Itron Inc. (ITRI) – Part 1 - Introduction

Since its inception Itron has focused on energy meter reading hardware and software. The initial products included hand-held computers and the associated software that made paperless meter-reading operations a reality. In 1990, the company introduced Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology based products that enabled utilities to collect data remotely through a wireless device. The earlier part of the 90’s saw a growth spurt as it focused on gas and electric meters. By 1995, they had expanded on to water meters as well. Its foray into software was initiated with the acquisition of MV-90 in 1996, an application for the collection and analysis of advanced meter data. The targeted customers primarily were industrial and commercial energy users. Soon focus shifted to the software application side of the business and gained acceleration in 2002 when they started an acquisition spree. Silicon Energy along with several other smaller companies was acquired and by 2004 they were the leader in the metering software market.

In 2004, Itron acquired Schlumberger Electricity Metering, a solid-state electric meter manufacturer and started building an integrated platform for the creation, collection, and analysis of meter data. By 2005, it had 3000 utility customers worldwide and 30 Million meters used its technology.

Itron acquired Actaris metering systems in early 2007, its biggest acquisition to date. It gained more breadth in the gas & water metering area and global coverage through this acquisition.

Below is a summary of Itron’s product lines:





























Product Suite Details Comments
Meters CENTRON, SENTINEL, and QUANTUM Q1000 meters addressing the residential, commercial/industrial, and the generation/transmission/distribution areas The products address all areas of the market including interval metering.
Meter Data Collection Systems Radio-based endpoints, FC200 & G5 hand-held computers, Mobile Collection Systems, Fixed Network collection systems, and Data Collection Software The endpoints are compatible with electric/gas/water meters of other manufacturers. Field workforce management software is a weak link in the software suite.
Meter Data Management System Itron Enterprise Edition & MV-90 xi that covers residential/industrial/commercial and utility areas respectively Single repository based design allows other applications to get to the data easily.
Customer Care and Billing Systems MV-PBS (Billing), MV-WEB (Access to interval load & metering data through a web interface), MV-WEB service (Software as a service based billing), Curtailment Manager, and Revenue Projection Suite Curtailment management through email notification is first generation technology and Itron will need to get to a leading edge position with this suite as quickly as possible and migrate to a software as a service (SaaS) based interface for the whole suite as quickly as possible to be able to compete over the long-term.
Distribution System Design And Asset Management LD-Pro, software package for designing gas, electric, and mixed-use distribution lines. LD-GIS and Overhead Asset Modeler, software that uses geographical information system to model distribution assets Specialized software package that addresses a stagnant sector of the target markets in Europe & US.
Energy Forcecasting Systems MetrixND, MetrixIDR, MetricLT, Forecast Manager, eMetrix, and My eMetrix Short-term and long-term forecasting tools geared for small to very large utilities.
Field Workforce Management Service-Link, Endpoint-Link, Endpoint-Link Pro Service-Link automates field service dispatching & data collection there by reducing field service cycle times. Endpoint-Link allows programming, installation, and quality audits of endpoints in the field. The pro version allows doing this on a large scale.




Itron has several gaps in its product line, as the scope of the market being addressed is quite spread out. Specifically, most of the upstream products have good exposure across electric, gas, and water utility areas while a majority of the products downstream are specific to just electric area. It will have to keep expanding on the product line to remain the market leader going forward.

Itron (ITRI) Analysis:
  1. Itron (ITRI) - Part 1 - Introduction.
  2. Itron (ITRI) - Part 2 - Business Issues.
  3. Itron (ITRI) - Part 3 - Outlook.

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