By Russel E. Vanos

It’s the dream of entrepreneurs everywhere—to outgrow their modest start in a garage and become a profitable powerhouse by capitalising on unmet, worldwide demand. It’s a dream often unrealised for many. Itron is one of the great exceptions. Since its launch in 1977, the company has grown in leaps and bounds. Its most impressive growth came in the last two years with its acquisition of Actaris Metering Systems, putting the company front and centre, globally, in addressing one of the biggest challenges in modern history.

Around the world, increasing populations are putting strain on the energy — and water — constrained environment. At the same time, utilities are expected to maintain low prices, high reliability and educate customers to ensure a more sustainable future. In addressing these challenges, Itron, a US leader in automated meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems, wanted to expand its reach outside the United States. In April 2007, they created one of the largest intelligent metering and communication companies in the world by acquiring Actaris. As a leading supplier of electricity, gas, water and heat meters globally, and as a frontrunner in prepayment metering and managed services, Actaris was a perfect fit. Combining the strengths of these two organisations provides expanded products and solutions that contribute to the more responsible management of water and energy, and as a result, a smarter future for all. Here’s how:

COMPANIES THAT COMPLEMENT
While the combined companies boast a global presence, they uniquely offer local expertise — and it shows in their products. Built on open standards, their solutions are future-ready, providing the framework for what lies ahead in the industry. Unifying Actaris and Itron creates a newly expanded global footprint and worldwide relationships that offer tremendous opportunities to share strategies and insight on energy efficiency and water conservation. Daily, both companies’ technologies are helping utilities address waste and inefficiency, manage costs, ensure revenue, serve customers better, and anticipate future needs.

On the second anniversary of this strategic acquisition the time has come to operate on a global basis under one unified name, logo and brand. One name will communicate the strengths of the two groups more effectively. It gives one unified voice announcing the availability of end-to-end solutions that help customers optimise the delivery and use of energy and water. That name is Itron.

The Itron brand is well respected, well established and well recognised by customers and investors. The Itron name is synonymous with being the AMR and AMI market leader in the U.S. and worldwide.

“Our industry is at the forefront of a transformational change – one that has not been seen in our lifetimes. The coming together of two great companies as one global company that operates locally everywhere we do business is critical to our growth and to delivering our customers enhanced solutions on a worldwide basis,” said Malcolm Unsworth, Itron president and chief executive officer. “One brand will allow our customers to leverage our collective wealth of industry experience and expertise for this unprecedented challenge.”

THE FUTURE OF ITRON
Itron is now organised under two divisions: Itron North America led by Philip Mezey, and Itron International led by Marcel Regnier, both are senior vice presidents and chief operating officers of their respective structures.

Now, with over 8,700 people and a strong industrial and commercial presence spanning the five continents—70 sites in 38 countries—Itron offers the broadest portfolio of products, systems, and services in the electricity, gas, water and heat industries allowing the company to rank as the undisputed worldwide leader.

Our comprehensive end-to-end technological solutions include:

  • Intelligent meters that accurately measure and provide information about energy and water
  • Systems that efficiently collect meter data
  • Software that turns meter data into actionable information
  • Consulting that enables customers to effectively plan for the future
  • Services that help customers install and operate their systems reliably, optimise their resources and secure their revenue.

Preparing for the future demands financial stability. As a publicly listed company, Itron provides capital for growth, leading to unique product innovation and strength. Investing more than 6 percent of its revenue in research and development annually indicates Itron is committed to continuously developing its products and anticipating trends in constantly evolving markets.

Looking ahead, the utility industry is on the verge of making changes that will revolutionise the way people think about, use and conserve energy and water—and Itron is now uniquely positioned to provide the solutions needed on a worldwide basis. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of this industry, and never a more opportune moment to be leading it. With the added strength and expertise of Actaris, Itron is not only delivering strong value to its customers, its solutions are making a significant difference in the quality of life for generations to come.