Partnerships, Mergers and Alliances
CellNet Data Systems Inc. and Metretek Inc., a subsidiary of Marcum Natural Gas Services Inc., recently announced the intention to offer a combination of wireless and telephone-based services to the gas utility industry. The alliance will allow the two companies to offer a range of low-cost meter reading and data collection options to their customers. Metretek`s telephone-based data collection and management software will be integrated into the CellNet wireless network system, enabling CellNet to provide multi-technology network meter reading services allowing utilities to reach a much larger percentage of their customers.
Schlumberger recently combined its electricity and gas divisions in an effort to better serve its customers. By merging these groups, Schlumberger expects to improve its focus on customer-need oriented solutions for electricity and gas utilities. The merger is expected to benefit electric and gas utilities by providing dedicated field sales and support engineers as well as a single source for electric and gas measurement products. Schlumberger Electricity and Gas is headquartered in West Union, S.C., and has manufacturing facilities in Owenton, Ky., (gas) and West Union (electricity). Schlumberger Electricity and Gas is part of the Measurement & Systems group of Schlumberger Ltd., a transnational company operating in more than 100 countries.
Convergent Group recently announced that it has signed a cooperative business agreement with Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI), strengthening Convergent Group`s ESRI-based software integration capabilities. The non-exclusive agreement focuses on delivering client/server, enterprise-wide solutions to customers in the utilities, telecommunications and public sector/transportation markets. The new agreement improves Convergent Group`s ability to integrate all components of the ESRI products suite. It also includes merging the next-generation software research and development efforts of GDS Corp., a Convergent Group affiliate, into ESRI`s future releases. In addition, the merger will provide a cooperative migration strategy for GDS Corp. customers who wish to transfer to ESRI technology. Migration services to be offered by the two companies include database design and development of prepackaged macros to aid in the migration of data and applications.
SmartLinc announced the acquisition of CompCo Engineering Inc. and its entire line of home automation and computer-controlled products for the home owner, hobbyist and technician. With this acquisition, SmartLinc will offer its combined customer base a range of intelligent home automation products such as the Broadband Infrared Driver and the Integrated X-10 Universal Infrared Controller. SmartLinc will be launching several new products over the next few months including new PC interfaces that allow any PC to control home lighting, appliances and audio/video. Cartotech Inc. and Conic Systems Ltd. have joined to create a new company in the United States named Conic Systems Inc. Jointly managed and equally owned by the parent companies, Conic Systems Inc. was created to provide an easy-to-use product to service the mobile computing and GIS marketplace. After acceptance of Cartotech`s OUTFIELD products, Conic Systems Inc.`s goal is to take similar GIS applications to other industry segments through the development of an international VAR distribution network.