San Francisco, CA, APRIL 18, 2006 – The just-released Gartner Magic Quadrant* for Utilities Customer Information Systems, 1H06 (by Zarko Sumic, 31 March 2006) has positioned SPL WorldGroup’s Customer Care & Billing product in the Leaders quadrant.

The evaluation is based on “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute.”

“We see this as a confirmation of the outstanding quality of our technology and the depth of our commitment to customers,” said SPL CEO Larry Hagewood.

Market Trends
The new Gartner report calls attention to “[t]he trend among North American companies to re-bundle retail and distribution network management operations [, which] puts an emphasis on CISs that can act as the enabler of cross-functional business process optimization (such as customer management and asset/work management). This trend has resulted in an increased focus on integration architecture and business process management technology.”

“We have been discussing the trend toward cross-functional business optimization with our customers for some time now,” said Hagewood. “ We are committed to ensuring that our customers can achieve it.

“SPL CC&B lies at the heart of our enSUMIT suite of integrated applications for Strategic Utility Management,” Hagewood explained. “It is a firm anchor for the cross-organizational business process orchestration that enSUMIT enables—the linking of customers, assets, outage and distribution, and mobile workforces through an unsurpassed set of pre-integrated, interoperable mission-critical software solutions.

“enSUMIT addresses far more than just North American needs,” Hagewood continued. “In deregulated Australian markets, for instance, distributors seek to build business processes across assets, the distribution system, and field crews. As a consequence, they need the functionality not only of CC&B for Distribution but also of SPL Enterprise Asset & Work Management, SPL Outage & Distribution Management, and SPL Mobile Workforce Management as well.

“The same applies in Europe,” Hagewood continued, “where we already have a client with two enSUMIT applications. We’re finding strong interest in our approach to multiple, pre-integrated applications in the Middle East and Africa. And of course, the enSUMIT approach to enterprise-wide business processes resonates with the water industry worldwide.”

The Magic Quadrant for Utilities Customer Information Systems, 1H06  is the first time Gartner has used the Magic Quadrant framework for a utility CIS report.   According to the report  “the software products evaluated are all marketed as ‘stand-alone’ customer care and billing solutions. To be considered in this market, vendors must have global reach and be able to address the needs of the regulated and contestable retail market.”

* Magic Quadrant Disclaimer

The Magic Quadrant for Utilities Customer Information Systems, 1H06 is copyrighted March 31, 2006, by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.