Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 32

Industry Research

G00239153

Magic Quadrant for Meter Data Management


Products
Published: 9 January 2013

Analyst(s): Zarko Sumic

Selecting the right technology partner in a rapidly maturing MDM market


continues to be a challenge for buyers of smart metering solutions. To help
clients understand vendors' capabilities and MDM deployment risks, we
provide an update of vendors' product positioning in this emerging market.

Market Definition/Description
Gartner bases the concept of a Magic Quadrant on a customer-oriented market analysis. Consistent
with the approach espoused by Geoffrey Moore, noted business author of "Crossing the Chasm," a
market is "a set of actual or potential customers for a given set of products or services who have a
common set of needs or wants, and who reference each other when making a decision."
The market segment considered for this Magic Quadrant consists of utility companies seeking
software solutions for managing metered consumption data, which can be used across the
enterprise and shared with customers, partners and regulators alike. For the purpose of this Magic
Quadrant assessment, meter data management (MDM) products are IT components of the
advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) responsible for cleansing, calculating and providing data
persistency, and the dissemination of metered consumption data, which can originate from a variety
of sources. MDM can contain a subset of meter asset information, or even some premises or
customer information. However, the key metrics being tracked deal with consumption and meterrelated events, regardless of what meter is installed. Although implementations may vary, here are
the key functions that MDM should support:

Data collection

Command management (such as remote connect/disconnect)

Validating, editing and estimating (VEE) meter reads

Exception management

Event management (such as "last gasp" outage notification)

Estimating invalid or missing reads

Profiling scalar meter reads

Bill determinant calculation

Aggregating meter reads

Tracking meter inventory

Providing data to downstream systems, such as customer information systems (CISs)

Providing information directly to end users (utility personnel and end customers alike)

Supporting additional functions, such as revenue protection analysis, distribution planning


support and prepayment

The MDM products should be of interest to all subsectors of the utility industry (electricity, gas and
water), because each provides a metered commodity at customer premises and needs to manage
metered consumption data. However, as an IT component of AMI, MDM adoption and requirements
are shaped by needs in the power utility segment, which has higher complexity in managing
commodities (because electricity cannot be stored), as well as numerous mandated AMI
deployment programs, compared to other utility subsectors. Consequently, MDM requirements for
water and gas utilities are subsets of MDM requirements for power utilities from functional and
performance/scalability standpoints.
Although this is an emerging market, the rapid maturation of MDM offerings, driven by mandated
smart metering initiatives around the globe, enables us to use the Magic Quadrant framework to
provide vendor and product capability assessments (see "Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes:
How Gartner Evaluates Vendors Within a Market").

Page 2 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Magic Quadrant
Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Meter Data Management Products

Source: Gartner (January 2013)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions


Aclara
Aclara (www.aclaratech.com), headquartered in Hazelwood, Missouri, covers the entire meter data
process life cycle, including two AMI communication solutions Two-Way Automatic
Communications System (TWACS) for power line communications and the Star Network radio
frequency solution. Aclara's software division offers an MDM product and a demand-response
management solution.
Aclara's MDM product Energy Vision is a metering data repository that performs the critical
functions of data integration; validation, estimation and editing; and data storage and management.
It also offers a set of tools as an extension of its MDM, such as load research and forecasting,
complex billing, distribution asset analysis, and revenue assurance. Aclara offers a meter asset
management solution in a different product, AMI Device Management (formerly known as
AMS2000).

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 3 of 32

The Aclara MDM product can be deployed on Unix, Linux, Windows platforms and Oracle
Database. Aclara has 17 MDM sites in production (the cumulative number of meters is 8.5 million,
with 40% being interval meters) and has signed six new contracts in 2012. The largest site in
production is PPL Electric Utilities, with 1.4 million interval meters.
Strengths

Aclara MDMS contains connectivity data that can facilitate network asset analysis, including
transformer load management and phase balancing, which Aclara offers as an MDM extension.
That functionality is well-suited for sizing and utilization assessments of network assets such as
distribution transformers, which are useful features for an integrated utility company or a
distribution network operator.

Energy Vision's VEE engine addresses the most common validation routines, while Logic
Builder allows the business user to configure any custom rules through configurable parameters
without programming.

Although outside the core MDM functionality, Aclara has one of the most mature offerings for
meter asset management tightly integrated with its MDM product. Companies looking for a
preintegrated MDM and meter asset management solution to support their AMI deployments
and operations may find this useful for their needs.

Cautions

Aclara's core MDM system does not support command management and does not have an
event processing capability, such as filtering last-gasp outage notification, that is comparable to
most of its competitors. However, Aclara plans to roll out command management (but not lastgasp processing) in 2013, as a part of its core Energy Vision offering.

Some clients have rated Aclara's delivery capabilities lower than its competitors and have
raised issues with its slow response to reported problems. This, combined with the fact that the
company does not have a strong delivery partnership program or a formal partner certification,
may impact the duration, cost and quality of the implementation project.

A client has reported unsatisfactory product performance when handling large amounts of
interval data.

Cuculus
Cuculus (www.cuculus.net) is a privately held company formed in 2007 as a spinoff from Ideo Labs
and Ilmenau University of Technology. Cuculus' core MDM offering is Zonos, a platform capable of
managing large numbers of devices and data streams coming from those devices. In the first
implementation, Zonos was used to manage roaming over a Wi-Fi network. Cuculus offers Zonos as
a platform for managing metering data, as a platform for advanced meter and communications
management (replacing or working with meter vendor dependent headends), and as a platform for
utilities and other providers to manage smart home energy-efficiency programs.

Page 4 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Zonos is offered on Linux and Windows platforms with an Oracle and MySQL enterprise relational
database management system (RDBMS). Cuculus claims that 12 Zonos MDM implementation sites
are in operation, with almost 32,000 meters in total, with 100% being interval meters. The largest
implementation site is RheinEnergie with 30,000 meters, where it is interfaced with the SAP IS-U
solution.
Strengths

Clients have reported a high level of satisfaction with Cuculus' responsiveness, collaboration
and innovation to address unforeseen changes and develop new business processes.

Zonos supports 60 different types of meters, and can address the needs of network operators
and energy retailers in unbundled markets.

Zonos can be used as a multipurpose platform addressing utility company needs in MDM and
home energy management (smart homes), which can create a basis for demand-response
programs.

Cautions

In comparison to other MDM competitors, Cuculus got the lowest score from its customers for
its implementation services.

Cuculus has not demonstrated Zonos' scalability in production. The largest implementation site
in production has 30,000 meters most of them with monthly meter reads.

Cuculus has a relatively narrow focus, and its MDM product capabilities have not been proved
globally outside its current markets.

ElectSolve
ElectSolve (www.electsolve.com) is a privately held software company headquartered in
Shreveport, Louisiana, with a focus on providing automated meter reading (AMR)/AMI-based MDM
services and solutions. Its current focus is on the North American second- and third-tier utility
market segments. ElectSolve markets its solutions to municipal utilities through its relationship with
the American Public Power Association's (APPA's) Hometown Connections and to the cooperative
market through the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC). ElectSolve is pursuing
expansion into the global markets with current MDM pilot projects in Japan.
In addition to providing data persistency for consumption information, ElectSolve's uCentra (which
the vendor dubs Operational Data Management System) provides an operational view of multiple
field devices, including intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and distribution supervisory control and
data acquisition (SCADA), and acts as an integration platform for CISs, outage management
systems, demand-response systems, prepaid metering systems and GISs. uCentra also offers
functions such as aggregation, settlement, load profiling and loss analysis reporting, as well as the
CentraVU customer energy portal and utility dashboard for providing insight into AMR/AMI and

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 5 of 32

MDM product performance. The product is based on the Microsoft technology stack
(Windows, .NET and SQL Server).
ElectSolve has more than 1 million electric/water/gas meters in production within 22 MDM
accounts, with 75% being interval meter reads. It has signed 14 new customers in 2012. The largest
implementation site in production is Danville Utilities in Danville, Virginia, with 80,000 electric/
water/gas meters.
Strengths

ElectSolve leveraged the utility domain expertise of its staff to devise a good fit for its MDM
product into core market needs.

