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Smart Grid / Smart Energy

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Transformation Goes Digital in Houston

By Kevin Prouty

Having done a whirlwind tour through rain-soaked Houston to see various large consulting companies, I managed to stay dry. The focal point of the trip was KPMG’s annual Global Energy Conference. It is a pretty well attended affair with senior executives from most of the major energy companies attending. But a theme that not only ran through KPMG’s event, but was at the core of all the consulting firms’ messages was that the downturn in crude price is leading to an upturn in consulting business.


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While you see the usual topics of call center management, billing, collections support, and so on at the events, it is interesting to note that analytics and cloud were again topics of a lot of discussions and presentations. But at each of these events, we made it a point to talk to both technology executives and utility executives for their perspective on the regulatory environment of using the cloud or any "as a service" technology platform in North America.


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On May 2nd Oracle announced it will acquire Opower. This will create one of the largest providers of customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services in the utility industry. The acquisition is valued at approximately $532 million, net of Opower's cash. The deal is expected to be completed in 2016.



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