Utility billing system sparks Mincom's interest

Conversant offloads Java-based solution

Brisbane-based software provider Mincom has announced another acquisition to strengthen its position in the utility market, which now accounts for 25 per cent of the company's overall revenue.

Mincom has purchased the customer management and billing systems backbone from Conversant, a developer of software for the utility industry market.

According to Mincom CEO, Richard Matthews, utilities has been the second largest industry vertical for Mincom, in terms of revenue, for the last two fiscal years.

Matthews said the utilities vertical posted 25 per cent of total revenues for Mincom for fiscal 2006, up from 15 per cent in fiscal 2005.

He said this is a 37 per cent performance increase over the 2005 fiscal year.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the company confirmed that Conversant management and employees will operate as a single business unit inside Mincom focusing solely on utility customer care and billing systems.

Conversant's Java-based customer information system, CustomerWatch, will be the backbone of the new billing service provided by Mincom.

Vice president of the new business unit, which has been dubbed Utility Solutions, will be headed up by Conversant's current CEO Stan Royal.

Matthews said the company is seeking out utilities that are looking for a single vendor solution to replace legacy systems.

Late last year Mincon inked a deal with one of Queensland's largest power generators, the Stanwell Corporation to implement Mincom's EnergyPoint solution.

Stanwell is an active trader in the national electricity market with Full Retail Contestability (FRC) coming into effect in Queensland on July 1, 2007.

FRC will open the market to competition allowing customers to select the retailer of their choice.

EnergyPoint, which is a energy trading and risk management system, is already in use at Snowy Hydro and TRUenergy.

In addition to upgrading the Australian defence logistics system, Mincom has traditionally been a strong player in the mining sector.

In 2006 Mincom acquired Australian company, Comlabs, which provides mining software systems for BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and the Anglo Group.

During that year Mincom's Eurasia division inked contracts worth $AU15 million in the mining sector. Russia was the biggest growth market in Eurasia with plans to expand its presence in countries such as Kazakhstan.

With Sandra Rossi

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