IBM unveils platform for smart metering and operational efficiency

Armonk, N.Y., September 16, 2009 – IBM unveiled a new standards-based industry software platform and business partner validation program that will enable utility companies to operate more efficiently and accelerate the development of their smart utility solutions.

A part of the IBM Smarter Planet strategy, the new Solution Architecture for Energy and Utilities Framework (SAFE) brings the capabilities of IBM software to power solutions across all areas of a utility company, including plant operations, smart meters and personal utility management.

Energy and utility companies of all sizes seek ways to reduce their operating costs and provide enhanced services to their customer yet their approach must be flexible enough to allow new technologies to be added incrementally as their requirements dictate. These companies are also faced with growing government requirements to add new green technologies such as emissions monitoring and smart distribution, as well as renewable energy sources (wind, hydro, solar and biofuels).

IBM also announced a unique and comprehensive validation process for IBM Business Partners providing energy and utility applications. IBM will work with business partners to ensure their solutions are enabled on the SAFE framework leveraging industry standards to facilitate simple integration and deployment of solutions.

Validated applications from IBM business partners are easier and faster to implement for utility companies. IBM business partners including ESRI, SISCO, Retriever Communications and Trilliant are already validated on the SAFE framework:

In addition IBM business partners including BPL Global, Coulomb Technologies, eMeter, Enterprise Information Management, Itron, OSIsoft, and PowerSense have today committed to becoming SAFE-validated.

The SAFE framework is the software technology backbone that makes a wide range of utility solutions possible by helping the client to build a standards-based integrated platform for all of its operations across their value chain. This new framework utilizes elements of IBM’s entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Tivoli, Rational, Lotus and Information Management products.

A key element of IBM’s recently announced Smart Work initiative, the new framework is designed to help companies optimize their business to achieve new levels of productivity by marrying collaboration between people with the business processes that are at the heart of every organization.

Today’s announcement represents another example of IBM’s portfolio of industry solutions and frameworks. The frameworks, designed to be integrated software platforms that match specific industry needs, enable faster business solution deployment with lower project risk, expanded choice through a validated ecosystem of partners, and accelerated adoption of business IT standards.

IBM is working with clients in nearly 50 smart grid engagements across emerging and mature markets.

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