IT company Accenture has entered into an agreement with Siemens to form a joint venture in the smart grid field that will work with utilities ‘to improve energy efficiency, grid operations and reliability’.

The intention is that the new company, to be named Omnetric Group, will provide the energy industry with advanced solutions and services focused on data management and systems integration. These solutions will integrate operational technologies — such as distribution management and real-time grid operations — with IT systems supporting smart metering, energy consumption and work and asset management.

The capabilities of the two companies are well matched for a smart grid venture. The new group will bring together Siemens’ field products with Accenture’s management and technology consulting, systems integration and managed-services capabilities.
Jan Mrosik CEO of Siemens’ Smart Grid Division commented: "With an integrated approach incorporating operational and information technologies, utilities can improve overall grid reliability and bridge the gap to real-time grid control by integrating and implementing new and previously isolated grid applications. This includes demand response, to actively manage consumption; virtual power plants, to enable new profitable business models; and meter data management, to enable usage transparency for consumers".
Jack Azagury, global managing director for Accenture’s Smart Grid Services, said, "Utilities are seeking ways to increase capital effectiveness and reduce their costs of operations while integrating new technologies such as distributed renewable generation and electric vehicles into their electricity networks.  Doing so requires an enterprise view of systems and data through the integration of traditional IT solutions with the operational solutions required to manage the grid. Omnetric Group will be uniquely positioned to help utilities realize the benefits of this IT and OT ‘convergence,’ which is a critical step toward managing an increasingly complex and data-driven utility."
 Omnetric Group will begin operations pending regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The company will be headquartered in Munich, operating initially in Europe and the United States. It plans to employ approximately 100 people in its first year, with further global expansion planned in the future. Financial details of the agreement are not being disclosed.