In a recent release Aberdeen, a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results, ranked Microsoft #1 among all technology companies as the “Most Influential Technology Vendors.” Their survey showcases the results of five years of research and up to date insight from 4,645 snap-shot survey respondents. Aberdeen didn’t break utility company responses out of their research, but some of the findings are worth discussing, from a utility point of view.

 

First, Aberdeen said, ““This year the results from the 2008 Aberdeen Report indicate that mobility will take a back seat to business intelligence and analytics as the technology capabilities having the greatest impact over the next 3-5 years.”

 

This indicates to me that all industries are adjusting to global economic changes of rising demand for commodities, changing relationships among currencies, workforce and competition issues. In the utility industry the global economic changes have caused rising fuel costs, growing environmental concerns, aging assets, increasing competition, concerns about reliability and a shrinking workforce. These challenges are contributing to the sense that utilities must dispense with silos and gain greater visibility and insight into their operations through role-based productivity and business intelligence collaboration.

 

Second, the Aberdeen report noted that some 43 percent of respondents from large organizations of more than 1,000 employees are investing this year in enterprise applications like CRM, ERP and SCM. Again, while the report doesn’t break these responses out for utility sector companies, it does indicate that companies are focused on continuing improvements in their business operations. They are continuing to look for return on investments in technology systems, especially where that streamlines and rationalizes costs. In my discussions with utility industry executives, this indeed is occurring.

 

In my mind this validates Microsoft’s Utility Group efforts, with its partners, to find solutions that make enterprises more agile, break down silos through collaboration and communication, and extend the reach of LOB investments to more users and allow them to become more global. That is the formula for success in today’s challenging times. - J

 

Jon C. Arnold| Managing Director, Worldwide Utilities Industry | Microsoft Corporation | Office & Mobile: 904.280.5406| Fax: 425. 708.5902 | jona@microsoft.com

 

 

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