A decade-old software firm called Ecologic Analytics has been quietly cleaning up when it comes to the software link that connects smart meter data to a utilities’ back office (commonly called meter data management systems, or MDMS). This morning the company, which has meter maker Landis + Gyr as a minority shareholder, announced that utility Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) will be using its meter data management system for its smart grid program.
Last summer the folks at Ecologic told us that its software was connecting 14 million meters, including meters from large utilities like Oncor, PG&E, Austin Energy, and Puget Sound. The company, not surprisingly works a lot in conjunction with Landis + Gyr.
Smart meter data management systems provide the software-based delivery system between the smart meter and the utility’s back office. All utilities that are building smart grid networks need one, so the injection of the U.S. stimulus funds into the smart grid has been a real boon for this market. Ecologic customer IPL is receiving $20 million through the smart grid stimulus funds to build out a network. Ecologic’s claim to fame, beyond its growing customer list, is getting into the market way back in 2001 at Puget Sound.
But one of Ecologic’s biggest — and toughest — competitors is 12-year-old eMeter, which has a strategic partnership with Siemens, and has deals with UK’s utility data service operator ElectraLink, and CenterPoint. eMeter’s chief strategy officer Chris King told us last year that eMeter had signed a dozen contracts with utilities, representing a total of 23 million smart meters back then, and had dozens more contracts in the works. eMeter is backed by $57 million from investors like Sequoia Capital and Foundation Capital.