The last year has seen a major shift in the meter data management (MDM) market. No longer able to survive strictly on traditional MDM capabilities, MDM vendors have moved aggressively into offering analytical capabilities alongside traditional MDM capabilities. At the same time, the MDM marketplace has diverged into two distinct approaches: in-house utility deployments and managed services deployments. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, increased drivers from smart grid data analytics and better visibility into advance metering infrastructure (AMI) deployment plans will fuel steady growth in the MDM market over the remainder of this decade. Annual installations of MDM systems will reach nearly 90 million smart meters by 2020, the report concludes, while the total installed base of such systems will serve 484 million meters in the same year.

“MDM’s ultimate survival as a standalone service, as opposed to broader data analytics service, rests in a complex stew of utilities’ perceptions of what they need, analytics vendors’ ability to align utilities’ visions with their own, and MDM vendors’ ability to convince utilities that they can provide the answers,” says senior research analyst Bob Lockhart. “While it is far too early to forecast success or failure, MDM vendors have already expanded their analytical capabilities and most MDM products can now store non-AMI data, such as sensor readings from supervisory control and data acquisition systems, enabling more complex analytics.”

North America and Europe will remain the major MDM markets throughout the forecast period, the study finds. Significant activity is also likely to occur in Asia Pacific during the second half of the decade, with large MDM deployments in China and India will exert severe downward pricing pressure on MDM software licenses. MDM programs in those two countries are not likely to use MDM managed service offerings, which will produce the lion’s share of MDM revenue throughout the forecast period.