The “Pike Pulse Report: Meter Data Management” evaluates 11 of the leading vendors of MDM systems, which enable utilities to aggregate, analyze, and utilize the data streams from their meters in the field. Pike rated the vendors on 12 criteria for strategy and execution, including go-to-market strategy, product portfolio, partnerships, innovation, global reach, market share, and staying power.
Oracle attained the highest overall score in the report due to its broad MDM product line, massive scale, geographic presence, technical innovations (including those of Sun Microsystems), and integration of MDM with other well-known Oracle products.
Yesterday the company announced the availability of Oracle Utilities Network Management System 1.11, which offers new modeling and analysis features to improve distribution-grid management. The company said the system will help utilities analyze the effects of customer loads such as electric vehicle recharging, and incorporate into the grid electricity from renewable resources such as solar roofs and backyard windmills.
Joining Oracle in the Leaders category of the Pike Pulse Grid are eMeter and Itron. All three Leaders had consistently high scores in all 12 of the rating categories, Pike said. The other companies ranked were, in order from 4th to 11th: Ecologic, EnergyICT, OSIsoft, Aclara, North|Star, Powel, Ferranti and Telvent (see chart, above).
The research house said that MDMs are nearly a decade old, but the current market faces an inflection point, with changes in focus from billing systems to grid operation efficiencies and more efficient business processes.
“Market approaches to MDM range from minimalist to full-feature,” says senior analyst Bob Lockhart. “Minimalist solutions are those where the MDM vendor simply captures data and provides a system of record for other application vendors to use. Full-featured MDM solutions, on the other hand, include a wide range of applications under a single umbrella.
“Meanwhile, the competitive landscape is changing due to acquisitions such as Toshiba’s purchase of Landis+Gyr and Schneider Electric’s acquisition of Telvent,” Lockhart added.