Schneider Electric Acquires SolveIT Software

3rd Sept 2012. Schneider Electric (SU:EN Paris), a French global specialist in energy management, has signed an agreement to acquire SolveIT Software (SolveIT), an Adelaide -headquartered scientific software provider specialising in supply & demand chain optimisation and predictive modelling. Terms for the acquisition have not been disclosed.

SolveIT employs approximately 150 people. Its applications are recognized globally for enabling organisations such as Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata optimize production and demand chain activities. SolveIT’s advanced demand planning and forecasting tools help industrial operations to manage their end to end demand chain and execute optimised plans taking into account existing and future constraints such as impact of workforce variability and market conditions. SolveIT tools also help optimize production, storage, logistics and distribution activities by running predictive analysis and “what if” simulations.

SolveIT was founded in 2004 by Matthew Michalewicz and his father Zbigniew Michalewicz, an internationally recognised mathematical optimization and new technologies expert who has published over two-hundred-fifty articles, and has been the author or editor for twenty-five books. This was their second company in this sector, following in the footsteps of NuTech Solutions Inc, of Charlotte, North Carolina, which was established in 1999 whilst Zibignew, a Polish emigree, was chair of the UNC Charlotte’s computer-science department.

With Matthew as its CEO, Nutech went on to raise US$15 million in venture capital, completed 4 multi-million dollar acquisitions, and grew to 150 employees in 6 international offices. The Michalewicz’s attracted Hugh McColl, former CEO of Bank of America, and Lech Walesa, Nobel laureate and former president of Poland, to Nutech’s board of directors, but in 2005, sold their shares back to the company to make way for new investments into the company. Nutech was eventually acquired by Netezza (2008), which itself was acquired by IBM in 2010.

The founding of SolveIT coincided with Zibignew in 2004 accepting a position with the University of Adelaide as well as the Polish-Japanese School of Information Technology. He is currently a professor at the University of Adelaide, the Polish-Japanese School of Information Technology, and the Institute of Computer Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In the meantime, Matthew became heavily involved in SolveIT and the South Australian entrepreneurial scene.

Zibignew has continued as the Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of SolveIT with Matthew as its CEO. The other co-founders of SolveIT are Martin Schmidt and Constantin Chiriac, who with the Michalewicz’s, wrote the 2006 book Adaptive Business Intelligence.

Matthew Michalewicz has indicated he will stay with the company post-acquisition.

The acquisition complements Schneider Electric’s solutions offering in the operations management space by providing the forecasting, optimisation and modelling capability on top of Schneider Electric’s market leading production analytics tools in the mining, minerals, metals and general manufacturing sectors. Together, this combined capability is a unique differentiator in the market and provides a capability that the major industrial players are currently demanding. The combined platform will enable customers to deliver more from their existing assets than ever before and thereby maximise profitability per unit output.

Schneider Electric has a long history of acquisitions in Australia including fellow Adelaide company Clipsal for about $750 million in 2003, Citect for A$115m in 2007 and Newcastle’s Scada Group/Serck/Hunter Water Technology in 2010 for A$200m.

About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructures, Industries & Machine Manufacturers, Non-residential Buildings, Data Centres & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group’s 130,000 plus employees achieved sales of 22.4 billion euros in 2011, through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations make the most of their energy.

About SolveIT Software

SolveIT Software Pty Ltd is an Australian company specialising in supply & demand optimisation and predictive modelling. With more than 150 employees across 5 offices, we offer enterprise advanced planning and scheduling software, supply chain network optimisation, demand planning & forecasting and integrated planning. Our mine planning software applications cover mine exploration management, mine to port logistics, mine planning scheduling and refinery plant optimisation. Customers of SolveIT Software include Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Rio Tinto Simandou, Xstrata Coal, Xstrata Copper, Xstrata Zinc, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, BMA Coal, Fortescue Metals Group, Pacific National Coal, Crossland Resources, Viterra, Visy Industries, Pernod Ricard Pacific, Amcor, CBH Group, Incitec Pivot, ElectraNet, Fosters Group, PFD Food Services, Liquor Marketing Group, Hancock Prospecting, and the Australian Defense Science and Technology.

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