We recently caught up with our IT Product Owner, Cristian Chipaila, as he shared insights on what sets Procode apart from its competitors and how the DCC Adapter addresses security concerns related to data transfer. Read on to find out what Cristian had to say…

What is the Data Communications Company (DCC)?

The Data Communications Company (DCC) is a central body appointed to manage communications and data transfer for smart metering. It is responsible for linking smart meters in homes and small businesses with the systems of energy suppliers, network operators, and other companies. The DCC will develop and deliver data, and communications services for smart meters through its external service providers.

What is a DCC Adapter?

A DCC Adapter allows an energy supplier to connect and communicate with the Data Communications Company (DCC) supported smart meters network. Adapters are designed to simplify the process and minimise the level of IT development change needed to supply a company's internal systems.

In your opinion how does the DCC Adapter address security concerns related to data transfer?

Procode’s DCC adapter is highly secure, with security baked into the code, the HSM and vitally our company culture. Additionally smart meters do not hold data such as address, name, or bank details. The DCC network is not connected to the internet, but it has its own communication system – it also uses two layers of encryption and even they cannot see some of the information. When a supplier tries to access customer information, they need to have permission and can only access the data if the connection was whitelisted first.

How is Procode’s Intelligent Data Adapter different from its competitors?

The two special components that I want to highlight are the meter caching and the store and forwards service; these allow us to provide continuity of service to our customers even when the DCC is unavailable. With meter caching, anyone accessing the Intelligent Data Adapter can continue to do what they need to because we cache the relevant data until the DCC becomes available again. At this point, the store and forward mechanism identifies the messages that still need to be sent to the DCC and makes them a priority. The Intelligent Data Adapter doesn’t rely on any other system, meaning we can rapidly evolve and optimise it. We own the code and maintain changes to the adapter to low and high-level orchestration through API.

Additionally, we designed our adapter with high availability architecture to provide unparalleled service uptime, working in an active-active configuration. Our fault tolerant architecture with load balancing, provides resilience within the adapter itself to keep us available and running when the DCC is unavailable.