WaterBriefs: Charlotte water utility picks Indus to automate service delivery

Also in this report: Utilities Field Service event spotlights SDM solution demand; Axeda Systems ITA Group now Wizcon Systems; Consolidated Container to acquire assets of Steel Valley Plastics; Pittcon names 2006 award recipients; Lanxess picks Open Text to optimize vendor invoicing in SAP; Watts Water Technologies buys three SPX valve lines; U.S. bottled water consumption passes milk, coffee and beer; Aquair, Entech to work with Munters; Va. Beach selects Citect for water utility project...

In other news below:
-- Utilities Field Service event spotlights demand for service delivery management solutions
-- Axeda Systems (now ITA Holdings) ITA Group becomes Wizcon Systems
-- Consolidated Container Co. signs letter of intent to acquire the assets of Steel Valley Plastics
-- Pittcon announces 2006 award recipients
-- Amiad Filtration Systems Ltd. announces first day of dealings
-- GreenShift's Mean Green BioFuels announces 30 million gallon biodiesel plant in W. Tenn.
-- Lanxess selects Open Text to further optimize vendor invoice processing in SAP'R' Solutions
-- Watts Water Technologies acquires three SPX valve product lines
-- Bottled water consumption overtakes milk, coffee and beer in U.S. market
-- Aquair Inc. in pact with Entech Sales and Service in Dallas to work with Munters Corp.
-- Va. Beach Department of Utilities selects Citect for water utility project

Charlotte automates service delivery to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs
ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Indus International Inc., a utility service delivery management (SDM) solution provider, announced that the city of Charlotte, N.C., has expanded its Indus SDM solution to automate and optimize its delivery of services in the field. The City is combining the existing Indus customer management and billing solution with new capabilities to improve inefficient processes related to scheduling, distributing and working service order requests - including closing service orders in the field and automatically updating the customer billing record. When fully implemented, the combined solution is expected to yield improved levels of customer service while also significantly reducing the costs of service delivery.

Service orders from the Indus customer management system are automatically sent to available resources in the field, where service technicians use wireless technology to receive and close service orders in real-time from their trucks. The automatic updating back and forth greatly reduces manual paperwork, improves service efficiency and allows for up-to-the-minute accuracy in service status for customers.

The City of Charlotte joins a growing list of forward-thinking municipalities that are leveraging additional capabilities within the Indus SDM solution to reinvent their service delivery for excellence via SDM strategies. The City has already experienced the benefits of Indus in optimizing its customer-facing activities in call center, billing and revenue cycle functions for several hundred thousand customers in the City of Charlotte and greater Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. According to the City of Charlotte, it generates approximately 163,000 service orders per year, and with the goal of further increasing customer satisfaction while reducing service delivery cost, the City again looked to Indus for an extremely powerful management and operational tool for field service functions. The anticipated cost savings associated with the deployment are expected to result from reductions of unnecessary field visits and reductions in manual service order processing activities.

"Indus is an important partner for us in achieving what can be a tricky balancing act: maximizing service delivery reliability and customer delight while keeping service costs low," said Chip Harris, Business Systems Manager at the City of Charlotte. "Indus offers us both the technology and the specific industry expertise we need to turn a Service Delivery Management vision into a business reality."

"Indus customers like the City of Charlotte are generating new and even deeper value by embracing Service Delivery Management," said Greg Dukat, president and CEO of Indus International. "Integrating and optimizing the various business processes that all play a role in service delivery - from the call center to the field to the monthly billing statement - is the necessary foundation for achieving world-class performance."

Indus (www.indus.com) is a leading Service Delivery Management (SDM) solution provider, helping clients in a broad array of industries optimize the management of their customers, workforce, spare parts inventory, tools and documentation in order to maximize performance and customer satisfaction while achieving significant cost savings. Indus customer, asset and workforce management software products, professional services and hosted service offerings improve our clients' profitability by reducing costs, increasing capacity and competitiveness, improving service to their customers, facilitating billing for services and ensuring regulatory compliance. Indus solutions have been purchased by more than 400 companies in more than 40 countries, representing diverse industries -- including manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, government, education, transportation, facilities and property management, consumer packaged goods and more.

