San Francisco, CA, May 5, 2006 – SPL today announced that it has purchased the Sidewinder business from Sidewinder Holdings Ltd. Sidewinder is a leading provider of real-time mobile resource optimization software for vehicles and field personnel.  Specifically, SPL has acquired Sidewinder’s commercial operations subsidiary in the U.K. and its Australian subsidiary, which includes product development, sales and support.  The acquisition comprises all staff, intellectual property and an extensive global customer base.

Mobile Workforce Management and Beyond

"Scheduling and optimization are central to mobile workforce applications,” said SPL CEO Larry Hagewood, “and SPL Mobile Workforce Management (MWM) will be the first of our applications to benefit—later this year—from the incorporation of Sidewinder technology.

“MWM is just part of the picture,” Hagewood continued. “Many business processes central to Strategic Utility Management require optimization and scheduling. To help utilities improve return on investment throughout their organization, we’ll also incorporate Sidewinder modules into future releases of such SPL enSUMIT applications as SPL Outage and Distribution Management (OMS/DMS) and SPL Enterprise Asset and Workforce Management (EAM).”

Benefits

“The addition of Sidewinder to SPL WorldGroup benefits both our customers and our company,” Hagewood said.
“Our customers will enjoy scalable scheduling and optimization functionality that fully supports today’s business realities through configurable business rules and processes,” Hagewood explained. He drew particular attention to Sidewinder’s significant market lead in mapping applications, appointment booking, and resource management functionality.
On the corporate front, Hagewood continued, “Sidewinder employees bring with them a culture of innovation and a reputation for rapid and thorough response to customers.

Their dedication to excellence and their commitment to building relationships of trust with clients are fully consistent with SPL values.” Sidewinder’s Melbourne employees will move immediately to the SPL Melbourne office.

“In addition to the very important contribution Sidewinder’s technology and personnel will make,” Hagewood said, “this acquisition also places SPL in a position of controlling its own workforce management destiny in terms of product development, functional enhancements and especially in the ability to respond to client requests for support.”

"Energy and utility companies are focusing their business process improvement efforts on the scheduling of field resources because they realize that significant gains in operational efficiency and customer service can be achieved," said Rick Nicholson, Vice President of Research for Energy Insights, an IDC company.  "We expect to see accelerated investments in optimization technology over the next few years to enable these business improvements."

Existing Business to Grow

"Sidewinder is not just for utilities,” Hagewood continued. “We plan to continue to offer Sidewinder technology to a variety of companies with large field-service workforces and specialized logistical requirements. And given SPL’s significant global presence and financial strength, we see our market position in non-utility verticals growing significantly.”

Current European Sidewinder clients include The Automobile Association, the Dutch Ministry of Justice, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Orbis, and Sainsburys.  Australian clients include Allied Express, Boral, and Comcar.

About Sidewinder

Sidewinder (www.sidewinderholdings.com) specialises in sophisticated systems that automate the order-to-delivery process across a range of industry sectors. With offices and Resellers in Europe, the US and Asia Pacific, Sidewinder has enabled many businesses to leverage existing customer-facing systems to maximise revenue and improve customer service efficiencies.