February 2013


MECOMS™ is a business support system for energy and utility companies, providing both Meter Data Management (MDM) and a Customer Information System (CIS). MECOMS™ builds on Microsoft Dynamics AX and combines flexibility, efficiency and smart insights to drastically cut cost-to-serve, even in a changing environment.

In this issue of our newsletter:


Dear Customer, dear Partner,

In April, Ferranti will release MECOMS™ 2012 2.0, our first major release since the launch of MECOMS™ 2012, two years ago. Detailed information about this release will be included in our next newsletter, but today you can already read about our broad strategy for this milestone.

As you can read below, the main improvements in our next release are focussed on taking on the challenges of smart metering and big data. Obviously, these technological trends mainly affect Meter Data Management (MDM), but make no mistake: the upcoming wave of smart metering data will thoroughly affect customer care and billing (also called CIS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).

Having granular consumption data and unprecedented control of metering assets will pose technical challenges, but will also offer myriad new business opportunities for utilities. A future-proof MDM system is an indispensable first step, but further down the meter-to-cash chain, utilities will need to adapt all business processes and IT systems to reap the rewards.

This insight guides us to develop MECOMS™ into the world‘s most flexible, integrated solution for MDM, CIS and EAM. Moreover, we continually invest in our network of MECOMS™ partners, to ensure that our customers get the best consulting and implementation services, all over the world. The stories included in this newsletter are a good illustration. A case study describes how CGI (formerly Logica) introduced a new MECOMS™+Service offering and helped Danish utility TRE-FOR tackle its business challenges. Meanwhile, our new partner ADACTA was able to bring its first MECOMS™ project live at GEN-I in an impressive 6 weeks.

New technologies are exciting, and need to be handled well, but in the end, it should be about solving energy and utilities business challenges. So rest assured, the focus of this and every other MECOMS™ release will be to create real value for our customers.

Enjoy the reading!

Dirk Michiels
CEO, Ferranti Computer Systems

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Meter Data Management


"The value proposition of our MECOMS™ MDM product is clear: a future-proof system that grows with your organization and will always cover your meter data management needs."

Smart Meter

> Gartner Magic Quadrant for MDM and MECOMS™ 2012 2.0

Selecting a vendor for a new MDM system is a complex decision, especially today, with smart metering and big data becoming a very real challenge for many utilities.

To aid the selection process, Gartner released an update of its Magic Quadrant for Meter Data Management products. In this report, Gartner compares the top 13 MDM vendors on their vision and ability to execute. Ferranti is proud to report that its MECOMS™ solution moved up on both criteria, compared to last year‘s report. According to Gartner, no leading MDM vendor has emerged yet, but the MDM market is rapidly maturing.

While Ferranti gladly participates in such comparisons, we believe that the decision for a new MDM system cannot be simplified into a two-dimensional diagram. First and foremost, price and Total Cost of Ownership are not included in the Magic Quadrant, despite their obvious importance. Moreover, localization and local implementation capabilities differ greatly, depending on vendor and geography. And finally, MDM systems are not a one-size-fits-all: depending on the strategy and current application landscape, different solutions might be the right choice for different utilities.

The value proposition of our MECOMS™ MDM product is clear: a future-proof system that grows with your organization and will always cover your meter data management needs.

What do we mean with this? Firstly, MECOMS™ MDM is designed to be a modular end-to-end solution. You can start with limited functionality (say, smart meter reading) and later expand the system with other modules, and possibly evolve it into a full MDM + CIS + EAM system. Secondly, MECOMS™ will handle any amount of data, and supports complex scenarios out-of-the-box. Whether you‘re a niche B2B energy supplier or a large-scale public utility with millions of residential customers: MECOMS™ MDM will do the job. Thirdly, MECOMS™ MDM will gracefully handle the transitionary period from manual and automatic meter reading to full smart metering. No matter how many meter reading methods, smart meter brands and communication protocols you throw at it, MECOMS™ MDM will produce reliable consumptions and keep control of your smart meter park.

Ferranti has invested heavily to make MECOMS™ a first-class MDM system, ready to take on the challenges of smart metering and big data. To deal with big data, MECOMS™ 2012 2.0 (to be released in april 2013) has a completely redesigned architecture, using Microsoft‘s latest database technologies. The new release will offer cutting-edge "Smart MDM" features, including support for massive smart meter roll-outs, command and event handling, and much more.

We won‘t claim that MECOMS™ is the right MDM system for every utility. But we are certain that our value proposition will appeal to many utilities. Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.

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Jette Post, Customer Director at TRE-FOR

> Case study & video: TRE-FOR

Last year, CGI (formerly Logica) completed its MECOMS™-based BPO project at Danish utility TRE-FOR.

When TRE-FOR ran against the limits of its legacy billing and customer care system, they decided to take a bold decision. The complete customer service function, including staff, was outsourced to CGI. Key front- and back-office processes are now run by CGI as part of a cloud-based MECOMS™ + Service solution.

