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Findings from International Study of EMS, SCADA, DMS, and OMS Indicate Differences in Usage Patterns and Development Priorities When Compared to North American Companies

The Newton-Evans Research Company has published report findings from the company’s recently completed study of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS usage patterns in international electric power utilities. This is the second of four volumes of its 14th global market assessment of operational control systems – a survey-based study conducted by Newton-Evans since 1984.

Here are some observations gleaned from interviews and surveys with 31 utility participants from 25 countries:

Systems in Use
All utilities that participated in the survey are operating SCADA systems, and 74% also have an energy management (EMS) installation. Fifty-two percent use a distribution management systems (DMS) and 61% use an outage management system (OMS).

Fig. 1. Control Systems in Use – International Electric Utilities

Supplier Usage Patterns
GE led in terms of suppliers used for each type of system included in the study, based on the inclusion of Alstom Grid mentions. ABB and Siemens were next in total number of mentions.

Upgrades and Replacements
While almost two-thirds of international respondents plan to upgrade their SCADA installations, 29% plan to replace existing EMS and OMS systems.

Fig. 2. New/Replacement or Upgrade/Retrofit Control Systems Planned – International Electric Utilities

Distributed Energy Resources
Forty percent of international utilities surveyed said their SCADA functionality and network models include distributed energy resources (DERs), and 47% indicated they plan on including DERs in the next few years. By contrast, none of the North American utilities surveyed said their SCADA functionality and network models include DERs. However, 82% of North American utilities surveyed plan on integrating DERs into their SCADA in the future.

System Convergence
About one-third of international respondents (34%) stated that they had already converged SCADA/DMS with OMS functions. However, 28% indicated no plans to converge these systems. Half of the North American utilities surveyed said they have not converged SCADA, DMS and OMS and have no plans to do so.

Third Party Services
More than one half of the international survey respondents use third party services for cyber security monitoring, while 48% use outside assistance for critical infrastructure protection and/or vulnerability assessments. These percentages are higher than what was reported in the previous study conducted in 2013.

Role of Analytics Software
The use of analytics software has increased since the 2013 study; this year’s survey found that 69% of international utilities use OMS analytics, while the 2013 survey reported that 29% of the survey sample used OMS analytics. About one-third currently use analytics for asset management.

Cloud Computing Interest
Only 23% of the international utility participants indicated any interest in cloud implementations at their company. This finding closely parallels the observations provided from North American respondents.

Further information on “The World Market Study of SCADA, Energy Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems and Outage Management Systems in Electric Utilities: 2017-2019” is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316 or visit For readers interested in purchasing this new series please call or email for special introductory pricing.