Datamatic Inc., of Richardson Texas was one of the two first companies responsible for the development of electronic utility meter reading systems for electric, gas and water utilities using hand held data terminals built by Telzon and MSI Data. The other company in that era was Itron founded by Washington Public Water Authority in Spokane, WA. Datamatic was a pioneering force in electronic meter reading systems and within 5 years captured roughly 45% of the North American installed base which included every investor owned and municipal utility in the U.S. A sampling of major accounts included Texas Utilities, Texas New Mexico Power, Consumers Power, OG&E, Northeast Utilities, New Hampshire Electric, The Southern Companies, Saint Louis Gas and Electric and Singapore Electric.
Tom Tamarkin began working for the President, CEO, and Co-founder of Datamatic, Kenneth Kercher, in 1986. Initially Tamarkin served as the CEO’s assistant and helped draft and execute a buyout of the other Datamatic co-founder, Lou Ganter. The buyout was substantially funded through a partnership organized by Mr. Tamarkin and Kercher with MSI Data Systems and Symbol Technologies. During this period Mr. Tamarkin wrote the Datamatic business plan which was used in the MSI Symbol negotiations and for the ultimate moving forward of the company.
Once the buyout was completed, Mr. Tamarkin’s first task was to analyze the market place for the optical port used to read industrial time of use and peak demand meters and to develop a program to incorporate reading those meters in the firm’s meter reading systems.
Mr. Tamarkin was the archeticht of the Datamatic “turn around plan” and author of its “Growth: Our commitment to our future “ turnaround road map,” a detailed handout booklet for all Datamatic employees at the time.
Next Mr. Tamarkin organized the Advanced Technology Division of Datamatic.
As part of the ATD formation, Tamarkin negotiated the purchase of the first North American automatic meter reading company using radio systems. The company was DataBeam founded and operated by Connecticut Natural Gas in Stamford CT.
In January 1989 Tamarkin was promoted to VP, COO & General Manager, with full P&L responsibility.
Mr. Tamarkin left the firm in 1991 to pursue his vision of truly automatic meter reading and Advanced Metering Infrastructure by his formation of Omnidata and Tamar Corp.
Below are press releases and Datamatic newsletter clippings from that time…