1,000,000,000,000,000, or “Peta” for short. It’s a term being thrown around to quantify the amount of bytes the utility industry could be managing as the industry “smartens” itself. This time last year, we were in the midst of a severe global economic downturn with many utilities putting investment plans on hold. Now there is a definite thaw in the spending freeze as “smart” technology deployments begin with the issuance of $3.4 billion in cost matching stimulus funds. The challenges utilities face are many—from developing and successfully marketing products, to more effectively managing customer communication and education. The data explosion that comes along with the new ways of monitoring and interacting with customers is driving new information systems, architectures, and business models.