be reliable. Yeah. But I mean, there was somebody in a utility A while ago, who told me like, oh, oh, this is so we can kind of reduce that buffer and capacity. And then a colleague of yours said, like, look, we used to fly planes with four engines in the past. Now we fly them with tools. Right, right. We're still feeling safe. And that software, it's like, the instrumentation, the precision, the transparency about that we are still good enough to fly. And that's what we need to bring to power grids. It's the software that gives you the transparency of how close are you statically and dynamically to your limits? How much more can the power grid take and investing in software's? There's so much better return on the investment than just adding capacity and copper and bigger transport? That's right, right. It's so much faster. So getting the software right, for me is the key to facilitate and accelerating that energy transition integrates.
How do you have these conversations with the you know, the system operator over here and a system operator in this service territory over there? And each one has a different story. They're in a different place in this journey? I think there's a recognition that, yes, it's going to happen. I hear it. I understand. I talked to other colleagues, it's going to do it. How do we take it across the board like and have some sort of consistent messaging right there and saying, Okay, do this
and Think you're absolutely right, everybody starts from a different position. So not only the grid topology is different, the D ER or EB charging, status is different. But also the IT and OT topology of every one is totally different. So the art is to. That's what agility is about. Like when we talk about agility, it's about being able to make small steps, make them fast, and iterate. So it's, that's why our software suite is modular. Modularity enables you to go Agile, and to not replace, and total ADMS and derms. In one goal, if your project, please don't risk. And I mean, we've been doing that over the years. But the recipe is, how can I go live was one thing. Next thing,
I love the incremental approach, it allows the human side, like me, put my, my arms around it, achieve some sort of success, say, I got it. Okay, I'm learning, I'm walking. Now, let's, let's start to scale a little bit, let's talk, let's target this versus that right now. And be able to do it that
way. The whole I mean, a, it delivers value much faster, because you can do something very fast. So the second thing is, I mean, it's a human transformation, you keep emphasizing. So it's about people with habits of working with a system for so long, now need to change to work with new software. So you want to give those people the chance to get those new habits. So get them touch the software really fast. Get them kind of learned. Like it like we learned something on the smartphone, right? I mean, you you learn it intuitively, instead of five months of training after a five year project, and it's kind of Big Bang, see your it's not how transformations are being done.
See, you're touching on so many things. I believe that true adoption has to come with simplicity. If if you create friction in this, whatever this journey is, I'm not I'm just naturally going to not want to be a part of it. It's too hard. And you also spoke on that, that cultural, that utility, cultural mindset, that legacy thinking we've done it forever, this is how we've done it, we've perfected this.
And you know what? It's that's super interesting, because you see, kind of different types of people coming in now. And those conversations are super intriguing. Because I mean, a you have 80 people sitting next to what we would call Ott, right. So they come from different backgrounds. And what we find is, if we discuss our principles and software and how we build our software, how we deploy our software, it actually resonates with both. So it's not the conflict of I win, you win, or I push you out, you push me out. But it's something that serves both needs, and for good reasons. So it's the best of all worlds. Yeah. And it has the advantage of the reliable reliability of OT, but the flexibility of it, and the speed of it.
See, I think, you know, I point this out, the pandemic did a couple of things. One, we understand the bad stuff, got it bad, bad, bad, bad. But the other thing that I thought was pretty good about the pandemic is that it it quickly identified the necessity for us to collaborate, and to be willing to collaborate and to be insane. I don't have all the answers. I know I need to go down this road. But I don't have it. So I need to collaborate. And that's what you just pointed it out. OT it, that collaboration when when and and that realization that yeah, it just has to happen.
And then those, those conversations are real fun. I mean, like I can imagine when we bring everybody in the room is like sometimes in the beginning, there's a little bit of the reservation,
because it never happened before it never happened. And then when people are leaving
the room, it's like, wow, I mean, like, sometimes we get kind of that those teams afterwards calling their CEOs and said like, yes, this was like, they never experienced that it can actually not be against each other but with it each other and it really to like thinking things entirely new.
I think it's an exciting time. I really in a positive way. Yes, people are going to skin, their knees and bump their heads and all of that stuff and it's going to happen however, I still think that there's this momentum that's happening. then it is going to happen. And either you participate, either you'll part of the solution, or because of the velocity of this, you're going to be left behind and you don't want to be in that room. You don't we won't. You Oh, that's what you guys do. You do it all the time. I enjoyed this conversation. You know what it was well worth the wait. Thank you. Yes. How do people get a hold of you? Just got to? I mean, if they want to get some more information, where do they go?
Just ping me on LinkedIn.
I mean, that's the way to do it. This is
where it is man, I will have all of Sabines contact information out on industrial talks have been your fantastic. Thank you very much for joining industrial talk. Once again, we are broadcasting from distributech 22. And as you can tell by Sabine it is a, I don't know a collaborative environment that solving problems, excellent, excellent environment, please put this on your bucket list because you will not be disappointed to get to meet people like to be alright. Thank you. Once again, we will be right back.
You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.
All right, once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk, remember, go out to industrial talk.com And you need to connect with somebody and you will not be disappointed. This was an incredible conversation. And, and I mean, there's more there's so much activity happening within the utility, energy space. And it requires people like Sabine team seems to be able to navigate those waters trusted individuals to navigate those waters because it's important stuff. So go out to industrial talk.com. Remember, we were on site distributech 22. And we're going to have some more incredible conversations coming to you from this event. It again, put it on your bucket list, you will not be disappointed. Join us. We are creating this ecosystem, expanding ecosystem of leaders like you. So please reach out to me go to industrial talk.com You will not be disappointed. All right. Be bold, be brave, daring, greatly. Hanging out with people like Sabine team Siemens, be bold, be brave. They are greatly you know what you're going to do? Change the world. We're going to have another great conversation shortly. So stay tuned.