Kenya Power and Lighting is deploying a suite of IBM analytics systems to fuel revenue and help manage outages, a perennial problem for energy utilities in Africa.

The Kenyan utility is also hoping the technology suite will lower new connection charges as well as increase capacity and the number of users by a million over the next year.

Kenya Power has up to now pulled data from 10 different sources and analyze the information separately. The new system, however, will consolidate data from key operational sources to provide a single view for users in the office and the field, using IBM analytics.

"The analytics solution gives us the ability to rapidly perform complex queries on data; we can better understand the varying needs of our customers across different regions in Kenya based on customer buying behavior or manage the power grids more efficiently in specific areas during certain times of the day," said Kenya Power CEO Ben Chumo.

The diversification from hydroelectric to geothermal power generation has stabilized power availability in the last few years, allowing the company to focus on growth. The company has set a goal of increasing power capacity in the country from 2025 MW to over 5000 MW in 2015 .

But the company, East Africa's largest power distributor, still has issues managing the steady supply of power. Blackouts and illegal usage are just some of the problems the company faces.

The technology suite by IBM is integrates services, software and hardware. Cloud services will be running on System Z servers, the DS8870 storage system and IBM PureData for Analytics software.

"IBM Business Intelligence software -- Cognos, SPPS, Tivoli Work Scheduler and DB2 Connect/DB2 11 for z/OS, IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and Inforsphere Data Stage/QualityStage -- will offer real-time reporting in one dashboard as opposed to accessing the data repository ten times," said Nik Nesbitt, IBM Kenya country manager./

The system will mine data from existing applications for SAP software, billing, human resources, finance, and customer services from different databases. This data will then be pulled into the data warehouse application, analyzed and provided to users through the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence./

Kenya Power is the latest African company to deploy IBM analytics to improve performance. IBM is already working with the Kenya Police Service and with financial institutions in South Africa, Ethiopia, Senegal and Cameroon.