Smart meter deployments to spur doubling of CIS revenues

The deployment of smart meters will spur a doubling of global revenues over the next five years in the electricity utility billing and customer information systems (CIS) software and services market, according to new data from Pike Research.

Revenues are forecast to rise from $2.3 billion in 2011 to about $4 billion in 2017, says the market-research company.

The growth will happen as utility companies begin to change the way they view and manage customer relationships in order to realize the full benefits of their smart-grid investments.

The critical factor, says Pike Research, will be the deployment of smart meters that support new consumer services and provide greater insight into customer behavior.

“Large US investor-owned utilities looking to develop new revenue streams, European energy retailers working in a deregulated market, and utilities in the developing world seeking to improve revenue collection and energy auditing are all taking a new look at their requirements for billing and CIS,” said Eric Woods, a director with Pike Research.

“This shift requires utilities to master the product development, marketing and customer relationship skills to ensure competitive success. In turn, the billing and CIS systems underpinning these business processes will have to step up to the challenge,” he said.

According to Pike Research, legacy billing systems and CIS are largely unsuited to emerging smart-grid requirements, forcing companies to invest in new capabilities.

Another factor, however, will be the rise of customer and business process analytics that can help utilities to develop more targeted offerings and bundles.

Although there is still some confusion about how and where to apply analytics for improvements, the market is expected to mature rapidly as a result of growing commercial pressures.

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