Global spending on utility customer information system (CIS) software purchases and upgrades, services, maintenance fees, software-as-a-service, and analytics is expected to total nearly $37 billion from 2014 to 2023, according to a Navigant Research report.
The report, Electric Utility Billing and Customer Information Systems, says with a broad diversity of customer situations to account for, billing and customer care is often a complex issue for utilities. This, combined with a changing competitive landscape, increasing customer expectations, and a growing number of media for customer engagement, is expected to prompt many utilities to upgrade their CIS solutions in the coming decade.
While these factors might indicate to some that a vigorous upgrade market for modern CISs is on the horizon, the push and pull of new demands versus cost and risk have resulted in a relatively flat market in recent years. According to the report, though, the market’s dynamics are expected to continue to evolve, and Navigant Research expects accelerating growth in CISs and related services later this decade, particularly in North America and Europe.
We Energies, which provides electrical service to areas of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and natural gas and steam energy to areas of Wisconsin, in March deployed Oracle DataRaker to update its IT infrastructure and to help enable more-proactive identification and prevention of imprecise meter readings for an overall improved meter-to-bill process.
The utility chose the Oracle big data product after undertaking the rollout of a mass fixed automated meter reading (AMR) network that will provide daily reads on about 1.6 million endpoints.