In Canada, customer interaction management solutions provider, KUBRA has announced that it has acquired customer communication solutions provider, iFactor, to improve services to utilities.

According to a company statement, the acquisition positions KUBRA as a complete and integrated suite of meter to cash and outage communication management solutions provider.

Commenting on the development, Shazir Khan, president of iFactor said "This is an exciting time in the evolution of iFactor solutions, as the acquisition will ultimately provide clients with access to a greater breadth of technologies."

With the iFactor suite of products, KUBRA will be able to expand utilities’ cloud-based solution 'stack' to include outage communication management, preference management, and an advanced mobile application offering, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.

The integration will increase KUBRA’s customer base from 36 of the top 100 gas and electric utilities in America to 54.

Increased merging of solutions providers

The development comes at a time the energy sector is experiencing increased merging by various solution providers in a bid to increase outreach.

In late November 2015, global IT firm CGI  announced its collaboration with customer information systems (CIS) company Junifer Systems and energy solutions provider Utiligroup on a software launch targeted at UK energy retailers' customer billing systems.

According to a CGI statement, the new ER360 solution launched allows established and new retailers to respond to UK regulatory and market changes.

CGI reported that the solution meets UK-specific billing and regulatory requirements such as the Climate Change Levy, Ofgem reporting and other specific energy sector's legislations.

The company said ER360 combines Junifer’s customer care and billing applications with Utiligroup’s automated flow management system to manage processes such as customer registration and CGI’s smart data service.

The solution, which can either be deployed on the energy retailer’s own IT infrastructure or as a hosted service on CGI’s cloud platform, also allows the integration of modules such as energy forecasting, smart meter interaction and risk management.