Consultants and Software Firms Can’t Help Us, Energy Managers Say

by | Jul 6, 2012

Fewer than 20 percent of energy managers believe consultants, software firms, technology services providers and automation and controls suppliers have strong capabilities to help improve energy management, according to a study conducted by independent analyst firm Verdantix.

The study found the majority of companies in those four market segments had low levels of brand awareness among corporate energy managers. The results suggest consultants, software providers, IT firms and automation and controls suppliers need to build brand preference or their competitive position will deteriorate, Verdantix global head of research Rodolphe d’Arjuzon said.

Results of the Global Energy Leaders Survey: Brands 2012 are based on interviews with 210 corporate energy decision-makers located in 11 countries and representing 20 industries.

Historically, energy managers have not been the target of marketing campaigns due to their small budgets and wide range of job titles, Verdantix senior manager Stuart Neumann said. That’s starting to change as energy decision-making rises up the corporate agenda and budgets increase.

IBM, HP and Cisco dominate the list of preferred technology service providers, the study said. IBM ranked the highest, with 18 percent of respondents saying the company had strong capabilities to implement energy management technologies against 17 percent for HP and 16 percent for Cisco.

Competitors Accenture, Atos and Steria were among the lowest in terms of brand preference. Capgemini, CSC, Deloitte and Fujitsu landed in the middle.

The study found managers perceive KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and McKinsey & Co. as companies with the strongest consulting capabilities to advise on global energy strategies.

Among traditional automation and controls suppliers, Siemens had the highest brand preference with 22 percent of respondents rating the company as having strong capabilities.

Survey respondents said Microsoft, Oracle and IBM had the strongest capabilities to provide energy management software. Johnson Controls, SAP and Schneider Electric followed in the brand preference ranking.

A separate Verdantix report released last month, which also was based on interviews with 210 corporate energy decision makers, found 42 percent of senior executives expect significant change in how they manage energy by 2014. The Future of Energy Management report said over the next 12 months these senior energy managers plan to make improvements in energy data collection, program implementation and risk management.

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