IBM inks $29 million deal with utility company

Deal to help U.S.-based Southern Company streamline its operations

IBM Tuesday announced a US$29 million deal with Southern Company to help the energy provider streamline its finance, supply chain and work management operations.

The 2.5-year deal calls for IBM's Global Business Services division to implement standardized business processes and software so that Southern Company can better monitor its assets and schedule repairs more efficiently.

As part of the deal IBM will deploy financial software from Oracle and work management and supply chain tools from MRO Software, which IBM acquired earlier this year. IBM is working to incorporate MRO's Maximo service-management tools into its Tivoli software group.

Southern Company, based in Atlanta, U.S., will run several Maximo modules including sourcing, contracts, materials accounting, warehousing, inventory management, and work order management. These modules will be linked to the company's Oracle Financials implementation.

"Through this project, Southern Company will be able to manage our operating companies and business units with a single, shared technology platform," said Becky Blalock, Southern Company's senior vice president and CIO, in a statement.

"IBM has conceived an innovative yet practical solution for the integration of the software which will streamline our procure-to-pay process. We look forward to working with IBM, especially since the company's acquisition of MRO Software offers us even deeper expertise in the area of enterprise asset management."

Southern Company is one of the largest producers of electricity in the United States. The company's subsidiaries include Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, Southern Power and Southern Nuclear.

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