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Dakota Electric Association Selects GE Smallworld for IT Integration Planning

DENVER (October 22, 2001) - GE Smallworld, a leading supplier of network management solutions to the electric, gas, and water utilities, announced today that it has been selected by Dakota Electric Association to assist with IT integration planning.

GE Smallworld was selected in a competitive bid to assist Dakota Electric with developing a Technology Roadmap to support the IT strategies at Dakota Electric. GE Smallworld will work with Dakota Electric to define a future direction that will allow the utility to gain maximum value from its current and future investments in technology.

Tony DiMarco, Managing Director of Utilities & Public Systems Services, North America at GE Smallworld says, "Dakota Electric has always been one of GE Smallworld's most innovative customers. They have a strong understanding of industry trends and recognize the value of implementing technology to drive cost and business efficiencies. By selecting GE Smallworld for developing their Technology Roadmap, they are moving to a new level of systems integration for an electric utility."

Application integration will play an integral role in Dakota Electricís technology planning project. To date, Dakota Electric has used a best-of-breed approach for its IT investments, selecting the best available technology to meet individual business needs. System integration has been accomplished through custom interfaces that move data between systems. GE Smallworld will assist Dakota Electric in defining an architecture for system integration that will result in a more tightly integrated IT environment while minimizing development and maintenance costs. Based on the Technology Roadmap, GE Smallworld will also assist Dakota Electric with selecting a vendor and platform to support its application integration architecture.

Mike Briggs, Dakota Electricís Information Services Manager, said, ďOur individual application systems are doing a great job for us, but itís time to take the next step and get additional value from our technology through enhanced systems integration. With their strong experience in the utilities industry, we think GE Smallworld is uniquely positioned to help us develop our Technology Roadmap which will assist us in building an IT environment that will meet our goal of using innovative technology to better serve our customers.Ē

About Dakota Electric Association

Dakota Electric Association is a distribution cooperative, providing electric service to end customers. Dakota Electric covers 507 square miles and serves more than 86,000 customers. Dakota Electric is the second-largest electric cooperative in Minnesota and is ranked among the top 20 electric distribution cooperatives nationally. Dakota Electric is a member-owned, nonprofit utility serving parts of Dakota, Goodhue, Scott, and Rice counties.