Energy management will bring new enterprise integration challenge

Emerging software applications promise to help businesses get a better handle on lighting, emissions and other energy-related data. Integrating all that data will make for the rise of new integration middleware and services.

Will the rise of enterprise carbon management and emissions reporting software create a whole new enterprise software integration nightmare?

New data from independent analyst firm Verdantix cautions that it might. Since many of the applications focused on this category currently address point problems -- one or two specfic tasks -- Verdantix suggests that it could take up to eight different software applications or services to meet the challenges of 12 common usage scenarios.

The author of the Verdantix study, Peter Charville-Mort said that businesses that hope to realize operational and management efficiencies from this emerging software category need to set aside budget to integrate disparate data sources.

He said:

“Optimizing enterprise-wide energy consumption and generation is a big prize that firms like Dow Chemical and cities such as New York are waking up to. But the vast diversity of energy consuming assets – lights, security systems, HVAC, boilers, elevators, servers, routers, manufacturing equipment – means no single application will collect the data from all energy consuming end points.  So the boom in energy management software – with 38 new applications launched since January 2009 – risks hitting the buffers unless buyers plan for a big integration project.”

Another challenge is the different lines of business responsible for tasks related to energy management. They include energy procurement managers, facilities executives and heads of sustainability. 

As a result of this unfolding scenario, almost two-thirds of the software suppliers in this particular category have developed integration services to address this challenge. That services opportunity is another thing that will make this applications category ripe for mergers and overall consolidation. It is also another reason companies such as IBM, Oracle, CA and SAP likely will dominate sales and deployments in the future.

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