The company works closely through its core market trade organizations (for example, the
APPA's Hometown Connections for municipals, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative
[NREC] and the NRTC for electric co-ops) to gather market requirements and test its value
proposition.

Clients continue to report overall satisfaction with the ElectSolve team's understanding of MDM
business and responsiveness.

Cautions

ElectSolve's approach makes its MDM offering capable of being an operational data storage
that goes beyond what's needed to store energy consumption data. Although attractive for
smaller utilities, this may become a determent to larger utility companies that may be looking for
a product with a tighter AMI focus, and those that have addressed those needs with other
designated systems.

The company has not developed a formal SI partnership program. Although it can support a
limited number of implementations at this point, the potential growth may put a strain on
company resources, with a consequent impact on service quality.

Although ElectSolve has done some internal scalability testing (as a part of exploring the
opportunity in the international utility markets), the largest implementation site in production is
too small to demonstrate product scalability outside its target market. Consequently, larger
utilities should apply caution to uCentra's product architecture from a scalability standpoint.

Elster EnergyICT
Elster EnergyICT (www.energyict.com), which is headquartered in Kortrijk, Belgium, is focused on
providing advanced energy monitoring, and control hardware and software. In September 2009, the
company was acquired by Elster Group, and now operates as its wholly owned subsidiary. The
acquisition adds an MDM system to complement Elster EnergyICT's multiutility advanced metering
systems.
Elster EnergyICT's MDM product EIServer, which runs on Oracle Database and Unix/Linux and
Windows OS, is at the core of its IT solution. It was developed to collect, store and process energy

Page 6 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

consumption data with specific modules for validation, estimation and editing, as well as provide
consumption data persistency to support multiple functions. These include the calculation of
complex billing determinants, demand-response support, load forecasting, load research, workflow
management, Web presentation, measurement and verification, and consumer energy
management.
The largest EIServer MDM implementation site is the Salt River Project, with 900,000 interval
meters. About 22 million meter points are stored in the Elster EnergyICT MDM product (across
different markets/utilities, and large commercial and industrial [LC&I] customers), with 85% being
interval meters. In 2012, Elster EnergyICT signed 24 new contracts, including those in which
EIServer is used as a basis for data collection and management for its Energy Management
solution.
Strengths

In addition to providing data persistency, and data cleansing and estimation services, EIServer
can be coupled with the Elster EnergyICT headend solution that supports more than 150 meter
protocols.

Elster EnergyICT can be deployed as a toolbox or commercial off the shelf (COTS) software, or
it can be offered as a hosted solution (with prepaid license fees) or as a fully managed, software
as a service (SaaS) offering.

Most clients rate product functionality and performance relatively high, compared to the
average rating MDM vendors get in this category.

Cautions

EIServer is used as a platform for LC&I energy services (energy management) and a utilitycentered MDM (smart grid) product, which can make it more difficult to implement some utilityspecific MDM requirements, compared to some competing products with more narrow focuses.
To address those issues in 2012, Elster EnergyICT separated business lines and started to work
on separating the product to address energy management and MDM-specific needs. The
specific solutions will be generally available in 1Q13 and 2Q13, respectively.

U.S. clients continue to report concerns with implementation and support services
particularly access to experienced MDM resources, which they attribute to growing pains of the
U.S. delivery organization.

Elster EnergyICT's MDM pricing includes additional fees for external user access. This may be
restrictive for companies planning to use it in an environment with multiple external users, such
as a consumption data clearinghouse in competitive retail markets, or as a platform for
customer end-user presentment.

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 7 of 32

eMeter
Following its acquisition by Siemens in December 2011, eMeter (www.emeter.com) delivers a
platform for energy and water information management solutions for utility residential, commercial
and industrial deployments. Its MDM product, EnergyIP, enables process automation and control
over utility business processes related to advanced metering. EnergyIP also serves as an integration
platform for linking advanced meter data, AMI technologies and utility enterprise systems.
The EnergyIP Graphical Reporting Framework provides business intelligence (BI) capabilities for the
standard EnergyIP product, and for reporting for settlements, analytics and other applications.
EnergyIP operates in a Unix/Linux- or Windows-based environment, with an Oracle Database on an
n-tier distributed architecture built around a fully embedded Tibco message bus. In addition to
EnergyIP Analytics Foundation running on an Oracle Database, it also offers the analytics package
on the IBM Netezza analytical appliance for clients with very large data volumes or intensive
analytical needs.
eMeter has 42 installations in production (with more than 23 million meters under contract). It has
signed 14 new customers in the past 12 months. The largest installation site is Independent
Electricity System Operator (IESO) in the province of Ontario, Canada, with 4.5 million hourly
meters.
Strengths

Clients rank eMeter's integration architecture and product functionality among the highest in
this product category.

eMeter has built a strong system integration (SI) partnership program to help it extend its
product offerings outside North America to the European and Asia/Pacific energy markets.
eMeter has also established a partnership with Verizon as an infrastructure provider to enable
MDM functionality delivery in the cloud.

In addition to continuing as a mind share leader, based on its active participation in standards
and policy-setting activities globally, its well-developed (IP) portfolio, and its market messaging,
eMeter's viability and delivery capability have improved following the Siemens acquisition.

Cautions

Some clients have expressed concern with eMeter's ability to configure products out of the
box, which eMeter plans to address by productizing the installation and configuration process
in 2013.

Although eMeter has a strong SI partnership program, that program may be affected by
eMeter's likely preference to the integration services of its parent company (Siemens).

There is a clear potential to achieve synergy by leveraging Siemens' position and offerings in
the utility operational technology (OT) side. However, except for an integrated demandresponse application, the company has not articulated how and when those synergies will be
realized. Clients planning to achieve smart grid infrastructure-related benefits using a Siemens

Page 8 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

offering (including eMeter) should press the vendor for a clear integration strategy and
preferably a road map.

Enoro
Enoro (www.enoro.com) is an IT product and service provider that has been focused on liberalized
energy markets in Scandinavia and Central Europe. It was established in 2012 by joining the
operations of Process Vision Oy, Elis AS and Popkorn AS in the same group and under the same
brand. Enoro offers CIS, smart grid, and market operation software and solutions. Enoro's product
Generis is a base of the company's smart grid and market operations offering in the utility sector.
Generis is a modular application suite containing MDM, meter asset management, device events
management and control, settlement, contract and portfolio management, energy trading and risk
management (ETRM), billing, fuel and emissions management, and BI and reporting.
Enoro's Generis MDM product is offered on the Microsoft application server platform with Oracle
Database, which can also run on a Unix/Linux platform. Its workflow control integrates MDM into
business processes for commodity management and settlement, with support for customer and
meter change activities. According to Enoro, 393 companies use Generis (including partial or
complete MDM functionality) with a total of 12 million meters 35% being interval meters. The
largest Generis MDM implemented site in production is at Fortum Distribution in Sweden, where it
collects monthly meter reads for 870,000 meters.
Strengths

Enoro is recognized as a relevant MDM product and service provider in the Scandinavian and
Central European energy utility markets.

