With budget cuts crippling companies and municipalities, software that can potentially cut an energy bill by 30 percent to 60 percent sounds pretty good. That’s the pitch from computer energy management software maker Verdiem, which this morning says it has passed the 1 million mark for the number of government and business PCs that are running its software, having doubled the amount of software installed over the past year.
The company has announced a new customer, too: Cox Communications (s COX), the large cable company, which deployed Verdiem’s software on 15,000 of its corporate PCs in April, and has found savings of 40 percent, expecting a return on investment for the software within this year. Verdiem says the average return on investment is between eight and nine months, or about $30 to $60 per PC per year, and in June the company launched an energy dashboard to help customers view and verify the savings in real time.
Verdiem’s business model seems to be working for customers. In addition to corporate customers like Cox, Verdiem counts the city of Chicago (for almost 9,500 PCs) and the city of Honolulu (for almost 1,700 computers) among its users. The way it works is that each networked PC has the software installed, so an IT manager can centrally manage the energy consumption and sleep settings of the organization’s computers. For consumers, Verdiem also has a free tool called Edison (you can download it from the company’s web site), which beefs up a computer’s energy management tools.
Verdiem’s consumer software option seemed to be more marketing than anything else, although there is a need for better consumer PC energy management software. Verdiem VP of Marketing Allison Cornia explained to us last year, 90 percent of the world’s desktop computers have energy management settings disabled.
Microsoft (s MSFT) is one of the big names investing in better energy management for upcoming Windows. Back in June, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said that the software giant has developed more sophisticated power management functions for its Windows 7 product, and called power management one of Windows 7’s “big investments.” Microsoft is also one of Verdiem’s technology partners, and I’d expect to see more work between these two in the future. If Microsoft wants to gain ground in the world of corporate and government networked PCs and energy management, it knows who to snap up.