Mr. Nitschke, the command Group has introduced a new company onto the market. What can you tell us about cortility?
Klaus Nitschke: The new company, cortility, comprises the division of cormeta that previously was responsible for our customers in the utilities industry. Now cortility is responsible for all aspects of SAP IS-U, that is, SAP for Utilities, the SAP solution for the utilities industry. Within cortility, our areas of expertise are our consulting services for IS-U customers and our offering of SAP software products for small and medium-sized companies in the utilities industry.
However, we are looking to expand our range of services. We’re currently focusing on the area of market communication in particular. In terms of our offerings though, the industry as a whole – including cortility – is fairly strictly regulated. The standards put forth by the regulatory agency in Germany – the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Posts and Railway – will keep us busy for some time. At the top of the list are regulations like MaBIS, which defines the market rules for accounting grid billing in the electricity sector, and WIM, which manages change processes in metrology, or meter reading. These standards essentially specify that the grid operators will continue to be responsible for meter reading in the future.
How are SMEs defined in the utilities industry? What size company are we talking about exactly?
Klaus Nitschke: We generally deal with public utility companies and multi-utility companies; that is, utility companies that not only provide electricity, but also water, sewage, gas, and waste disposal. Most of the suppliers and grid operators that we work with hold, on average, up to 30,000 contracts. To give you a concrete example: the public utility company for the German city of Karlsruhe lies at the high end of our spectrum.
We can also support larger companies with individual products, as we do for EnBW (Energy Baden-Württemberg), for example. But in these cases, we are not the only ones responsible.
What were the reasons for separating this branch of the business from cormeta?
Klaus Nitschke: For one, we wanted to raise our profile on the market. Cormeta is an SAP Channel Partner with Gold status. That success is the result of a clear and focused business model, comprising licensed business.
With the formation of cortility, however, we are striving to reach a different level of partnership with SAP, specifically, the status of SAP Special Expertise Partner. For this type of partnership, the most important aspect of the business is consulting. Therefore, we made our consulting services central to cortility. We plan to apply for the status of SAP Special Expertise Partner in 2012. In fact, we already meet the necessary requirements – we have the required number of qualified employees and the proven successful customer projects.