Generis has a relatively light technology footprint, compared to most competing products.
Thus, it does not need significant technical requirements and skills during operations.

Clients have reported high levels of satisfaction with the product configuration capability, which
helped them avoid custom development during implementation projects.

Cautions

Many utilities in most of Enoro's target markets have not fully implemented interval metering.
Consequently, this may challenge product scalability in markets requiring interval meter reads
for large utility companies.

Although Enoro has developed Generis to address international market needs, the MDM
product has not been implemented outside its current markets (the Nordic region and Central
Europe). Consequently, its configurability or performance has not been proved in other markets.

Some clients have expressed concerns with the quality of Generis and Enoro's implementation
and training services.

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 9 of 32

Ferranti Computer Systems


Ferranti Computer Systems (www.ferranti.be) is a privately held company with headquarters in
Antwerp, Belgium. Ferranti has developed a metering and billing product called Metering and
Contract Management System (Mecoms), which provides an integrated solution for customer
information and billing systems, MDM, enterprise asset management (including service
management) and market-related process support modules. Ferranti has operations in Europe,
India and Asia/Pacific for product development, product support and professional services. Ferranti
uses a partner strategy to deliver Mecoms through software integrators around the world.
MDM is the foundational component of Mecoms, which is built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics AX
ERP solution. The product contains the Smart Metering Communication Bus (SMCB), which
provides the integration infrastructure for two-way communication and the handling of the large
data volumes created by AMI. Mecoms also offers the UI for the meter access and configuration by
utility personnel.
The largest implementation of the Mecoms MDM product is Indexis with 10 million meters;
however, only 2% are 15-minute interval meters, and the majority (9 million) are annually read
meters. The total number of installation sites is 30 (including those that use MDM as part of the
Mecoms CIS), with a cumulative number of 20.5 million meters (10% being interval meters). Ferranti
signed 11 new Mecoms contracts in the past year.
Strengths

Ferranti's MDM product supports multiple estimation and validation routines, including linear
(based on historical values or estimated annual volume), nonlinear (based on historical values or
estimated volume, making use of standard profiles) and estimations, taking into account caloric
values, degree days, other correction factors and weighted combinations of all.

Mecoms (and MDM as its component) is built on top of Microsoft Dynamics AX. It makes use
of .NET orchestration and integration capabilities, as well as Microsoft large data-handling
technologies (such as Reactive Extensions and HDInsight), which makes it attractive for clients
leaning toward Microsoft technology platforms.

Ferranti continues to successfully leverage a technology platform partnership with Microsoft, as


well as a network of implementation partners, such as Accenture (and Avende), CGI-Logica and
TCS, to extend its market presence outside its native market.

Cautions

Mecoms MDM has a relatively limited number of off-the-shelf plug-ins (off-the-shelf headend
integration) for metering systems compared to other MDM vendors, although Ferranti claims
that integration can be easily done with its Smart Metering Communication Bus.

Although Ferranti has achieved traction in its native Benelux market, and is starting to get some
traction in the Asian market after years of a sales focus, Mecoms MDM has not been sold yet in
the more advanced and functionally more complex North American AMI market.

Page 10 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Mecoms requires a Microsoft Dynamics AX platform for a relatively narrow MDM functionality.
Thus, it may not be attractive for companies considering a best-of-breed MDM implementation
if they are not Microsoft Dynamics AX organizations. Microsoft has changed its licensing model
to reflect user roles and tasks to mitigate this issue.

Gruppo Engineering
Gruppo Engineering (www.eng.it) is an Italian IT product and service provider composed of 13
companies that specialize in different market segments or lines of business. Key offering areas are
SI and consulting, outsourcing, and products and solutions. The utility sector contributes
approximately 12% of the company's revenue, mostly from SI and consulting activities.
Gruppo Engineering's MDM product, Net@SIU-MDM, is offered as a stand-alone module of its
large, meter-to-cash offering Net@Suite. In addition to supporting billing and settlement function
consumption data needs, the product supports consumption data needs for network operation and
planning. It is offered on Unix, Linux, Windows and Oracle Database.
The largest installation site is Enel Rete Gas, with 600,000 meters and 100,000 monthly meter
reads. Although Net@SIU-MDM has been implemented in more than 80 utilities, with 11 million
cumulative meters (in all cases, as a part of an overall meter-to-cash solution), only 1% of meters
are interval meters. In the past 12 months, Gruppo Engineering signed six new MDM contracts.
Strengths

Gruppo Engineering's business focus on the Italian utility market (particularly gas and water)
makes Net@SIU-MDM well-positioned to address specific regional market requirements
particularly support of the local aggregation and settlement rules.

Net@SIU-MDM's upgrade process has been ranked highest among rated MDM vendors by their
references. Clients find it to be straightforward, especially the fact that most of the maintenance
and upgrade work can be done remotely by the vendor.

Gruppo Engineering's MDM product performance scores very high from its references.

Cautions

Because the majority of Net@SUI-MDM clients are gas and water utilities, the product does not
support the event management functionality required for outage management and revenue
protection through tamper analysis, which is commonly required by electric utilities.

Gruppo Engineering supports limited meter data collection systems as a consequence of its
installed base being predominantly Italian gas and water utilities, which currently do not use
fixed-network meter-reading systems.

So far, all Gruppo Engineering MDM implementations are using Net@SIU-MDM as a part of their
overall meter-to-cash suites, rather than as a best-of-breed product. Consequently, the

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 11 of 32

company has not been proved as a provider of best-of-breed products outside its native
software environment.

Harris Utilities
Harris Utilities (www.harrisutilities.com) is the utility-sector-focused part of Harris Computer
Systems, a division of Constellation Software. It offers a portfolio of products in the utility billing and
metering space, targeting mostly municipal, cooperative and Tier 3 utilities. Harris Utilities'
operating groups include NorthStar, Cayenta, Advanced Utility Systems, Systems & Software,
Cogsdale, inHance and Cognera. Harris Utilities' MDM product MeterSense was developed
originally by NorthStar and is now offered via a separate business unit SmartWorks.
The MeterSense MDM offered on Unix/Linux and Windows platforms and Oracle Database
manages, processes and stores meter data and events, tying them into the utility's business with
configurable workflows. Harris Utilities' SmartWorks claims 53 MDM customers. The total
aggregated number of meters supported by MeterSense in production is 2.1 million, with 100%
being interval meters. The largest MeterSense site in production is Albuquerque Bernalillo County
Water Utility Authority with 203,000 water meters. Harris Utilities reported that 15 new MDM
contracts were signed in 2012.
Strengths

Harris Utilities has a sharp focus on municipal utility companies with less than 250,000 meters,
with MeterSense's value proposition being centered on lower total cost of ownership for the
smaller utility companies.

In addition to providing persistency for consumption data, MeterSense stores a variety of AMI
communication data, power quality, outage statistics and weather.

In general, customers find Harris Utilities approachable and responsive to their needs.

Cautions

Some clients reported issues with training, which they consider to be low value and not really
addressing their needs.

Clients reported concerns with the way Harris Utilities handles integration issues with third
parties (expecting clients to interact with third parties on Harris Utilities' behalf), which impacted
the implementation schedule.

Product configurability and analytical capabilities continue to be rated lower than the rest of
MeterSense's features. Utilities focused on those features should pay close attention to
MeterSense's ability to meet their needs.

