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July 25, 2011

Sustaining the Buy Side of Energy



For my regular readers you know that I am obsessed with the buy side of the smart grid. The deployment of smart meters has suffered because the utilities do not have models that clearly give the customer the expectation that they are going to be paying more for less. Given the fact that we experience it at the gas pump, inviting the billing record to our homes is understandably tough to sell.

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Whenever a company comes along and shows a buy side slant, I want to write about it.  This week while I was in San Jose, CA, I met with Karen Alonardo, founder of CSRware (News - Alert), a sustainability SaaS company.

While sustainability is a large ecologically CleanTech term, it applies to managing energy efficiently. CSRware’s SaaS (News - Alert) solution is an evaluation tool that allows companies to look at their energy costs in a module separate to their supply chain.

As a SaaS service they are not married to interfaces into their database or platform specific solutions; they consider themselves IT neutral. Customers of CSRware gather their information from whatever resources they have and like many other big data sourcing solutions, CSRware’s SaaS can include spreadsheets, sensor information, and external sources like EDI or API connectors.

This is where people get excited because they can obtain a current view while seeing what else they can change. With the data gathered the analysis begins looking for cost causer and scenario building models that allow customers to modify their analysis quickly. Looking for actionable components, customers can set goals and put their best practices in place. 

Sustainability can impact energy use in a variety of ways including new lighting, new transport and alternative sources. CSRware’s software flexibility is being used in the 2012 Edison Green Awards to provide the analytics in judging. The system has already been judged to be a good tool, which is also evidenced by the software being certified by 3 Degrees for Renewable Energy and the Global Reporting Initiative [GRI].

The flexibility of evaluation is a key point since the ability to evaluate the supply chain makes it so that delivery costs can be reduced and energy efficiencies can be found. CSRware’s flexibility has landed the company customers as varied as Bloomberg Financial and Juniper Networks. Karen Alonardo says CSRware is the Salesforce.com (News - Alert) of sustainability.

It has also made CSRware part of the portfolio for accounting firms, energy consultants, and general contractors with energy efficiency requirements.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend
ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.


Carl Ford (News - Alert) is a partner at Crossfire Media.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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