IBM and Cable & Wireless are set to collaborate to offer a 'smart energy cloud' to support the UK's new energy meter rollout.
Some 50 million smart meters are being rolled out to UK homes and businesses, with the aim of better regulating energy distribution and helping users to control their energy usage.
The collaboration between IBM and Cable & Wireless is intended to take on other vendors in the market, including a BT-Arqiva partnership, and a British Gas-O2 offering.
The IBM and Cable & Wireless offering - branded the UK Smart Energy Cloud - is a "cloud-based hub", and will centre on IBM WebSphere messaging and an Informix database with the C&W telecoms network.
The companies said they would create a "flexible, secure and scalable" data platform, which will gather information "many times a day" from smart meters across the country. That data will then be held centrally in a UK data centre.
"The challenge is for smart meters to reach the entire UK population and this will require a combination of enabling solutions, such as GPRS, radio and Power Line Carrier to make sure it's cost effective," said Matt Key, enterprise managing director at C&W. "However, it is the network connecting it all and intelligent data management that are central to the smart agenda's success."