Itron
Itron (www.itron.com) is a publicly traded company that provides a portfolio of products and
services to nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide. Itron provides solid-state meters for electricity, water,
Page 12 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

gas and heat, as well as data collection/communication systems, including AMR (handheld, driveby and fixed-network) and AMI technology.
Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management (IEE MDM) is a data management solution for
interval, register and event data for residential, commercial and industrial customers. It is an n-tier
architecture product available on Unix/Linux and Windows platforms and Oracle and SQL Server.
IEE MDM is part of the IEE suite of products, which also includes IEE Revenue Protection Suite for
theft analytics, IEE Customer Care for customer engagement, and IEE Curtailment Manager for
commercial and industrial demand response.
Itron has 56 utility companies using IEE MDM in production, with 29 million cumulative meters and
70% being interval meters. The largest implementation site is Southern California Edison, with 5
million interval meter reads in production (1.9 million reads daily and 5.7 billion total reads per
month). Itron has signed nine new IEE MDM contracts in the past 12 months.
Strengths

Itron IEE MDM is a mature software product with a rich set of functions, robust VEE capabilities,
and 35 configurable and extensible estimation routines.

As an industry pioneer in AMR, AMI, MDM and smart grid, Itron is noted for its active
participation in numerous AMI-related standards activities that address interoperability and the
capabilities of AMI and MDM.

Clients referenced for this study that have been using IEE for more than five years have
reported significant improvement in product stability and performance.

Cautions

Most Itron clients reported long implementation times, which makes Itron the vendor with the
lengthiest implementation duration according to our MDM market survey.

Some clients outside North America continue to report concerns with product configurability to
their regional market requirements.

Itron's delivery and training organization continues to score lower than its product development
team.

Landis+Gyr
Landis+Gyr (www.landisgyr.com), headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, is one of the leading global
providers of metering and energy management solutions. It entered the MDM market through the
acquisition of Ecologic Analytics. Ecologic Analytics now operates as an MDM division of Landis
+Gyr, which is majority owned by Toshiba, a large Japanese technology company with more than
$75 billion in revenue. In addition to standard MDM capability, such as VEE, Landis+Gyr's MDM
product Ecologic Meter Data Management Solution (MDMS) can provide insight that can be used to
improve outage detection, reduce theft and support prepayment rollout.

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 13 of 32

Ecologic MDMS runs on Unix and Linux platforms, using Oracle 10gR2 RDBMS and IBM Informix
for data management. It can also be offered in a cloud on VMware. Ecologic Analytics has six
implementations in production, with a relatively high number of cumulative meters in its MDM
products (15.6 million deployed). It has one of the largest production instances (based on the total
number of meters) at Pacific Gas & Electric, with more than 10 million meters (gas and electric) and
192.1 million meter reads per day. It also has one of the largest production instances (based on the
number of meter reads per day) at Oncor, with more than 388 million meter reads per day,
indicating good scalability. In 2012, Landis+Gyr signed five new contracts three international
ones and two contracts where the product is used as Meter Data Unification and Synchronization
(MDUS), which is essentially an MDM platform in an SAP IS-U environment.
Strengths

The Ecologic MDMS product supports standard integration through legacy and native CIM/
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61968-9 and MultiSpeak integration with any
headend technology (assuming they use the same standards).

Landis+Gyr's MDM division provides several application extensions to MDM products, such as
SmartData for Outage Management, which is used for interpreting metering last-gasp and
power-up notifications during the outage determination and restoration process. Clients have
reported integration with the OMS system to be fast and effective.

Landis+Gyr's acquisition of Ecologic Analytics (where it previously held a minority position)


eliminated company viability concern and provided Ecologic Analytics with access to
international markets by leveraging Landis+Gyr's established global presence. That has been
already demonstrated through a significantly higher number of new deals (five compared to one
in previous years), including three international deals.

Cautions

Some clients have reported concerns with product quality and factory testing before service
releases are delivered.

Concerns have been voiced that Landis+Gyr's MDM division charges consulting service fees for
routine activities that are commonly provided as a part of a packaged offering by other software
vendors.

Although clients of Landis+Gyr's MDM division praise the company's responsiveness, they
voice concerns over limited resources, service quality and the impact on delivery schedules.
That sentiment has not changed following Landis+Gyr's acquisition of Ecologic Analytics.

Oracle Utilities
Oracle (www.oracle.com) is a large publicly traded enterprise software company that offers an MDM
product via its utility industry-focused organization Oracle Utilities. Oracle's MDM offering, Oracle
Utilities Meter Data Management, based on Lodestar's MDM functional design intellectual property
(which it acquired in 2007), has been completely rewritten and is offered as a Java-based
application (as of release v.2.0). The MDM application can be installed with the Oracle CIS offering
Page 14 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

(and it is frequently sold as a bundle), although it is designed as a stand-alone product with


productized Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing integration.
Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management is an n-tier architected product. It is an SOA-based
application, with services accessible as XML-based Web services that facilitate integration with
other enterprise applications. Its Web tier and application service tiers can be deployed in clustered
environments to provide high availability. The largest installation site is a U.S. utility with more than
2 million meters (60,000 being AMI meters). Another U.S. utility uses Oracle MDM in productions
with fewer meters (approximately 800,000), which are all 15-minute interval meters. Gartner
estimates that Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management is implemented in more than 20 utilities (less
than 25% in the newest release MDM v.2.0) totaling more than 14 million meters, with
approximately one-quarter supporting interval meter reads. Oracle Utilities has signed several new
MDM contracts in the past 12 months.
Strengths

Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management leverages integration with Oracle Utilities Smart Grid
Gateway to enable communication with leading AMI vendors via productized adapters, as well
as a generic MultiSpeak adapter. Oracle has signed up a number of SIs to work on developing
adapters for AMI systems and integration for non-Oracle applications.

In addition to offering MDM as a COTS product, Oracle also leverages partners to offer a
hosted solution and a preconfigured solution (including hardware and third-party software) as
an MDM appliance, which is attractive for utilities looking for fast and low-complexity
deployments, such as AMI pilot programs.

Oracle Utilities offers adjacent products built around MDM, such as Operational Device
Management (to address meter asset management needs), Meter Data Management Business
Intelligence (to address meter data analytics needs) and Customer Self Service (to address
customer engagement needs for energy-efficiency programs), which can help utilities realize
additional value from AMI investments.

Cautions

Although integration with Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing is offered out of the box, the
same is not provided for the Oracle Utilities Network Management System (NMS). This
integration is planned to be offered in the future through Oracle Utilities Smart Grid Gateway.
Oracle Utilities MDM also does not offer last-gasp processing or the restoration confirmation
capabilities useful for outage management in products such as NMS.

Oracle has developed integration to SAP MDUS (via a partner that maintains that interface) to
access the SAP IS-U installed base in the utility sector. The integration conforms to open
enterprise services that are published by SAP for integration with MDM software vendors.
However, for obvious reasons, SAP has not formally certified that interface (nor will it likely do
so in the future).

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 15 of 32

Most Oracle customers referenced for this market analysis have rated product configurability
lower than other Oracle Utilities MDM features.

Robotron
Robotron (www.robotron.de) is a privately held software company headquartered in Dresden,
Germany. It has subsidiaries in Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Russia. Robotron
provides data management applications and services in multiple sectors, including utilities, where it
offers energy data management products and implementation services. Robotron's MDM product
robotron*ecount is part of a larger suite that includes robotron*collect (AMR/AMI data collection)
and robotron*esales applications, which can be assembled to address the needs of retailers and
network operators in unbundled energy markets.
Its robotron*ecount product is architected as an n-tiered application coded in Java and PL/SQL. It
runs on Unix/Linux and Windows platforms with Oracle Database. Robotron claims that 225
companies use its MDM (most of them being smaller German municipal utilities referred to as
"stadtwerke"), with 12.4 million total meters but only 6% interval meters. The largest implemented
site is RWE Netservice with 4.5 million meters; however, only 120,000 are 15-minute interval meters.
In the past 12 months, Robotron has signed 12 new MDM contracts.
Strengths

The robotron*ecount MDM product can be assembled with adjacent products


(robotron*ecollect and robotron*esales) to address the different needs of market participants
(including metering service providers).

