Aaron Forshaw is Cosmo Tech‘s Senior Solutions Consultant. He answered our questions from his base in the United Kingdom.
You’ve recently joined the Cosmo Tech team. Can you tell us a little about your background?
I’ve spent twenty years working in the energy & utility sector, primarily in technology roles. I cut my teeth on the change programmes driven by various stages of energy market deregulation, spent several years working on telemetry systems for water companies, moved into smart metering, and most recently led the EMEA pre-sales effort for a Silicon Valley software start-up. In that last role my team was focussed on helping asset intensive industries such as utility companies employ advanced analytics to better understand and analyse the health and risk of their assets. One thing I have noticed in all that time is that things generally seem to get more, rather than less, complex, so the time seemed right to move to Cosmo Tech with its pedigree for modelling complex systems to empower enhanced decision management.
You are Cosmo Tech’s ‘man-on-the-ground’ in the UK. What makes the UK market different to other European markets?
There are some important differences, but for me the similarities are more interesting. Wherever you look, energy and utility markets are being disrupted both by new technologies and new market models. Distributed energy resources – both generation and storage – and new flexibilities such as dispatchable demand response create many challenges for actors right across the value chain. In Europe and the UK we see innovative programmes dealing with these themes and especially the transition from passive to a more dynamically managed distribution network. Amidst all this change, asset managers continue to have the challenge of making optimal decisions today that anticipate the changes of tomorrow.
As in all markets, understanding the local context is key and the existing asset base, regulatory environment, and methodologies in the UK makes adapting to the local demands essential. I’m looking forward to playing a big part in extending Cosmo Tech’s continental success to the UK in the months ahead.
Next week you’ll be at the Network Asset Performance event in Birmingham. What are you expecting from this event?
It should be a good day. The agenda covers some of the key issues facing utilities and highly networked industries including discussions around regulation, asset investment, innovation, and the effective use of data. I’m looking forward to getting the latest perspectives from some of the speakers, catching up with old colleagues, and connecting with some new contacts, too.