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SAP launches water utility best practices add-on

SAP is extending its utility industry ERP software, launching specific packages that address customer service and billing for water utility companies.

SAP is rolling out several new software packages for water utility companies in the United States that address...

customer service asset and financial management operations.

Called Best Practices for Water Utilities, the new offerings address customer information systems for water and wastewater companies. The software integrates call center management, meter-to-cash operations, integrated work management, customer financial management, consumption data collection, connections and device management, and consumption billing, SAP said.

SAP has had a strong foothold on the utility industry with its enterprise resource planning software suite. It has competed in the utilities market since 1988 and has nearly 20 water utility customers in the United States.

SAP for Utilities is an industry-specific version with functionality built in for power generation firms, water suppliers and other public and private utility management firms. The software supports financial reporting, human resources management, inventory management and purchasing transactions.

ERP software revenue from non-manufacturing companies has been growing faster than manufacturing, according to Boston-based AMR Research Inc. SAP and other large ERP companies are targeting utilities, logistics and education for additional revenues.

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SAP said its new software includes implementation tools and a knowledge base of documented business and technical scenarios for water industry business practices. It can be implemented independent of an SAP or non-SAP ERP system, SAP said.

Deloitte Consulting, an SAP partner that works closely with public and private utility firms, helped develop the software with SAP.

The software also addresses call center services allowing representatives to capture customer data and service requests such as move-in/move-out, high bill inquiry, contract management, disconnection/reconnection, and bankruptcy and lien processing.

SAP said future versions of its utility industry suite will take advantage of its strategy for a services-oriented architecture and its NetWeaver development and integration platform. A road map unveiled at the SAP International Utilities Conference 2005 in February takes into account the latest market conditions and future projections in the industry.

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