Communication between IT systems within and between utilities is increasing, as a result of the introduction of decentralized energy resources, substation automation, the new generation of SCADA/EMS/DMS and smart metering. To create a cost-effective open solution for such communication, the utility industry needs standardized communication interfaces. In a typical energy IT environment, several systems and devices from different manufacturers have to interoperate flawlessly. Communication standards are a basic requirement for the realization of open infrastructures and the interoperability of devices. Using open communication standards involves a project approach that differs quite significantly from the approach used for implementation of a vendor-specific proprietary solution.