Southern Company, Hewlett Packard announce joint technology

Southern Company and Hewlett-Packard have announced an agreement that integrates Southern Company`s EnerLink — the industry`s leading energy use analysis software — with HP Vantera, a new, open platform for distributed data measurement and control from Hewlett-Packard. The combining of the two technologies will allow users to gather real-time information of energy use within each facility or among all their facilities.

The agreement will significantly increase the value of EnerLink to existing and future users. In addition, EnerLink will gain access to additional measurement devices as Hewlett-Packard and third-party companies embrace the HP Vantera platform.

“We are enthusiastic about the synergy between the two products,” said Kevin Fletcher, president of Southern Development, the Southern Company subsidiary that markets EnerLink. “With this agreement, we see the potential for significant growth of our EnerLink products, both in our regulated and unregulated markets.”

Frank Hyde, general manager of EnerLink Information Systems, said the agreement brings together two leaders in their respective industries.

"Hewlett-Packard`s demonstrated abilities in measurement, communications and computers combined with EnerLink`s established leadership in supplying energy analysis information systems will result in radically new and compelling products and services,” Hyde said. “These products and services will provide opportunities for large energy consumers to use energy more efficiently and reduce their energy costs.”

The agreement between Southern Company and Hewlett-Packard also is expected to create a new set of options for utilities and their customers. Already, 45 U.S. utilities use EnerLink products and distribute those products to their large industrial and commercial customers. EnerLink product features include real-time pricing, rate analysis, energy-use analysis, billing and bill auditing, among other applications.

“As demonstrated in other industries, the emergence of an accepted open platform, such as HP Vantera, can achieve dramatic changes on a national basis,” said Gerhard Schmid, Hewlett-Packard`s Lake Stevens Division marketing manager. “Our objective is to create a platform composed of industry standards and an architecture that permits third-party solutions to be efficiently channeled to a customer`s requirements.”

Atlanta-based Southern Company is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. It also markets energy-related services and mobile radio services under the Southern Company name. Its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services in the U.S. and international markets. Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global manufacturer of computing, communications and measurement products and services, recognized for excellence in quality and support. Hewlett-Packard has 112,000 employees, with revenues of $38.4 billion during its 1996 fiscal year.