Press Release

Avanade and Ferranti partner to deliver enterprise resource planning solutions for utilities

Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Utilities Decrease Cost-To-Serve, Improve Agility and Streamline Business Operations

LONDON — October 04, 2011 — Avanade , a business technology solutions and managed services provider, and Ferranti Computer Systems , a Microsoft-preferred independent software vendor and systems integrator, have partnered to deliver innovative enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, based on the Microsoft platform, to help utility companies around the world cut the cost to serve and improve overall customer service.

"The fast paced utilities industry requires an innovative ERP solution that can rapidly change with the business and allows suppliers, as well as grid operators, to seize new market opportunities," said Dirk Michiels, CEO of Ferranti. "Our long history of working with utility companies, coupled with Avanade‘s extensive experience with Microsoft Dynamics AX, offers a more agile operational and back-office system, both in CIS and MDM environments. Utilities can now adapt quickly to stay competitive in a market that is seeing a wave of both new entrants and technological innovations, allowing them to outsmart the competition."

Built on Microsoft® Dynamics™ AX 2012, Ferranti provides an end-to-end product suite, MECOMS™, to optimize customer care and billing, meter data management and business operations, providing full visibility into utility operations and customer service. Leveraging Avanade‘s in-depth Microsoft Dynamics AX expertise, global delivery capabilities and cloud-based services, Ferranti‘s MECOMS solution improves agility and helps utility companies respond effectively to changing market conditions. It streamlines business processes to improve efficiency and customer service while optimizing the cost-to-serve.

"Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 brings rich functionality, advanced architecture and the full breadth of the Microsoft platform. Combining Ferranti deep domain expertise together with Avanade global reach and Cloud services will provide great value for Utility companies and help them manage their operations more efficiently and adapt quickly to new services and business models, " said Benoit de la Tour, VP, Microsoft Business Solutions, EMEA and LATAM.

MECOMS™ supports all business processes for utilities providers, both in regulated and deregulated markets. Key features include:

  • Customer Care and Billing: Offers integrated customer self-servicing, smart user interaction design and fast invoice processing to increase both efficiency and customer satisfaction. Customer care staff receives a quick and complete view on all information related to a customer, from meter readings and consumptions, to contracts, invoices, payments, repair and maintenance.
  • Meter Data Management: Handles all aspects of meter data collection, and is designed to cover specific requirements such as unmetered connections, invoice bundling or waste water billing. It also provides two-way communication with smart meters and handles the ensuing large volumes of data via its Smart Metering Communication Bus component. It also completely handles Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) as a core process.
  • Business Operations: Simplifies end-to-end business processes and asset management controls, from pipes to cables and connections, while complying with standards. It also streamlines communication about services in real-time, avoiding unnecessary incident reports. Service management features enable mobile notifications and alerts to field workers about assignments, increasing productivity among workers.
  • Performance Management Reporting and Analytics: MECOMS™ contains twenty role centers, based on common job functions in utility companies that offer an intuitive approach to monitor and analyze performance for each area. It enables direct assessment of KPI‘s, such as customer profitability, environmental impact or staff productivity, and simplifies ongoing planning, budgeting and forecasting.

"We are delighted to work with Ferranti on MECOMS™, which meets a clear market need for flexible and agile solutions," explained Ashish Kumar, Avanade president of Europe, Africa and Latin America. "The utilities and energy expertise of our partner, coupled with Avanade‘s global delivery capabilities will allow us jointly to deliver powerful and innovative technology for utility companies and improve the customer experience."

Ferranti is launching MECOMS™ 2012 at Metering Billing/CRM Europe 2011 in Amsterdam (4-6 October, 2011). Avanade and Ferranti will be showcasing the solution at the Ferranti booth (E60). For more information about MECOMS™, please visit: www.bettererpsystems.com/utilities.html