Clients praise robotron*ecount's out-of-the-box capability and its low requirements for on-site
technical support resources. To a certain extent, that is a consequence of the vendor's narrow
geographic focus and the limited set of requirements in its native market.

Clients gave Robotron's MDM product high marks for product functionality and performance.

Cautions

The lack of qualified SI partners even in its native markets (Germany, Austria and
Switzerland) can have an impact on larger implementations or multiple implementations if
Robotron starts achieving greater market traction.

Robotron's MDM product does not offer command management (turn on/off) functionality.

The MDM product has not been proved outside its native markets in EMEA (particularly outside
Germany) from the ability to support a diverse set of regional requirements globally, as well as
scalability requirements for the large multimillion-meter AMI deployment.

Vendors Added or Dropped


We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets
change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or

Page 16 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one
year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that
vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation
criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.

Added
In this year's Magic Quadrant for MDM, there are five new names: Landis+Gyr, Harris Utilities,
Enoro, Robotron and Cuculus; however, only two of those are vendors/products featured for the
first time in a Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant. The new vendors are Robotron and Cuculus, which
are both regional providers of MDM solutions in Central Europe (particularly in Germany). Although
neither of these vendors has achieved global prominence in the MDM market, they have made
significant inroads in their home markets Robotron as an established player with a long history of
providing energy data management solutions and Cuculus as a new player on the European theater.
Landis+Gyr is featured in this Magic Quadrant, following its acquisition of Ecologic Analytics in
January 2012, because it is the owner of Ecologic's MDM product. Harris Utilities replaced one of
its companies, NorthStar Utilities, because its MDM product MeterSense is now offered by the new
Harris Utilities business organization, and Enoro is now featured following Process Vision Oy, Elis
AS and Popkorn joining operations in 2012 and consequently replacing Process Vision as a standalone vendor.

Dropped
OSIsoft, which was featured in the past two Magic Quadrants for MDM products, was dropped
from consideration this year following its decision to cease marketing a stand-alone MDM
application directly to customers and, instead, to focus on providing its PI Historian as a time series
management platform to partners that offer MDM applications.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria


To be considered in this research, vendors need to offer MDM software products that support all
the key components of energy consumption data life cycles (such as cleansing, calculation,
persistency and dissemination). In addition to supporting the traditional use of metering data for
billing, load research and network asset analysis, the MDM solutions must be scalable to support
the interval meter reading required for the deployment of economic demand-response programs in
the residential market. Additionally, to be included in this research, the following is required:

Vendors must have at least one implementation in production.

Vendors must have an estimated license fee revenue threshold of at least $500,000 generated
during the previous 12 months from MDM product sales.

For this assessment, 13 "top of mind" vendors met our inclusion criteria, and clients most often
consider them potential solution providers in the MDM space. With the exception of eMeter and
Landis+Gyr (Ecologic Analytics), which entered this market with purpose-built, ground-up MDM

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 17 of 32

solutions, most of the vendors considered in this research come from the AMR (such as Itron),
billing (such as Ferranti Computer Systems, Gruppo Engineering and Harris Utilities), load research
(such as Oracle Utilities, formerly the Lodestar MDM product, and Aclara, formerly Nexus Energy
Software), market transaction and settlement (Enoro, ElectSolve and Robotron), and LC&I energy
management (such as Elster EnergyICT) or telco M2M (Cuculus) solution provider spaces.

Evaluation Criteria
Ability to Execute
This axis evaluates MDM software application vendors on the quality and efficiency of the
processes, systems, methods or procedures that enable their performance to be competitive,
efficient and effective, and to positively affect revenue, retention and reputation. For utilities seeking
MDM software, a vendor's Ability to Execute is primarily a combination of factors driven by product
functionality, architecture and performance, and the ability to meet customer expectations during
product delivery and operation. Software application providers are judged on their ability and
success in capitalizing on their vision. Our evaluation of a vendor's Ability to Execute is based on
the following criteria:

Product: The breadth, strength and availability of the vendor's products that compete in and
serve the MDM market

Overall Viability: Product quality and consistency, as well as the vendor's financial strength,
including the likelihood of the continued investment in MDM software for the energy and utility
market

Sales Execution/Pricing: Capabilities of presales structures and management activities,


including pricing and negotiation, as well as the overall effectiveness of sales channels

Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability and responsiveness to meet changing
market dynamics

Market Execution: Market share (and mind share) of a vendor's MDM product in the global
energy and utility market

Customer Experience: The ability to provide technical and relationship support and services
that drive customer satisfaction during the initial implementation and software upgrades

Operations: A structure that is put in place to effectively meet organizational goals and
commitments, including personnel, as well as the ability to scale to respond to market
dynamics

Table 1 lists the relative weighting of various criteria in terms of a vendor's Ability to Execute in this
market. For utility companies seeking MDM software, a vendor's Ability to Execute will be
determined primarily through a combination of factors, such as product functionality and
architecture, the ability to scale, market share, corporate viability, and customer experience.

Page 18 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Table 1. Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria


Evaluation Criteria

Weighting

Product/Service

High

Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization)

High

Sales Execution/Pricing

Standard

Market Responsiveness and Track Record

Standard

Marketing Execution

Standard

Customer Experience

Standard

Operations

Standard

Source: Gartner (January 2013)

Completeness of Vision
This axis evaluates MDM application vendors on their ability to convincingly articulate logical
statements about current and future market directions, innovation, customer needs and competitive
forces, in addition to how well they map to the Gartner position. MDM application providers are
rated on their understanding of how market forces can be exploited to create opportunities for the
provider. For utility companies seeking MDM software, a vendor's Completeness of Vision is
primarily a combination of its domain expertise, an appropriate go-to-market strategy, and a focus
on innovation in product functionality and enabling technology.
Our evaluation is based on the following:

Market Understanding: Competitive differentiation, market knowledge and mechanisms for


customer feedback, combined with the ability to articulate market direction and aligned product
direction

Marketing Strategy: The ability to articulate market direction, and a product and service
offering aligned with market requirements, combined with a succinct, go-to-market strategy and
messaging

Sales Strategy: The ability to work with customers through its sales force, channel partners
and sales tools

Offering (Product) Strategy: Strength of R&D, capability in product design and the ability to
offer image stability

Business Model: Soundness and logic of the underlying business model and value proposition

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 19 of 32

Vertical/Industry Strategy: The ability to provide a product and service for markets with a
different market structure and core focus

Innovation: The ability to have investment resources, expertise or capital for consolidation,
defensive or pre-emptive purposes to address emerging market needs

Geographic Strategy: Having an established presence and market approach, both in home
markets and globally

For an emerging software market such as MDM, the Completeness of Vision is determined through
the combination of a good market understanding and the right go-to-market strategy, innovation
and level of R&D investment to meet the emerging needs in diverse energy markets. Table 2 lists
the relative weighting of the various criteria regarding each vendor's Completeness of Vision in this
market.
Table 2. Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria

Weighting

Market Understanding

High

Marketing Strategy

Standard

Sales Strategy

Low

Offering (Product) Strategy

High

Business Model

Low

Vertical/Industry Strategy

Standard

Innovation

High

Geographic Strategy

Low

Source: Gartner (January 2013)

