Press release

Ferranti unveils its MECOMS™ "Big Data" strategy for Utility Meter Data Management and Real time billing

Antwerp, 10 March 2012 — Ferranti has today announced its strategy for "Big Data" storage and handling of smart meter readings, consumptions and tariff structures for its MECOMS™ solution for the energy and utilities market. This strategy brings "Big Data" and therefore extreme large volumes of information to existing functionality of the MECOMS™ product, allowing real smart metering and smart billing on one single architecture and technology platform.

Dirk Michiels, CEO of Ferranti: "The introduction of smart metering and smart grid initiatives requires utility companies to deal with huge amounts of data. In the old world most meter readings would be monthly or yearly, but now we see values coming in at a 15 minute pace. In order to make full use of the data explosion that comes with smart metering data, new architectures are needed. Many solutions can already deal with large volumes, but they do not provide sufficient options to use the data is a smart way, let alone integrate with processes like service management, billing, or even forecasting. Our system will do that out-of-the-box, in a very cost-efficient and scalable way on one technology platform."

In close cooperation with Microsoft, Ferranti is using new cutting-edge technologies, to empower the MECOMS™ solution for big data. With Ferranti innovations, such as IMA (In Memory Analytics, ensuring real time data processing) and SVS (Smart Volume Streaming, enabling optimised large volume handling), all MECOMS™ components will be able to make full use of the vast amounts of data. The smart metering components will guarantee input, processing and throughput for millions of records per second, fully integrated with traditional components such as asset management, service management, CRM, billing etc. Benchmarks have shown that the new architecture will easily be able to deal with over 100 million smart meters on standard hardware platforms. Combining this super-performance with new Microsoft SQL Server 2012 features for data-distribution, secondary storage and / or cloud-based Microsoft Azure storage, offers possibilities without limits.

Johan Crols, MECOMS™ Product Manager: "All MECOMS™ components are built on a strong architecture, designed for agility, volume and performance. Integration with all types of AMI‘s is possible, thanks to the flexible MECOMS™ integration framework and Smart Metering Communication Bus. Whenever the data volumes require an upgrade to the latest MECOMS™ version, we can guarantee a painless migration. In addition, MECOMS™ runs on one single architecture, drastically reducing IT costs."

As with the previous MECOMS™ versions, the new architecture will be in full compliance with Microsoft‘s Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA).

About Ferranti

Ferranti Computer Systems, founded in 1976, is a member of the Nijkerk Group. The company‘s key customers are energy and utility industry players. Its flagship product MECOMS™ is brought to the market and implemented through a network of renowned partners such as Accenture/Avanade, Logica, GMCS, Euriware and TCS, supported by Ferranti Engagement Services.

About MECOMS™

MECOMS™ is a business support system for energy and utility companies, handling both Meter Data Management (MDM) and Customer Information Systems (CIS) functionality. It covers VEE, Plausibilty checking, Contract Management, Billing, CRM (including call center functionality), Service Management, Forecasting / Portfolio Management, Market Interaction and much more... MECOMS™ combines flexibility, efficiency and smart insights to drastically cut cost-to-serve, even in a changing environment. Based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, MECOMS™ is highly customisable and well-suited for deployment in rapidly growing and fast-changing environments. MECOMS™ is certified for Microsoft Dynamics and is the Microsoft "go-to" solution for the Energy and Utilities market.