IBM has designs on utility companies and other players in the smart grid and renewable energy world that are trying to see the big picture.
The company is introducing a framework called the IBM Solution Architecture for Energy and Utilities Framework (SAFE), which acts as an integration mechanism for all the various business process and applications that are cropping up across the industry.
So, for example, if a utility company added a relationship with a wind energy supplier, SAFE would (in theory) allow it to pull data and other information from that partner into its core systems. IBM has created a validation process for IBM Business Partners and application developers that provide point applications related to the industry. Among those that have already been validated to integrate into SAFE are e-Meter, a provider of smart metering technology; ESRI, which provides geographic information systems; Itron, which develops intelligent metering and data collection software; SISCO, a systems integrator for the energy and utilities industry; Retriever Communications, which sells a wireless field force application; and Trilliant, which provides intelligent networking and advanced metering infrastructure.
These additional companies have committed to becoming SAFE-validated: BPL Global, Coulomb Technologies, Enterprise Information Management, OSIsoft and PowerSense.
There are more details about the new software framework at this link.