Quadrant Descriptions
Leaders
Leaders in this market are normally included on shortlists for MDM products for all types of utilities
worldwide. They should perform profitably, grow their revenue and have a presence in all major
markets. Their functionality has to be above average, and their technology and scalability must be
leading-edge. They must offer an MDM product that supports the functional needs of utilities
operating in multiple market structures (integrated and unbundled), and focusing on customer- and
asset-related consumption data use. Leaders in this market must pair advanced technology with
broad offerings and rich functionality. They should also be able to demonstrate the financial viability
Page 20 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

needed to fuel R&D to support new technology requirements (such as Web services and SOA) and
to enable business process integration across functional silos in utilities.
Because this continues to be an emerging market in adolescent form, none of the products have
achieved leadership positions yet by matching their vision with successful market execution
consistently across the globe. Because of the diverse drivers for AMI and MDM deployments (see
"Innovation Insight: Metering Innovation Powers Energy Grid Transformation via Information
Infusion"), buyers across the globe continue to have a diverse set of needs and wants, which
challenges providers to come up with a single product that is equally appealing to buyers in
different regions. Although we have seen some vendors pulling ahead of others particularly in
their home markets most of them have not succeeded in replicating success in other markets.

Challengers
Challengers in this market show good execution, but may lack a focus on functional or
technological innovations, which restricts their desirability. Although they have a good capability
and performance (in sales and growth), they may not be targeting all segments or geographies of
the energy utility industry, or they may have a more limited vision of their functionality or technology.
Clients with a conservative approach to business will find lower-risk options in this sector.
A longtime player and dominant vendor in the global utility metering area, Itron continues as the
only vendor that has reached the Challengers position, based on the combined factors of having a
significant market share by leveraging its position as a leading vendor in the North American
metering space (the most vibrant MDM market) and continued good traction in the market, based
on the number of deals signed in the past 12 months (particularly among the Tier 1 utility
companies). Because Gartner tracks MDM market share as a cumulative number of meters for all
MDM implementations, Itron is inherently placed in the favorable position when determining global
market share.

Visionaries
Visionaries have unique functional or technical offerings, but they also have constrained capabilities
in geographic or financial terms. Visionaries are characterized by their ability to anticipate market
transformation, such as increased analytical functionality or integration, and by their optimization of
commodity management, energy efficiency or network business processes. Clients that have a
tolerance for risk and are seeking a differentiating product should consider vendors in the
Visionaries quadrant.
eMeter continues to be the only vendor in the Visionaries quadrant. Although eMeter is closest of all
vendors to achieve success in different geographies, it is a Visionary because of its understanding
of the global utility needs in energy consumption areas, including policymaker agendas, regulatory
treatment and new business opportunities. Not being burdened by a single legacy meter to cash,
market transactions or load research, for instance helped the company set itself apart from the
rest of the vendors with its portfolio of IP assets and investments beyond the traditional meter-tocash area and into the new analytical architecture. The acquisition by Siemens has improved its
viability and enabled it to successfully compete with established global metering solution providers,

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 21 of 32

such as Itron, or those that are part of the large enterprise application providers, such as Oracle, by
leveraging not only its parent company's mind share in the utility sector but also its reach.

Niche Players
As a consequence of MDM being an emerging technology market and vendors not having had
enough opportunity/time to establish themselves as leading vendors, the majority of vendors are
clustered in the Niche Players quadrant. Vendors are classified as Niche Players because of one or
more of several factors, including:

Relatively small installed base

Relatively narrow functional footprint

Lack of global presence

Inability to assess long-term viability because of nontransparent or poor financial performance

Eleven Niche Players are clustered into two groups. The upper cluster is made up of more viable
global vendors that are part of larger metering or software providers, such as Oracle Utilities, Landis
+Gyr, Elster EnergyICT and Aclara. These vendors continue to demonstrate market success and are
better positioned for future growth. The lower cluster is made of players with predominantly limited
geographic reach (Ferranti Computer Systems, Gruppo Engineering, Robotron, Enoro and Cuculus),
or a limited geographic reach and market segment focus (ElectSolve and Harris Utilities). Vendors in
the lower cluster are challenged by a narrow market focus, a small installed base, low market
traction or, in some cases, product and corporate viability.

Context
Gartner started covering the MDM market in 2007, with an initial vendor/product assessment of
what was then an embryonic software market. Increased industry interest in AMI led to its faster
adoption and, consequently, to the maturation of AMI's IT component, MDM. Consequently, in
2008, we started to use a more formal vendor assessment framework the MarketScope for
this emerging market.
The MDM market continued to mature rapidly in 2009 and 2010, driven predominantly by a
significant level of capital investment in the U.S. utility sector through the U.S. government's Smart
Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program. With MDM now in an adolescent phase, this is the third year
we are continuing to use Gartner's Magic Quadrant framework to position vendors in this
increasingly important utility IT application market.
AMI is a composite technology involving meters (frequently referred to as "smart meters"),
communication links, and MDM that spans IT and OT domains. MDM products are the IT
components of the AMI responsible for cleansing, calculating and providing data persistency and
the dissemination of energy consumption data, which can originate from a variety of sources. The
industry focus on a smart grid, with AMI as a cornerstone of a smart grid, brings more emphasis on
MDM as an AMI component. Renewed interest in energy commodity management, which is spurred

Page 22 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

by energy security concerns and an interest in demand-response programs, is driving the need for
multipurpose metering data repositories that can meet requirements outside their traditional use in a
meter-to-cash (revenue management) process. At the same time, the need for better asset
utilization and reliability is requiring consumption data for network analysis, while the increased
focus on customer service requires on-demand access to revenue-metering data and meter event
data (such as last gasp) in the customer service and operations areas.
AMI and MDM play major roles in supporting energy-efficiency programs and power-sector
decarbonization both of which are important issues for the energy utility industry, impacting
consumers and society as a whole. In the past 12 months, policymakers' focus on financial
recovery, austerity measures and employment is diverting political interest from the "energy
sustainability" topic globally. With stimulus funding and government subsidies for sector
decarbonization and energy-efficiency initiatives drying up, utilities are left with no choice but to
raise end-user tariffs to meet the costs, postpone AMI projects or scope them down to components
that provide traditional, tangible, utility-centered benefits. Consequently, this is driving AMI and its
IT component MDM from being core, "smart grid" technologies that enable energy-provisioning
transformation (see "The Utility of the Future: The Information Utility"), to being enabling
technologies used to provide improvements to existing utility processes, such as meter to cash and
asset utilization.
Concerns about the direct impact of AMI rollouts on the cost of energy (because the significant
capital expenditure required for AMI must be recovered through rate cases) and customer backlash
in some markets (particularly in California and Texas) driven by perceived issues of accuracy
(higher bills), data privacy and the health effects of smart meters have slowed down the pace of
AMI deployments globally. However, this slowdown has not been reflected equally on the number of
MDM deployments. Many utility companies continue to lead AMI deployments with MDM, because
it is perceived as being less costly and risky, further from the consumer's areas of concern, and the
most mature component of AMI (see "Hype Cycle for Smart Grid Technologies, 2012").