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Among other recent headlines:

Inaugural Utilities Field Service conference spotlights growing demand for service delivery management solutions -- Indus customers, executives play prominent role at new industry event -- AUSTIN, TX, Dec. 5, 2005 -- Indus International Inc., a prominent service delivery management (SDM) solution provider, announced its sponsorship of the utility industry's first-ever conference for field service executives -- Utilities Field Service 2005 -- designed to meet the increasing demand for new forums to discuss SDM strategies and solutions in this dynamic and evolving industry. Opening today at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, the event is the first and only executive-level conference that addresses the unique operations challenges facing power, gas, water, oil, cable and telecom providers. Senior directors and VPs of field service, operations and engineering from across North America are joining together with Indus and other leading solution vendors to develop strategies to reduce costs, maximize asset performance and increase workforce productivity...

Axeda Systems (now ITA Holdings) ITA Group becomes Wizcon Systems -- Company refocuses image on its established, flagship product brand name -- LYON, France, Dec. 5, 2005 -- ITA Holdings Inc. (formerly Axeda Systems Inc.) announced that, pursuant to the sale of its device relationship management (DRM) assets to privately held Axeda Corporation, its subsidiary companies in France, the Netherlands, the UK and Israel (collectively referred to as its IT solutions for Automation or ITA Group) will be operated as a standalone business unit named Wizcon Systems. The Wizcon Systems business unit develops and sells the Wizcon Supervisor (formerly Axeda Supervisor) line of products into worldwide industrial automation markets. Wizcon Systems SAS has headquarters near Lyon, France, where the business unit already conducts all its worldwide Sales, Marketing, Support and R&D operations. The new company will continue to invest in its Wizcon core business and complementary offerings...

Consolidated Container Co. signs letter of intent to acquire the assets of Steel Valley Plastics -- ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2005 -- Consolidated Container Company (CCC) today announced its intent to acquire the assets of Steel Valley Plastics (Steel Valley), located in Warren, Ohio. This acquisition would expand CCC's presence in the bulk water bottle market in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. While a definitive agreement is currently being finalized, and no assurances can be given as to when the acquisition may close, CCC currently anticipates closing the transaction this month...

Pittcon announces 2006 award recipientsDistinguished scientists from academia, industry to be honored for their contribution to the advancement of science -- PITTSBURGH, Dec. 5, 2005 -- Pittcon (The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy) announced today the recipients of eleven special awards given annually to scientific leaders who have made significant contributions in their fields. The awards will be presented at Pittcon, March 12-17 in Orlando, Fla. Each award is presented during a symposium honoring the recipient and their achievements. The awardees represent diverse scientific disciplines including separations science, bioanalytical science, vibrational spectroscopy, chromatography, electrochemistry, microfluidics, and sensors. Leading the list is Pittcon Heritage Award winner Dr. Masao Horiba of Horiba Ltd...

Amiad Filtration Systems Ltd. announces first day of dealings -- LONDON, Dec. 5, 2005 -- Amiad Filtration Systems Ltd., a producer and global supplier of water filters and filtration systems for the industrial, municipal and irrigation markets announces that the Company's shares have been admitted today to trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange plc ("AIM"). The Company's trading symbol is "AFS". Over 5 million shares have been allocated...

GreenShift's Mean Green BioFuels announces 30 million gallon biodiesel plant in W. Tenn. -- MOUNT ARLINGTON, NJ, Dec. 5, 2005 -- GreenShift Corp.'s portfolio company Mean Green BioFuels Corp. announced its plans to build a 30 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility in western Tennessee. The new Tennessee facility will be one of five such facilities that Mean Green intends to build, own and operate commencing in 2006. Details regarding the new Tennessee facility will be disclosed later this week in anticipation of a press conference that will be held in Tennessee on Friday, Dec. 9, to formally announce Mean Green's plans. Mean Green intends to finance, build and operate five 20 to 60 million gallon per year biodiesel production facilities in the eastern U.S., where it will utilize its many patent-pending and proprietary oil recovery technologies to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil by producing high quality biodiesel fuels...

Lanxess selects Open Text to further optimize vendor invoice processing in SAP'R' Solutions -- Major chemical manufacturer cites comprehensive integration with SAP Solutions, rapid ROI, responsiveness as key factors in decision -- CHICAGO, Dec. 5, 2005 -- Open Text Corp., the leading independent provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, announced that Lanxess Corp., a leading manufacturer of high-quality chemicals, synthetic rubber and plastics, has selected Open Text's Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) solution to optimize accounts payable within its implementation of SAP solutions, helping the company to lower costs and improve financial reporting speed and accuracy. VIM is part of Open Text's Livelink ECM Suite for SAP Solutions. Formed earlier this year by Bayer AG to be a new global player in the chemicals industry, Lanxess -- which is parent company of ion exchange resin provider Sybron Chemical -- is turning to Open Text to help it meet cost management and efficiency goals. VIM tightly integrates with its implementation of SAP solutions to more fully automate the processing of more than 85,000 invoices annually...

