European power giant E.ON partners with Ericsson on grid big data

European power giant E.ON is building out a smarter grid across its various networks, including rolling out smart meters, and on Wednesday announced a new big data partnership with grid gear and software provider Ericsson (s ERIC). E.ON says it will increase its data delivery by 3000 percent, and Ericsson will provide software and services to manage that data.

The deal is focused around 600,000 smart meters in Sweden. But E.ON is one of the largest power and utility companies in the world and operates in 30 countries with 26 million customers, so clearly its a relationship with a lot of potential.

Ericsson competes with GE (s GE), Siemens, ABB (s ABB) and others to sell software, services and hardware to utilities and power companies. Increasingly utilities and power companies are interested in buying more data analytics tools as their networks are becoming IT networks that need to monitor, digest, and analyze data to run more efficiently. As global electricity grids add more clean energy (solar panels and wind turbines), and energy storage (battery farms), better data analytics and predictions tools will also be needed to keep the grid stable.

Some of the power gear vendors are turning to the big data startup leaders for partnerships around the latest analytics. For example, earlier this week Siemens announced that it’s working with data warehouse veteran Teradata.