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Modernizing power delivery with Cisco Connected Grid solutions

For over a decade, Zones has provided a range of technologies and services to electric utilities, including PG&E, and Southern California Edison as they seek to leverage information technology to improve customer service and optimize power generation, transmission and distribution.

Today, Zones partners with Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking, to provide one of the industry’s most comprehensive portfolios of power grid infrastructure solutions that maintain reliability, address regulatory requirements, upgrade an aging infrastructure, and enhance grid security. 

Zones’ highly skilled solution architects and systems engineers leverage the industry-leading resources of Cisco to help utilities plan, design and implement smart grid technologies that enable near-real-time monitoring of the grid and the tens of thousands of individual components that make up the infrastructure.

Leveraging high-speed communications networking technology pioneered by Cisco, Zones helps utilities gain deep visibility into the grid and enables precise monitoring and management of demand, capacity, load and generation. In this way, Zones helps electric utilities manage the existing grid infrastructure more precisely, to support more reliable and efficient power delivery.

The Connected Grid Portfolio

Cisco Connected Grid

Zones supports Cisco’s end-to-end portfolio of communication infrastructure solutions and professional services to help power companies and grid operators achieve more value from their operations on a single, intelligent, and highly secure network platform.

Transmission and Substation Solutions

Cisco delivers Connected Grid solutions, including substation automation and utility-grade WAN. These solutions improve operational efficiency, help enable remote monitoring of substations, and enhance preventive maintenance of deployed assets. Support for critical applications, such as timing distribution and teleprotection, helps reduce costs for the utility.

Grid Security Solutions

Across the grid, Cisco offers integrated solutions to help enable critical infrastructure-grade security that reduce vulnerability to physical and cyber threats for systems, data, and assets. This layered security approach allows the communications network to serve as a security mechanism, controlling access, detecting intrusions, sending alerts, and automatically defending against threats. The network also integrates comprehensive physical security systems, including video surveillance, physical access tools such as card readers, and sensor networks that monitor the status and location of assets.


The Cisco GridBlocks architecture provides a framework for integrating the electrical grid with a digital network, to deliver a highly secure, reliable communications infrastructure. This modular approach allows projects to be implemented over time, leveraging existing infrastructure, while building toward a strategic, forward-looking architecture.

Grid Operation Solutions

The Connected Grid Network Management Solution (NMS) offers communications infrastructure administration for utilities, providing end-to-end monitoring and control of communications. This enterprise-class visibility scales to millions of endpoints, to support rapid deployment, centralized monitoring, and troubleshooting of IP-enabled devices.

Connected Grid Services

Based on extensive industrial experience around the globe, Cisco world-class services teams help utilities develop and align strategic telecom solutions to business imperatives. Our experts offer guidance and consulting for communications infrastructure investments, use case development, network and security assessments, architecture design, migration, testing, and optimization of the communications network.

Workforce Enablement Solutions

Cisco offers solutions and services to enable workforce collaboration for field personnel, integrating disparate communications such as radios, cellphones, and public safety systems. They improve operational efficiency and access to remote experts for troubleshooting and training. Such solutions can also be integrated with utility operational systems, such as Outage Management, for faster response time and better coordination between field crews, dispatchers, and remote expert advisors.

Field Area Network Solutions

Cisco offers the industry’s first multi-service communications infrastructure for field area networks (FANs). This supports applications such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation, as well as workforce automation over a common network platform. These open-standards solutions support different communications systems including fiber, wireless mesh, cellular, and 4G (WiMAX and LTE) networks.

To tap into our utilities expertise – and the full range of Cisco Connected Grid solutions – contact your Zones account executive or call 800.408.ZONES

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