SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2011) - Avanade, a business technology solutions and managed services provider, and Ferranti Computer Systems, a Microsoft global independent software vendor and systems integrator in the Benelux region, have partnered to help utilities companies improve operational performance with innovative enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, these solutions help utilities companies around the world to cut the cost-to-serve and improve overall customer service.

"The fast-paced utilities industry requires an innovative ERP solution that can rapidly change with the business and allows suppliers, as well as grid operators, to seize new market opportunities," said Dirk Michiels, CEO of Ferranti. "Our long history of working with utility companies, coupled with Avanade's extensive experience with Microsoft Dynamics AX, offers a more agile operational and back-office system, both in CIS and MDM environments. Utilities can now adapt quickly to stay competitive in a market that is seeing a wave of new entrants and technological innovations, allowing them to outsmart the competition."

Mick Slattery, Avanade executive vice president, Global Service Lines, said, "The changes and business opportunities shaping the utilities industry globally require greater levels of efficiency and improved performance at lower cost. The utilities and energy expertise of Ferranti, combined with Avanade's Microsoft expertise and global delivery capabilities, will allow us to effectively deliver MECOMS™ -- a powerful and innovative business technology solution for utility companies that will help them become more competitive and improve their customer experience."

Built on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Ferranti provides an end-to-end product suite, MECOMS™, to optimize customer care and billing, meter data management and business operations, providing full visibility into utility operations and customer service. Leveraging Avanade's in-depth Microsoft Dynamics AX expertise, global delivery capabilities and cloud-based services, Ferranti's MECOMS™ solution improves agility and helps utilities companies respond effectively to changing market conditions. It streamlines business processes to improve efficiency and customer service while optimizing the cost-to-serve.

Doug Kennedy, vice president, Dynamics Partners & Support Service Programs, Microsoft Corporation, said, "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 provides customers the rich functionality, advanced architecture, full breadth of the Microsoft stack and powerful simplicity of a modern ERP solution. Building on Microsoft Dynamics AX, partners like Ferranti and Avanade leverage their deep vertical expertise and global reach to deliver world class solutions."

MECOMS™ supports all business processes for utilities providers, both in regulated and deregulated markets. Key features include:

  • Customer Care and Billing: Offers integrated customer self-servicing, smart user interaction design and fast invoice processing to increase both efficiency and customer satisfaction. Customer care staff receives a quick and complete view of all information related to a customer, from meter readings and consumptions, to contracts, invoices, payments, repair and maintenance.
  • Meter Data Management: Handles all aspects of meter data collection, and is designed to cover specific requirements such as unmetered connections, invoice bundling or waste water billing. It also provides two-way communication with smart meters and handles the ensuing large volumes of data via its Smart Metering Communication Bus component. In addition, it completely handles Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) as a core process.
  • Business Operations: Simplifies end-to-end business processes and asset management controls, from pipes to cables and connections, while complying with standards. It streamlines communication about services in real-time, avoiding unnecessary incident reports. Service management features enable mobile notifications and alerts to field workers about assignments, increasing productivity among workers.
  • Performance Management Reporting and Analytics: MECOMS™ contains 20 role centers, based on common job functions in utility companies that offer an intuitive approach to monitor and analyze performance for each area. It enables direct assessment of key performance indicators, such as customer profitability, environmental impact or staff productivity, and simplifies ongoing planning, budgeting and forecasting.

Greg Guthridge, global lead for Accenture Retail and Business Services for Utilities, said, "Accenture has more than 30 years of experience serving the utilities industry and we've collaborated with Avanade on a large number of projects including developing industry-specific and cross-industry solutions. As part of this collaboration, we worked with Avanade to evaluate the functionality of the MECOMS™ solution. We found the solution had the range and comprehensiveness that could help utilities seeking to differentiate themselves. We are looking forward to working with Avanade and Ferranti in the utilities marketplace."

About Avanade
Avanade provides business technology services that connect insight, innovation and expertise in Microsoft technologies to help customers realize results. Avanade's services and solutions help improve performance, productivity and sales for organizations in all industries. The company applies Microsoft expertise from its global network of consultants, drawing on the right mix of onshore, offshore and nearshore skills, which together are designed to help deliver results faster, at lower cost and with less risk. Avanade, which is majority owned by Accenture LLP, was founded in 2000 by Accenture and Microsoft Corporation and serves customers in more than 20 countries worldwide with more than 13,000 professionals. Additional information can be found at

About Ferranti
Ferranti provides a wide array of business and IT consultancy primarily centered on the flagship MECOMS™ product. Ferranti Computer Systems, founded in 1976, is a member of the Nijkerk Group since 1994. The company employs more than 200 people and has offices in Belgium, The Netherlands, UK, Germany, India and Singapore.

Avanade and the Avanade logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Avanade Inc. Other product, service, or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.