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Jacklin Altman27 Apr, 2021

Why Frost & Sullivan recognized the PI System with its 2021 award for top water management solution

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“In two words, this award is a big deal.”

As global industry principal for water utilities at OSIsoft (now part of AVEVA), Gary Wong should know. His leadership, expertise, and active participation in the water industry is one of the reasons leading analyst firm Frost & Sullivan began to follow the PI System more closely.

Industry leadership is just one reason the firm recently honored the PI System with its 2021 Global Competitive Strategy Leadership Award. Frost & Sullivan applies a rigorous analytical process to select leaders based on strategy, innovation and customer impact. I sat down with Wong to learn more about this recognition and why it matters to the water industry.

Tell me about this award.

“Frost & Sullivan did its own research by talking to customers, people in the industry, partners, etc., to get an assessment of which software technologies are out there and making a difference to the world of water,” says Wong. “While there’s a lot of competition in the space between hardware and software offerings, this award reiterates the value that our software provides to water customers. That’s because the PI System manages an issue that all industries have: information and asset management – getting the most out of what you have and doing more with less.”

Best practices criteria for world-class performance

Frost & Sullivan applies a rigorous analytical process to evaluate multiple nominees for each award category before determining the final award recipient. The process involves a detailed evaluation of best practices criteria across two dimensions for each nominated company. According to the analysts, the PI System excels in many of the criteria in the global municipal water and wastewater enterprise asset management space.

frost & sullivan award criteria

What does this recognition mean for the water industry?

The PI System helps manage water and wastewater for more than 250 million people around the world. Whether people are served by small utilities or the largest in the world, the needs are often similar. We’ve been helping the water industry do more with its data for over 40 years.

“We’re committed to being a long-term partner and trusted advisor to stakeholders in the water industry. This award demonstrates the positive impact we’re helping our customers achieve. We’ve been working on this for more than 40 years and look forward to continuing the digital transformation journey with our customers for many years to come.”

Can you give some examples of the difference the PI System can make for water customers?

“The first thing that comes to mind is ROI and real speed to value. For instance, the City of Riverside uses the PI System as a data hub, integrating more than 30 different systems. They’re saving $820,000 a year through better data management, automated reporting, and situational awareness.”

But operational efficiency is just the beginning.

  • TasWater in Australia has used the PI System with neural networks and AI to forecast sewer blockages and overflows before they happen, helping to protect oceans and sea life.
  • LADWP, which provides water for all of Los Angeles, has a whopping 120 use cases for the PI System that improve its operations.
  • Sabesp, the largest water utility in Latin America, used the PI System for drought management. They were able to better manage the water they had, while keeping customers informed of their water status and forecasts. Notably, the company was able to improve customer satisfaction by over 20 percent in the middle of a drought.

Do you have any advice for the water and wastewater industry?

I want the water industry to look at data as a strategic asset and technology as an investment—not a cost center.
Gary Wong
Principal, global water industry

“Companies should look for a solution that allows them to make better use of the existing data they have. Better use of that data means being more efficient, sustainable, and resilient – all of which are increasingly important as the world deals with climate change. The pandemic has reminded us that resilience is everything these days. We don’t know when the next disaster is going to hit, so leveraging technology is critical.

“With a lot of buzzwords like big data, AI, forecasting, etc., constantly thrown around our industry, I hope this award shows water and wastewater companies that there are proven solutions out there. They can be more successful going down the path of digital transformation.

What does Frost & Sullivan say?

“The PI System delivers on the customer need for trusted operations data, improved data governance, and an open data management platform. It accounts for the growing volume of data and number of assets and systems used in the water and wastewater utility industry,” said Seth Cutler, principal consultant, Frost & Sullivan.

Citing the company’s strategic execution and effectiveness, stakeholder integration, customer purchase and service experience, and overall brand equity, Cutler said, “The PI System helps customers successfully incorporate data from pinpoint assets and isolated systems into a single system of record that delivers deep insight and improved operational decision making.

Learn more about the award and the PI System’s impact on the water utilities sector.

Jacklin AltmanDigital Media ManagerJacklin is the Digital Media Manager and local food critic at OSIsoft. With over 7 years of experience in marketing, software, and social media, she writes about all things tech, marketing, and the PI System.
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