Landis+Gyrannounced this week that it has acquired the remaining stake of meter data management (MDM) vendor Ecologic Analytics, with whom it already has a close working relationship. Ecologic’s MDMS is already tightly integrated with L+G’s Gridstream advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution as the default MDM. However, both vendors support other products as well – Gridstream has ready-built interfaces with most popular MDM solutions while Ecologic MDMS has ready-built interfaces with most popular AMI solutions. Landis+Gyr is itself 100% owned by Toshiba.
Pike Research has verified that both L+G and Ecologic intend to continue with a focus on interoperability and partnering – in other words, they’ll still see other people. Both companies have in the past stated their belief that utilities will continue to require integration with and support for different software systems and solutions. I believe that such flexibility maximizes the options to be involved in new AMI and MDM ventures. In such competitive markets, the last thing any vendor wants to write in an RFP response is, “Sorry, we don’t work with those people.”
In our 2011 report, Pike Pulse: Meter Data Management, we rated Ecologic Analytics as a Contender, just short of the Leaders category. The report characterized Ecologic as “…a well-run company that addresses all aspects of its business. The company has also done a good job of phrasing its marketing messages in terms of utilities’ business problems.” I continue to hold that view of Ecologic as a unit of L+G.
That report also explained that to move into the Leaders category, “Ecologic could expand its business with other AMI vendors, especially those that do not already have their own MDM. There is also quite a bit of room for the company to improve its geographic reach, which may be accomplished via L+G’s 11 offices in China.” Ecologic addressed that first point soon after our report was published, by announcing a partnership with IBM to integrate its MDM technology with IBM solutions. At roughly the same time Ecologic also announced a development deal with L+G to support the SAP MDUS specification and therefore make Ecologics’ technology available to SAP for Utilities customers. Competitors such as eMeter, Itron, and OSIsoft had already completed MDUS integrations.
Our second recommendation for Ecologic Analytics – wider geographic reach for Ecologic’s products – is furthered with this acquisition. I continue to be skeptical that China will be an addressable market for external MDM vendors unless some special relationship exists. L+G’s existing business in China, plus Toshiba’s ownership, could become highly valuable in helping Ecologic penetrate that market. Still, trying to predict any technology market in China is fraught with assumptions, so I’ll simply state that this transaction should give Ecologic a stronger presence in China.
Tags: Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Energy Management, Mergers & Acquisitions, Meter Data Management, Smart Grid Practice, Smart Meters
| No Comments »