As a result, customer service staff joined an organization where their domain is a key function, the service level for TRE-FOR‘s customers has improved markedly and costs have been reduced significantly.

Click here to read the full case study or watch a video about it.

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ADACTA completed its first MECOMS™ project in six weeks.
Gas Ring

> Go-live at GEN-I (Slovenia)

In an impressively short six weeks, our Slovenian MECOMS™ Partner ADACTA has brought live its first MECOMS™ project at GEN-I.

GEN-I is a forward-thinking global player in the Central and Southeastern European energy markets with intimate knowledge of local markets. They work with over 150 trading partners in 18 countries. In 2010, GEN-I concluded 12.8TWh in electricity sales, with a yearly growth rate of 40%.

GEN-I needed a system which could grow with changing business needs. With a growing market share and burgeoning international business, they decided to completely renew their IT environment in several phases. The first business unit to migrate to MECOMS™ was the new residential gas business, which had been growing much faster than expected. Within three months of operations, GEN-I acquired about 20% of the Slovenian residential gas market.

As opposed to the previous situation, the MECOMS™ system is thoroughly integrated with finance and offers a user-friendly interface. Moreover, due to the layered architecture of MECOMS™, and the underlying Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP, ADACTA and GEN-I can easily add custom functionality. This flexibility allows GEN-I to do a phased roll-out and quickly adapt to rapidly changing business challenges.

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Big Data

> Microsoft on choosing a big data strategy

Microsoft released a thought-provoking article about big data, machine-generated information and the Internet of Things.

"Of all the data that‘s been collected in the world, more than 90 percent has been gathered in the last two years alone. It seems the gigabyte is going the way of the megabyte — another humble unit of computational measurement that is becoming less and less relevant. Long live the terabyte, impossibly large, increasingly common."

According to Microsoft‘s Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Business Platforms Division, there is latent value in the data itself: "The good news is storage costs are making it economical to store the data. But that still leaves the question of how to manage it and gain value from it to move your business forward."

Read the article at Microsoft‘s News Center to find out more.

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Electricity grid in India

> Ferranti India wins deal with FEDCO

FEDCO, a sister Company of the renowned Indian consulting firm Feedback Infra, provides advisory services, capacity building, project management and engineering & design expertise for power generation, transmission and distribution.

FEDCO has been appointed by the Indian Central Electricity Supply Undertaking (CESU) to manage electricity distribution serving 400,000 customers for five years.

In order to optimize efficiency and minimize losses, FEDCO decided to build and operate its own infrastructure. By implementing MECOMS™, FEDCO will be able to automate its meter to cash business processes and have a common application platform to manage CRM, Billing, Meter Data Management and Enterprise Asset Management.

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> MECOMS™ Partner News

New MECOMS™ Partner: WBI

WBI has joined the MECOMS™ Partner network. They will provide MECOMS™ integration and implementation services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

WBI focuses on supplying solutions and services built on the latest Microsoft technologies. Having operated more than 10 years in this area, they have a strong focus on customer needs.

WBI implementations in the Czech and Slovak Republic (in 9 regional offices) are carried out by over 120 highly trained experts, certified by Microsoft for individual products and for complex solutions. In both countries, WBI has been given the highest Microsoft status, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, which is the best proof of their skills and competence.

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Logica becomes CGI

CGI Group Inc., a leading provider of information technology and business process services, has completed its acquisition of Logica, one of our MECOMS™ Partners.

The combined company has approximately 72,000 professionals in more than 40 countries and offers clients around the world a mix of business and technology expertise as well as a unique combination of local and global delivery options.

"With the closing of the transaction, our focus is squarely on meeting the expectations of our clients and welcoming our new employees to the CGI family" said Michael E. Roach, President and CEO of CGI.

With the integration of Logica well underway, the combined global company has begun going to market under a unified CGI brand. The MECOMS™ Partnership continues as before. From now on, utilities can call upon CGI to help them implement a MECOMS™-based solution.

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IDC‘s Pan-European Utilities Executive Summit

Skodsborg Hotel & Spa

> Event: IDC‘s Pan-European Utilities Executive Summit 2013

4-5 March — Copenhagen

IDC‘s Pan-European Utilities Executive Summit will be a valuable opportunity to network and exchange thoughts with peers from across the region and with IDC analysts. During the summit, the IDC Energy Insights team will drive discussions on "How to Balance Tomorrow‘s Opportunities With Today‘s Priorities." The aim is to answer key questions on current and emerging challenges for the utilities industry on topics such as:

  • Smart Grid, Smart Metering, and Smart Cities
  • Demand Response and Customer Engagement
  • Convergence of Operations Infrastructure and ICT
  • Emerging IT Trends in the European Utility Market (Cloud, Big Data, Mobility, Social Business)
  • Best Practices and Case Studies Related to Business Process and Technology Alignment

For more information and registration, check out IDC‘s Pan-European Utilities Executive Summit 2013 website.

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