IDC Energy Insights’ IDC MarketScape Evaluates Leading Vendors of Customer Care and Billing Applications Globally

FRAMINGHAM, MA, May 30, 2012 – IDC Energy Insights announced today the availability of a new report, IDC MarketScape: Customer Care and Billing in Competitive Unbundled Energy Markets, 2012 Vendor Assessment (Document # EIOS03U), providing an assessment of leading vendors of Customer Care and Billing (CC&B) applications for competitive, unbundled energy markets around the world. In the report, IDC Energy Insights provides an opinion on which vendors are well-positioned today through current capabilities and which are best positioned to gain market share over the next three to five years. Vendors included in the report are: Convergys, Ferranti Computer Systems, Gruppo Engineering, Hansen Technologies, Indra, Junifer Systems, Logica, LogNet Systems, Oracle, SAP, SmartGridCIS, TailorMade, and Tieto. Of these companies, Ferranti Computer Systems, Oracle, and SAP were placed into the “Leaders” category.

IDC Energy Insights estimates that the global market for customer care and billing applications for 2012 will be $913.9 million, with a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9% between 2011 and 2015. CC&B systems absorb a significant portion of utilities' IT spending, second only to enterprise resource planning systems.

The introduction of competition in the supply of energy commodities together with the unbundling of the value chain significantly reshaped the energy sector and profoundly impacted how utilities interact with their customers. More recently, the implementation of smart metering for residential customers, demand response and customer engagement programs, electric vehicles and other innovations are increasing the functionality, scalability and flexibility required of customer care and billing systems. Consequently, energy retailers in competitive markets are looking for solutions to help reduce costs to serve and manage their customers and go-to-market expenses. In addition, they seek to protect their revenues by enabling them to more efficiently select the right customers to engage, while at the same time helping them to improve customer satisfaction and comply with market regulations.

"The selection of a Customer Care and Billing solution, as well as the approach in the implementation needs to be evaluated in the context of each company's own IT enterprise architecture," said Roberta Bigliani, head for IDC Energy Insights, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. "Overall, customer care and billing applications that can effectively support customer targeting and acquisition, provide rating and billing flexibility, enable converged and complex billing, excellent customer self-service, provide quick and solid analytics following the entire contract-to-cash process, and are smart meter ready, will best serve competitive energy markets."

Customer care and billing applications automate the customer-facing business processes and collectively serve to manage the entire lifecycle of a customer. They include customer self-service channels, automated customer access channels for sales, initiation of service orders, credit and collections, billing and payment management – including pre-payment – customer sales and switching, and contact center management. In addition, capabilities to support demand response, energy management services, and plug-in electric vehicles billing are considered. Customer care and billing may also be referred to as customer relationship management (CRM) and customer information systems (CIS).

This research presents an analysis of quantitative and qualitative characteristics to provide metrics and context for utilities evaluating solutions in this area, and also to help analyze vendors' current comparative success in the marketplace and anticipate the evolution of vendors' offerings. The evaluation is based on a comprehensive and rigorous framework that assesses vendors relative to the criteria and highlights the factors expected to be the most influential for success in the market in both the short and long term.

Each product was evaluated against 32 criteria in two category measures for success: strategies and capabilities. Within each of these criteria, IDC Energy Insights has weighted specific features of the product or the product's vendor that are particularly significant for purchasers of the product and for users. A significant and unique component of this evaluation is the inclusion of customer references for all of the products included in the assessment. The document is relevant for utilities preparing to enhance, upgrade, or replace their customer care and billing solutions.

For additional information about this study, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Roberta Bigliani, Gaia Gallotti or Jill Feblowitz, please contact Kanupriya (EMEA) at +44 20898 77111 or Sarah Murray (North America) at 781-378-2674 or sarah@attunecommunications.com. Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact info@idc-ei.com.

About IDC MarketScape

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights assists energy businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the utility and oil and gas industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-ei.com, email info@idc-ei.com, or call 508-935-4400. Visit the IDC Energy Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/energy.