No portion of the electric power grid has been impacted more by grid modernization (that is, the “smart grid”) than the electric distribution system. A central part of this transformation is the distribution management system (DMS), which integrates numerous remote monitoring and central control facilities with enterprise-level systems to optimize distribution system performance and accomplish a variety of business goals. At the same time, distributed energy resources are often connected to the grid at the distribution level, and distribution operational requirements are impacted by their presence. The power inverters that connect solar photovoltaic and battery resources to the grid are highly capable devices with advanced message processing and fast power control and nearly instant response to received commands and monitored conditions. This white paper describes ongoing research at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) that is exploring various ways in which the DMS can use these resources more effectively and help in accomplishing the 21st century objectives of electric distribution utilities.