Orlando, FL, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- May 22, 2007
An industry value network (IVN) aimed at stimulating innovation in the utilities industry has been established by business software provider SAP.

The network will bring together customers and partners, including leading utilities companies, independent software vendors, systems integrators and technology vendors, with SAP to address key business challenges and solutions for the utilities industry. Supporting the goal of enabling a best-run utility, members of the IVN for utilities will collaborate on automated metering infrastructure (AMI) composite applications and the optimization of asset management programs integrating outage management systems (OMS) and geographic information systems (GIS).

Through collaboration SAP seeks to help utility companies develop 'smart' solutions with core processes integrated into AMI that analyze data in real-time, allowing companies to make better decisions regarding customer service and network management.

The collaboration will also drive the sophistication of asset management programs needed to continuously improve the balance of asset reliability and costs, as a holistic approach to enterprise-level data involves integration to network management systems including GIS, OMS and distribution management systems (DMS). Business benefits for utilities companies include reduced operational risks, minimized costs-to-serve and improved customer service.

It is also planned to leverage the SAP NetWeaver(R) platform to co-design a real-time energy supply chain from production to delivery and supply.

"In today's interconnected world, co-innovation powers better business solutions," said Philip Pouillie, director, IT Governance, Electrabel and chairman of the SAP Utility Customer Advisory Council. "The IVN for utilities is an innovative approach to obtain customer value by leveraging the SAP ecosystem to collaborate on the most pressing business challenges in our industry."

The SAP(R) for Utilities customer base comprises more than 1,100 companies from 70 countries in both regulated and deregulated markets around the world. The network will also work closely with the SAP Customer Advisory Council, which is comprised of 16 major utilities companies.