IBM secures big win at Contact Energy

Big Blue to play major part in SAP roll-out

IBM has been selected as prime contractor for a major SAP roll-out at Contact Energy. The other parties to the contract are SAP, Gen-i and Oxygen.

A Contact spokesman says the project will be rolled out in stages over three years.

“Much of the planning has already been undertaken and we are now at the stage of mobilisation — pulling together the right people and planning the project-team training, for example,” he says.

“SAP was selected after examining a wide range of criteria going well beyond functional requirements.”

Computerworld understands Oracle’s was the other technology considered.

The spokesman says the project will cover retail, finance and generation operations. “It is, in effect, a business transformation project that will enhance Contact’s strategic capabilities across all areas of operation through technology.”

Contact wasn’t prepared to discuss the price but industry sources put it at over $50 million.

In June, Oxygen CEO Mike Smith flagged the Contact Energy deal as one the industry was watching.

“Everyone’s waiting to see what’s happening at Contact Energy,” he told Computerworld.

Contact is majority-owned by Australian company Origin, which has been the subject of a buy-out bid from British interests — that, so far, has been rejected.

This month, Contact Energy began rolling out smart electricity meters in Christchurch.

“All of our residential and small business customers in Christchurch will have their current meter replaced with a smart meter,” Contact Energy spokeswoman Anne-Marie Shepherd said.

The meters will read the information every half-hour and Contact Energy will be able to access meter information remotely.

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