Market Overview
MDM Market Drivers
The market segment considered for this Magic Quadrant consists of utility companies seeking
software solutions that can be used across the enterprise and shared with customers, partners
and regulators for managing metered consumption data.
Supply security concerns, combined with a need to address the utility industry's environmental
implications, are heightening the demand for solutions that provide better visibility in energy
consumption. The increased visibility into consumption data can support better network
infrastructure utilization, and help include consumers in energy efficiency and conservation
programs, such as demand response. At the core of these initiatives is better access to end-user
consumption data. Consequently, in the past few years, metering technologies have gained more
attention, driven by policymaker initiatives on the national level and the perception that new

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 23 of 32

metering approaches are an effective way to promote energy efficiency, thereby deferring
investment in the generation and delivery infrastructure. However, it appears that consumers and
regulators as their proxies are increasingly questioning the value for the cost, which is partly a
consequence of poor regulatory affair management and a lack of proper communication programs
from utilities, to educate consumers about potential benefits for them as individuals and for society
as whole.
Utilities continue to use meter data primarily as an input to the monthly billing and settlement
process. Energy companies planning to use metering data to support business improvement
initiatives in the commodity management area from load forecasting to generation scheduling
and optimization as well as to optimize distribution asset utilization must significantly extend the
functionality of traditional revenue-cycle-oriented metering systems. Getting higher-resolution data
and distributing it more quickly require a new breed of technical solutions. These solutions include
methods of disseminating consumption information to internal and external users or to applications,
with ever-shorter data acquisition sampling intervals. These new requirements elevate metering
from being a component of the revenue-processing life cycle (meter to cash) to becoming an
enterprise function. Metering systems now must support multiple uses of consumption data in other
key process life cycles, such as asset management (optimal network configuration and loss
minimization, and transformer sizing), commodity management (load profiling and forecasting) and
CRM (customer segmentation based on daily load profiles and the response to variable pricing
signals).
The structure of energy markets differs globally. As a result, utility companies have different
business focuses and are exposed to diverse regulatory drivers. This creates different flavors of
metering systems that are focused on providing asset-related benefits (for integrated and network
companies), customer/market-related benefits in competitive retail markets (such as Scandinavia) or
commodity-focused benefits in markets driven by energy sustainability and supply security
concerns (most U.S., U.K., Australian and New Zealand markets).
The intense focus on metering technology is pushing AMI market adoption globally. As an AMI IT
component and separate IT product category, MDM is leading AMI adoption, because many utilities
perceive MDM as being a more mature, less expensive and, consequently, less risky technology
selection than, for example, AMI communication or meter technology. For that reason, entering the
AMI area "MDM first" appears to be the prevailing strategy for utilities. MDM can be used as a
metering data consolidation platform that can reduce integration complexity between multiple
metering and billing systems under the following conditions:

The utility company has multiple metering technologies and vendors as a result of mergers and
acquisitions (M&As).

A diverse service territory requires multiple metering providers because of different


communication technology needs, such as a mesh network for high-density service areas, and
a power line carrier for low-density service areas.

Utilities end up with multiple billing systems because of M&As.

Page 24 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

In these cases, MDM can provide immediate tactical business benefits, while utilities wait until
technology, interoperability and regulatory risk related to AMI are reduced to enable them to
achieve more strategic smart grid benefits.
In addition to these consolidation needs, some utilities go with MDM-first deployments if they seek
a platform outside of legacy CISs to support energy-efficiency initiatives, including economic
demand-response (such as critical peak pricing) or advanced end-user consumption presentment
and notification functions. As a consequence of MDM pulling ahead of the rest of the AMI
components, we see it moving out of the Trough of Disillusionment and ascending toward the Slope
of Enlightenment (see "Hype Cycle for Smart Grid Technologies, 2012"). This is a phase when
successful implementations start to appear, followed by case studies that can attest to some
benefits realization. Additionally, more mature service offerings for product delivery are being
developed (in many cases, by external partners), which consequently reduces the risk of product
failure.
The MDM Market's Diverse Customer Needs
Utilities across the globe are realizing that access to consumption data can play a significant role in
improving multiple business process life cycles beyond its traditional use in revenue cycle (meter to
cash). Access to consumption data can also benefit asset, customer and commodity life cycles,
contributing to corporate operational excellence. In addition, there is a consensus that better
visibility of consumption data for end users and other market participants will play a key role in
transforming energy provisioning to address energy sustainability concerns. As a result, the
increased importance of energy consumption information has made AMI (aka smart metering) and
its IT component MDM among the hottest innovation areas in vertical utility technologies. As
emerging technologies with the highest anticipated growth in utility spending, AMI and MDM have
attracted a large and diverse set of vendors.
Gartner tracks several dozen vendors that market MDM offerings in their solution portfolios:

Vendors offering purpose-built, stand-alone, energy-consumption repositories (such as eMeter


or Landis+Gyr-Ecologic Analytics)

Vendors with legacy abilities in automated meter-reading areas (such as Itron)

IT vendors from a variety of adjacent areas that are trying to componentize their internal meter
data repository and repackage it as a stand-alone MDM software product:

A CIS (such as Ferranti Computer Systems)

Load research and commodity management (such as Oracle Utilities)

Retail and wholesale operations (such as Enoro)

Metering data exchange process management (such as Robotron)

Utility communication specialists wanting to extend their offerings across the entire AMI
spectrum (such as Aclara)

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 25 of 32

The diversity of vendors offering MDM products is also an indication of diverse customer needs and
the early stage of the market. As previously mentioned, according to Geoffrey Moore, a market is "a
set of actual or potential customers for a given set of products or services who have a common set
of needs or wants, and who reference each other when making a decision" (see "Modern
Technology Markets Defined"; note: this document has been archived; some of its content may not
reflect current conditions). Therefore, the emergence of a market requires a converged or current
need or want, and viable products. A condition of need is the result of a specific want or
requirement from a similar, well-defined set of buyers. A viable product or service may only partially
meet the requirements of a set of buyers, but it can become the basis for evolution within a market.
Important to a developed market is that potential buyers reference each other when making a
decision. Within high-tech markets, the ability to reference other enterprises is important for buyer
assurance. Broad market acceptance implies although sometimes incorrectly independent
software vendor support, vendor viability, professional services and supporting products.
One of the challenges in rating vendors in the MDM market is that, although the market is maturing
rapidly, it still is not fully articulated and, therefore, has not reached full maturity. To a large extent,
this is a consequence of the different drivers and paces for AMI deployment across the globe.
Although we are seeing a push for smart metering deployments globally (see "Innovation Insight:
Metering Innovation Powers Energy Grid Transformation via Information Infusion"), depending on
the market structure and national energy policy, the primary driver for AMI deployment may be
strictly centered on a utility's operations (such as reducing customer service costs), retail market
enablement (such as supporting customer switching) or the need to address energy supply security
(demand response as a means to defer investment in new capacity or enabling end-user energy
efficiency). Combined with different structures of energy markets (for example, bundled or
unbundled), as well as different ownership of the metering asset and metering data (integrated utility
company, network company, retailer or market operators), this creates a set of diverse requirements
for this emerging product.
Although some of the requirements are showing up consistently (such as the need for VEE, data
persistency and interface to billing), a common set of needs and wants, which are presented
through a common set of features and functions that show up in most RFPs, have not emerged yet,
and buyers cannot fully reference each other because their needs differ. Such diverse and broad
needs make MDM's functional scope ill-defined, as we see utilities approaching MDM from different
directions, while expecting to realize different business benefits or to meet different regulatory
drivers.
Consider the following:

Some utilities are looking at MDM as a unifying platform for multiple metering environments,
which can result from M&A consolidation or as a result of diverse service areas with multiple
meter-reading technologies.

Some companies primarily in the U.S. are exploring MDM as a platform for economic demandresponse programs.

Page 26 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Other companies are looking at MDM as part of an overall smart grid initiative, driven by
government incentives, that is intended to optimize the network, improve asset utilization,
reduce losses and improve reliability by leveraging access to fine granularity consumption data.

