Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Specialist software and energy services firms are the preferred suppliers of energy management software

imageAccording to a new study from independent analyst firm Verdantix, CA Technologies, CarbonSystems, IBM, Schneider Electric and Verisae are the leaders in the global market for energy management software. The report - Green Quadrant Energy Management Software (Global) 2013 – says that these companies are the market leaders because of the breadth of their energy management software functionality, integration with a wide range of meters and controls, utility bill management, deep energy and industry domain credentials, established enterprise-scale customer bases and partnerships with systems integrators and consultants.

Janet Lin, Verdantix Senior Manager and Co-Head of the Energy Practice said, “Large firms such as AT&T, Google and IKEA have launched strategic energy management programmes to better manage growing energy costs, mitigate security of supply risks and benefit from the potential of decentralised renewable power generation. These new corporate energy strategies have created increased demand for enterprise-wide energy data aggregation, powerful reporting and analysis tools’’.

The report compares 14 enterprise energy management software applications based on live product demonstrations, a supplier assessment and interviews with an independent panel of customers.

The customer panel prioritised functionality for utility bill management, energy monitoring and targeting, energy reporting and certification. They ranked specialist software firms and energy services firms as their top preferred supplier types, relegating large technology firms to the least favoured choice.

Alisdair McDougall, author of the report, said that “Two-thirds of the customer panel expect their annual spend on energy management software to increase during the next three years as they implement new solutions, expand existing deployments and increase the breadth of functionality in use. Successful software suppliers will develop functionality that maps to the specific requirements of energy domains, a strategy pursued by JouleX for data centres, SAP in manufacturing, Siemens for retail chains, IHS for asset intensive sectors and Verisae in grocery retail. Product strategies offering a standard set of functionality for all industries have universally failed and have resulted in some suppliers exiting the market.”


Review: Rather undermining its own customer findings (only 15 customers were interviewed), Verdantix also point out that a separate global survey the company conducted of 250 energy managers found that Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Johnson Controls have the highest brand recognition for their energy software. That’s despite the fact that Microsoft and Oracle don’t actually have energy management applications. This was explained by Verdantix in terms of the need for suppliers to educate the market.

Energy management solutions have to cover a variety of situations and requirements, so it’s no surprise that functionality and integration are significant factors for customers. That also explains why the specialist firms are the preferred suppliers. These companies are more likely to cover a wider range of the diverse corporate demands, whilst experience suggests that the major IT firms tend, at least initially, to simply tack on additional capabilities or solution modules to existing software suites aimed at their primary target markets.

© The Green IT Review

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