Madrid on Lake Michigan: Union Fenosa comes to America

Chicago, Ill.

When utility IT managers think about major enterprise software vendors serving their industry, they usually think of companies from Silicon Valley, perhaps a few from further up the coast, and probably a couple of little European companies like SAP and Alstom ESCA. Before long, they`ll also be thinking of Madrid, Spain-based Union Fenosa ACEX (www.ufacex.com).

Union Fenosa, one of Spain`s major electric utilities, is introducing its Open Utilities (www.open-utilities.com) software product line to the North American market. Its U.S. headquarters is in Chicago, with software development and support facilities in Miami. The company calls Open Utilities an “enterprise-wide information management solution for energy service providers and distribution companies.”

Open Utilities evolved from the IT systems Union Fenosa developed to support its three million Spanish electric customers. Union Fenosa ACEX is a subsidiary charged with commercializing and marketing the solutions worldwide.

Open Utilities is already in use by 50 utilities companies around the world, with the company`s customer management software serving more than 40 million electric, gas and water customers in 18 countries. The U.S. operation already has 1,800 engineering and IT professionals.

Also, Union Fenosa ACEX USA recently partnered with IT consultants UMS Group (www.umsgroup.com). UMS will provide Open Utilities implementation support for energy service providers and distribution companies.

The Open Utilities system includes:

– Customer management (customer care, billing, credit/collections, meter reading/management and marketing) for regulated and unregulated businesses; and

– Distribution management (work management, incident/outage management, operations/SCADA, GIS, network analysis and preventive maintenance).

Distribution management applications operate together using Union Fenosa`s Open Assets database. An executive information system provides management decision support with detail data mining and graphic or tabular summaries of key performance information.

The latest version of the software, version 99.1, supports Oracle 8 and PowerBuilder 6 platforms, and has enhancements specifically tailored for the North American market.

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