Some competitive retail markets, where the metering function (or component) is in a domain of
market intermediaries (such as Ontario, Canada, and Texas, U.S.), are considering MDM as a
unifying metering platform among all market participants.

Energy markets in which metering is a competitive service (such as the U.K.) look at MDM as a
platform from which meter service companies can act as MDM agents and offer commercial
metering services for market participants.

Lately, we also see a need for a consumption data platform that can be used to host (or at least
aggregate data for) new consumption calculations or billing routines, such as time of use to
support demand-response or end-user, energy-efficiency initiatives outside the incumbent CIS.

Additionally, there are different expectations as to how much of the meter asset information
should reside in an MDM system (versus a CIS or enterprise asset management system), or
what level of billing determinants and consumption information should be provided by MDM
versus CIS.

Starting in 2009, we have also observed that most MDM vendors are extending core MDM
functionality toward a platform for supporting customer engagement for energy-efficiency programs
and AMI deployment projects support. MDM vendors have also extended MDM products as a
prepayment platform, a preprocessor for outage notification filtering or a virtual call-back function to
verifying that meters are energized after the outage is assumed to be restored.
Vendors Are Challenged in Addressing Diverse Requirements
The diverse needs and changing scope of the MDM market are challenging product vendors. In
most cases, vendors have developed their solutions to address a particular aspect of metering data
and are trying to extend functionality during the implementation by custom development to address
new requirements. Adding to an ill-defined scope issue are three other factors that make this
market challenging, both for users looking for a solution that meets their needs and for vendors
trying to develop a solution that will be a universe of all commonly agreed-on needs:

Misalignment of the software offering mode and market maturity, such as attempting to offer a
COTS MDM solution for a market whose needs are not well-articulated. COTS software delivery
models are not conducive for immature software markets. Because these immature products
usually have yet to achieve an appropriate level of configurability, they require extensive
customizing during the implementation.

Scalability/performance issues arising from data volumes (switching from once-a-month


consumption reads to 15-minute interval consumption reads increases data volume almost
3,000 times). Multiple vendors have run scalability testing, but without common, generally
acceptable industry benchmark criteria. Therefore, users should not rely on them or use them to
compare different products' scalability. There are several implementations in production that
handle more than 1 million endpoints, and there are several implementations in production that

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 27 of 32

handle 15-minute interval data, although only for a small percentage of customers. However,
there are not enough implementation sites in production that handle multimillion endpoints with
less-than-an-hour interval data to prove product scalability for many vendors.

A lack of commonly agreed-on business rules/practices and data standards. We are seeing,
however, increased vendor participation in standards-setting activities, driven by vendors (such
as the SAP AMI Lighthouse Council), by standards organizations (such as OpenSG) or, lately,
by national government-sponsored initiatives. Some MDM vendors (such as Itron, eMeter and
Landis+Gyr) should be credited for driving metering sector interoperability activity.

A significant number of MDM implementations have helped leading SIs focused on the utility sector
build MDM implementation practice particularly in the North American market, which
experienced the most activity. Capgemini, IBM, Accenture and SAIC in North America, and Atos
and Siemens in EMEA, have leveraged partnerships with upper-tier MDM vendors, such as eMeter,
Itron, Oracle, Landis+Gyr and EnergyICT. However, during the process of checking vendor
references for this Magic Quadrant, we received a resounding message regarding MDM
implementations. A majority of the 50-plus utility companies we interviewed globally expressed their
concerns with the duration of MDM implementations and product vendor delivery capabilities. The
concerns in the examples below point to an immature technology market:

In several cases, this could have been attributed to users not having a clear idea from the
beginning of the type of additional services that would be offered based on the consumption
data, nor the additional systems outside of meter to cash that must be interfaced with MDM,
consequently creating project "scope creep."

In some cases, the change in scope was a consequence of changing and/or evolving regulatory
directives.

In many cases, the product could not support some of the required functionality, nor could it be
configured to support this functionality. This required custom development, with an impact on
the cost and duration of the implementation.

In some cases, the problem was caused by vendors extending their offerings in new regions
and not having enough resources (and, in some cases, management attention) to address local
requirements.

In several cases, it was attributed to the access to skilled resources, because many vendors
didn't have enough resources or didn't set up SI vendor partnerships to enable them to scale
up delivery channels.

We advise clients to take these factors into consideration when making MDM project
implementation plans.
There is an additional effect observed in the MDM market that is worth noting for its benefits to
clients that are considering a new MDM product selection or for those establishing long-term
vendor relationships with their MDM providers. The vendor space started to bifurcate, and vendors
separated into two clusters: a cluster with better-performing providers, with mostly globally
available solutions, and a cluster with trailing vendors, which are usually focused on niche markets.
At this time, we are seeing large vendors entering the space through acquisitions to enhance their
Page 28 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

offerings in the metering, meter-to-cash or smart grid space, as well as to enable an emergingvendor reach into new markets and compete more successfully with globally established MDM
providers, such as Itron and Oracle Utilities. This was observed during the past several years
through the Aclara acquisition of Nexus Energy Software, the Elster Group acquisition of EnergyICT,
the Siemens acquisition of eMeter at the end of 2011 and the Landis+Gyr acquisition of Ecologic
Analytics in January 2012. Every one of the upper-cluster vendors' (Itron, eMeter, Oracle, Landis
+Gyr, Elster EnergyICT and Aclara) MDM offerings is the result of acquisitions, and we do not
expect much activity in that cluster. The next wave of acquisition activity will be happening in the
lower cluster.

Recommended Reading
Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription.
"Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes: How Gartner Evaluates Vendors Within a Market"
"AMI and MDM Survey: What Utilities Want and Where They Think They Can Get It"
"Innovation Insight: Metering Innovation Powers Energy Grid Transformation via Information
Infusion"
"Hype Cycle for Smart Grid Technologies, 2012"
"The Utility of the Future: The Information Utility"

Evaluation Criteria Definitions


Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/
serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality,
feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/
partnerships, as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): An assessment
of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the
business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing
in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art
within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the
structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation,
presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 29 of 32

Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be


flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act,
customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the
vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed
to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and
business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification
with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can
be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership,
word-of-mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable
clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways
customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary
tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups,
SLAs and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors
include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences,
programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate
effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Vision
Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs,
and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest
degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or
enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently
communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website,
advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of
direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend
the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the
customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and
delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as
they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business
proposition.

Page 30 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and


offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical
markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources,
expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to
meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either
directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries, as appropriate for that
geography and market.

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153

Page 31 of 32

GARTNER HEADQUARTERS
Corporate Headquarters
56 Top Gallant Road
Stamford, CT 06902-7700
USA
+1 203 964 0096
Regional Headquarters
AUSTRALIA
BRAZIL
JAPAN
UNITED KINGDOM

For a complete list of worldwide locations,


visit http://www.gartner.com/technology/about.jsp

2013 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. or its affiliates. This
publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartners prior written permission. The information contained in this
publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or
adequacy of such information and shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in such information. This publication
consists of the opinions of Gartners research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. The opinions expressed
herein are subject to change without notice. Although Gartner research may include a discussion of related legal issues, Gartner does not
provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner is a public company, and its
shareholders may include firms and funds that have financial interests in entities covered in Gartner research. Gartners Board of
Directors may include senior managers of these firms or funds. Gartner research is produced independently by its research organization
without input or influence from these firms, funds or their managers. For further information on the independence and integrity of Gartner
research, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity on its website, http://www.gartner.com/technology/about/
ombudsman/omb_guide2.jsp.

Page 32 of 32

Gartner, Inc. | G00239153