At the SAP utilities conference currently going on in Munich the company has been talking about its success in 2009 with the SAP AMI Integration for Utilities software, introduced earlier this year. This is a solution that helps utilities integrate their metering processes with backend systems. It provides energy usage patterns which can be translated into operational cost savings as well calculating the reduced cost of ownership for metering solutions.
The software also gives consumers more information on their energy consumption so they can better manage and conserve energy.
Companies currently adopting the software apparently come from three continents, although only US and Australian clients were specifically mentioned.
As SAP pointed out, the deployment of smart meters will have a significant impact on utility processes. Given that this is an evolving market, it’s going to require flexible business operations and IT systems that can adapt to changes. SAP is getting in on the act by linking metering, backend operations, customer service and billing processes in a solution that is integrated with its enterprise offerings.
There are significant opportunities for SAP in this market, although it will need to be agile to keep up with the inevitable changes as it develops. And this is just the utilities providers – at the business customer end there will also be a great demand for more information about energy use and emissions which will need to be plugged into finance systems, etc. SAP will have more of a fight with the competition at that end of the market.