AI-driven networking helps Powerco light up New Zealand

Powerco brings light and heat into the homes and businesses of 1.1 million customers in New Zealand. Safe, reliable distribution of electricity and gas has long been supported by a flexible Juniper network, alongside local services provided by NEC, and Powerco recently turned up a Juniper AI-driven Wi-Fi network to improve the reliability of its wireless connectivity as well.

Overview


Company Powerco
Industry Energy and Utilities
Products used AP43Wi-Fi AssuranceMX SeriesEX SeriesSRX Series
Region APAC
Powerco Image
Customer Success At-a-glance

344,000

Homes, businesses, and industrial sites connected to Powerco electricity and gas networks

Optimize Wi-Fi

Fast, reliable office connectivity keeps employees productive

Simplify

Network with support for IT and OT systems

28,441

Kilometers of electricity lines and cables and 6,100 km of gas pipes

Challenge

Keep Communities Connected

Powerco has invested in its energy distribution infrastructure to enable the reliable delivery of electricity and gas as New Zealand’s population grows.

Powerco has used Juniper routing, switching, and security for five years for its operational technology (OT) network to support energy delivery.

Recently, the reliability of its aging Wi-Fi network in its offices started to wane. Employees became frustrated and constant troubleshooting was distracting the IT team from strategic work. Powerco decided to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 for faster, more reliable connectivity.

Powerco Challenge
Solution

A converged IT and OT network

In order to transform and modernize its networking operations, Powerco and NEC, the long-term system integration partner to Powerco, exercised a thorough analysis on the requirements and concluded Juniper’s AI-driven wireless solution as the most viable solution for the utility’s 10 offices across the North Island.

Juniper wireless access points work in conjunction with the Juniper Mist cloud architecture and Mist AI™ to deliver optimized user experiences and simplify network operations. Juniper Mist Wi-Fi Assurance automates wireless operations, making Wi-Fi predictable, reliable, and measurable.

With Juniper networking for its core, substation, and office connectivity, complemented by NEC’s consultancy and implementation services, Powerco can support demanding, deterministic operational applications and enterprise IT applications alike on the same infrastructure. The utility is able to boost network availability, simplify IT and OT network operations, and lower costs.

Powerco Solution
Outcome

Enable safe, reliable delivery of power

With AI-driven networking in its offices, the workday isn’t disrupted by Wi-Fi frustrations, employees can stay focused on their roles, whether that’s customer service, connecting rural homes to the grid, building new substations, or rolling out smart meters.

With AI-driven networking in its offices, resource-intensive management has disappeared. The Juniper network efficiently and securely supports both IT and OT operations.

Powerco Outcome
“Mist Wi-Fi Assurance provides unique real-time visibility into users’ service levels, enabling an optimal wireless LAN experience and streamlining troubleshooting. We are honored to deliver superior customer experience in tight coordination with our global strategic partner, Juniper.”
Nelson Gomes Head of Networks, NEC New Zealand

Published December 2022