Watts Water Technologies acquires FEBCO, Mueller Steam Specialty and POLYJET product lines -- NORTH ANDOVER, MA, Dec. 2, 2005 -- Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE:WTS) announced today that it has acquired the FEBCO, Mueller Steam Specialty and POLYJET product lines from SPX Corp. in a stock purchase transaction. Watts Water CEO Patrick S. O'Keefe, commented, "FEBCO is a manufacturer of backflow prevention valves. FEBCO has a strong presence in both residential and commercial landscape irrigation, where we currently have a minor presence. Mueller Steam Specialty is a leading full line supplier of pipeline strainers and check valves. Watts' current product offering of strainers focuses on small diameter strainers for plumbing applications. The inclusion of Mueller Steam Specialties in our product offering allows us to expand into large diameter commercial products. POLYJET offers a customized sleeve valve, which is used in severe service applications to provide precise flow and pressure control. This represents our entry into sleeve valve products. We believe that this transaction will enable Watts to offer a broader product line, improve operating efficiencies and provide better customer service. These three businesses have combined annual revenues of approximately $57 million"...
-- Also see: "SPX sells three valve product lines"

Bottled water consumption overtakes milk, coffee and beer in the U.S. market -- DUBLIN, Ireland, Dec. 1, 2005 -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Bottled Water - in the United States" to its offering. The bottled water industry has seen a tremendous increase in sales since the mid-1990s. According to the Beverage Marketing Corp., bottled water consumption in the U.S. has surpassed that of milk, coffee, and beer. As the market matures, it will become increasingly important to continue product innovation and to increase brand awareness to combat falling prices due to price promotions...

Aquair Inc. subsidiary of RG Global Lifestyles Inc. in pact with Entech Sales and Service in Dallas to work with Munters Corp. -- IRVINE, CA, Dec. 1, 2005 -- RG Global Lifestyles Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aquair Inc. has signed an agreement with Entech Sales and Service, with headquarters in Dallas, to work in conjunction with Munters Corp. in the engineering, design and bidding on sales of total water solutions using Aquair™ products and technology. Entech has six locations in Texas and has been in business since 1981. Entech's core business has been commercial and industrial mechanical service of commercial air conditioning and turnkey solutions in the building automation and integration sector. Entech's use of technologically advanced instrumentation for obtaining air and water readings helps to insure state of the art performance when testing and balancing environmental systems, producing water, controlling humidity and conserving energy...

Va. Beach Department of Utilities selects Citect for water utility project -- Integration, upgrade of municipal water/wastewater SCADA system goal of endeavor -- ALPHARETTA, GA, Nov. 29, 2005 -- Citect and its platinum integration partner, Edison Automation, have been awarded a contract exceeding $1.5 million by the Virginia Beach Department of Utilities to upgrade its water and sewer pump station monitoring system. Citect will provide engineering and software in excess of $500,000. This is the third major CitectSCADA installation in six months at a large water/wastewater pumping and treatment facility. McKim & Creed will also participate in the joint engineering project...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: JMAR's BioSentry to be tested for homeland security application" -- Also in this report (Dec. 1, 2005): TTCM China signs a pipe contract worth over $6.6M, GE's ecomagination focus leads to Chinese partnership; UK consumer champion pledges vigilance as water market opens; Key water industry players line up for annual investor conferences; ObjectVideo, WPG System to offer intelligent video to Asia Pacific; Ingersoll Rand to acquire stake in largest Chinese security technologies integrator; Coke, Pepsi hold over 50% of U.S. beverage market; Nestle Waters reaction mixed on Mich. court ruling; Calif. DWR director highlights Delta risks - ACWA; Santa Clarita residents offered rebate for water softener removal; ENSR expands in Paris; American Pacific acquisition of Aerojet Fine Chemicals done; Novazone appoints worldwide sales chief; Antwerp Waterworks selects ClickSoftware scheduling solution; Chevron wetlands mitigation bank approved; QI appoints water control systems distributor...

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