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Energy Startup Picks Content Management Service

Startup companies, with no legacy facilities or operations to worry about, have the ability to take advantage of new technologies. Recurrent Energy, a three-year-old entity focused on delivering solar power, found itself in a position to take advantage of the recent shift to software-as-a-service offerings.

"We do not have a data center now and hope we can keep it that way in the future," says Paul Wyatt, COO at the company. Because of that outlook, the corporation became one of the industry's first users of a SaaS enterprise content management (ECM) system.

Backed by approximately $275 million in capital, the energy company finances, builds, and operates solar energy distribution systems. Recurrent Energy, which has 45 employees, primarily works out of San Francisco but also has small satellite offices in Barcelona and N.J.

The company consciously decided that it would not build its own data center. "Whenever a company buys a server, it has to spend a lot of time keeping the infrastructure running," Wyatt says. "We do not think that maintaining hardware, database management systems, networks, application software, or identify management security benefits our business, so we prefer that someone else do that work for us."

The energy supplier's relies on Oracle SaaS solutions, its eBusiness suite and CRM system to support its operation. In the summer of 2006, the energy provider started to work with complex construction documents associated with the energy distribution systems that it builds. Recurrent Energy teams with industrial building leasers, such as ProLogis and AMB, and places its solar generators on their buildings. For the process, the energy supplier analyzes the structure of each building, develops an engineering plan, and then constructs its generators. The company is required to keep the information not only for each project but also for the life of each system, which is about 25-35 years.

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