Autodesk Inc. (San Rafael, California, U.S.) has signed a US$3.8 million contract with United Utilities of the United Kingdom for the development of a GIS utility solution for its electricity distribution network division, formerly known as Norweb Distribution. In addition, United Utilities signed a three-year support contract that together with the solution contract constitutes Autodesk's largest global GIS sale of 2001. Autodesk's Worldwide Consulting Services Group will do the implementation, and Autodesk's Worldwide Support Services organization will deliver the additional three-year support contract.

United Utilities incorporates businesses involved in licensed multi-utility operations, asset management services, customer management outsourcing and telecommunications. United Utilities Service Delivery provides an approximately 35,000-mile (58,000-km) electricity network for 2.1 million customers in northwest England.

Implementing GIS across all areas of the business is one part of an overall five-year strategy by United Utility to build on the synergies of the multi-utility and to deliver £450m (approximately US$650 million) in cost savings over five years.

The deployment will leverage the enterprise and Web integration and distribution capabilities of the Autodesk GIS Design Server and Autodesk MapGuide, and the powerful mapping capabilities of Autodesk Map. The solution will allow United Utilities to update and maintain its electricity utility asset records, while also providing access to this information to business and technical users via a Web browser. Functionality includes electricity network tracing, gazetteering, rules and workflow-based data update.

Autodesk is also partnering with one of its resellers, Cad Capture, for work associated with the data conversion aspect of the project.
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