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May 31, 2023
The energy transition is reshaping traditional utility business models and transforming customer expectations. Utility Chief Information Officers (CIOs) face the need to adapt to these changes, which puts a spotlight on legacy CIS systems and technological capabilities, questioning their ability to meet the demands of the modern utility industry.
To address this powerful shift in the sector, we have developed this in-depth Guide, specifically designed to assist utility technology leaders in understanding the market shake-up and adapting to the evolving energy landscape.
This piece is an invaluable resource for gaining insights into a modern must-have utility technology that already addresses emerging challenges. It provides expert analysis and practical recommendations on how to choose the right technological solution and its provider.
This handbook provides real-world examples and actionable advice to empower utility technology and information executives to drive innovation, optimise operations, and meet the evolving needs of their customers.
So, dive in and let this comprehensive Guide be your trusted companion as you investigate the potential digital transformation and needed solutions.
Behind the Switch: A Look at the Utility Industry Background
The world is currently undergoing an unprecedented transformation in the way we produce, consume, and distribute energy. The shift towards renewable energy sources, coupled with advances in technology and changing societal expectations, is driving what many experts are calling the “energy transition.”
In this chapter, we’ll explore this transformative moment in history, looking at the challenges and opportunities presented by the energy transition, the key players involved, and the policies and technologies driving change. From the rapid growth of solar and wind power to the adoption of electric vehicles and the emergence of new business models, we’ll examine the forces shaping the energy landscape of the future.
We’ll pave the path to understanding what the utility and energy service companies need not just to stay afloat but to lead the pack in their domain — the ideas that we’ll be exploring throughout the whole guide.
From Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy: The Evolution of the Energy Transition
The idea of the energy transition emerged in the late 20th century as a response to the growing awareness of the negative impacts of fossil fuels on the environment and climate. As renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power became more efficient and cost-effective, they began to gain traction as alternatives to traditional fossil fuels.
At the same time, concerns about energy security and geopolitical instability spurred interest in diversifying energy sources and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Governments around the world began to set targets for increasing the share of renewable energy in their energy mix, while businesses saw opportunities to innovate and create new markets.
The concept of the energy transition encompasses not just a shift towards renewable energy sources but also a broader transformation of the energy system as a whole. This includes changes in the way we produce, distribute, and consume energy, as well as the adoption of new technologies like energy storage, smart grids, electric vehicles, etc.
This list also includes the technologies that digitise processes, improve an organisation’s ability to manage assets, and support interactions with clients and business partners during the energy transition (e.g., Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS)).
Today, the energy transition is seen as a key part of what needs to be done to stop climate change and make the future more sustainable. Even though there are still a lot of problems to solve, like the high cost of some renewable energy technologies and the need for stronger energy infrastructure, the idea of the energy transition continues to drive innovation and progress towards a cleaner, safer, and more equitable energy future.
“The energy transition is possible and it is affordable. It is of utmost importance that we look at the transition not as a burden, but as an opportunity.”
Rainer Baake, State Secretary in the Economy Ministry of Germany
Fresh Perspectives on Energy and Utility: What’s New and What’s Next
New and multiple business models
The continuous shift towards sustainable energy sources, coupled with the rapid advancements in consumer energy technology at the grid edge and the global COVID-19 pandemic, pose a significant threat to the longstanding stability of the energy sector. Consequently, energy providers are compelled to revamp their traditional utility business model and embrace multiple business models.
What’s more, the conventional energy system is evolving towards a service model. The business models for how energy is produced and consumed are changing, moving away from paying per unit of usage to a monthly subscription, and much more. These models may operate independently or in conjunction, depending on various socioeconomic, political, and technological factors.
Different business models will call for various sets of capabilities, particularly in the areas of metering, invoicing, and customer service. To ensure agility in changing market conditions, the company’s CIOs must facilitate seamless transitions between different business models, even when operating under multiple models simultaneously. This requires identifying the core capabilities necessary for each model and implementing the appropriate technology and application architecture to enable them.
Core capabilities are the foundation for business digital transformation and sustainable business growth and include operations with customers, billing and revenue, and operational efficiency.
The conventional energy grid, with its monopolistic structure, strict regulations, predictable operations, and one-way flow of energy, is no longer sufficient to cater to the needs of the evolving energy landscape. One of the major demands from utility customers is load resilience, which cannot be adequately addressed by the traditional grid.
The grid of the future must facilitate two-way power flow at all voltage levels by coordinating loads to align with intermittent generation and maintaining an energy balance that ensures customers receive a reliable energy service. The management of loads as devices, with things acting as proxies for utility customers, will be the source of value creation. By responding to customer load demands through the orchestration of coordinated services, utility assets will play a role in ensuring the intelligent operation of the grid.
Utilities must transition from the traditional business model, which is unable to meet the requirements associated with the energy transition. Rather than relying on the physical grid design of the past, utilities should adopt digitally-enabled, coordinated services where utility assets can react to customer load requests.
In markets where services are unbundled, such orchestration will be conducted through intermediaries such as aggregators (e.g., electric utilities or wholesale energy markets) and retailers, utilising readily available market products.
The utility grid continuously balances electricity supply and demand in real-time. However, balancing the grid has become more difficult as a result of the energy transition’s rapid changes in the energy ecosystem and the growing use of intermittent and renewable energy sources. The use of flexibility services can reduce congestion and peak times caused by these changes.
As a result, utilities are facing a new operating reality where demand-supply imbalances are becoming increasingly common. This imbalance contributes to energy market volatility and affects short-term power system operating conditions, causing the grid to operate outside its normal envelope.
To address this imbalance, utilities are exploring new business opportunities, such as flexibility markets with platform business models that integrate consumers and their distributed energy resources into energy markets. These markets bring together participants from across the electricity value chain, including generation asset owners, system operators, energy and utility-managed service providers, consumers and prosumers.
A greater number of people, networked groups, and energy communities will be able to produce and share their own energy as a result of increasingly decentralised energy resources. Thanks to increased openness, flexibility, and choice, consumers will be able to actively engage in the energy markets by generating, storing, and selling power in addition to consuming it.
“There is one tool that’s more powerful than regulation, and that’s business models that are attractive to consumers (…) We need to enable businesses to provide compelling services. If we unleash the consumer, we can unleash change much faster than we can imagine. If you get the consumer, you get the investors.”
Philipp Schröder, Managing Director at Sonnen GmbH
Presented below are some of the latest players in the energy and utility sectors: renewable energy developers, battery storage providers, electric vehicle manufacturers, energy management firms, energy trading platforms, and energy efficiency service providers.
Government policies fueling the energy transition
The governments of Germany, China, the USA, France, and the UK have already set targets for the percentage of energy that must come from renewable sources by a certain date. For example, the European Union has set a target of producing 32% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
The governments of Sweden, the UK, Canada, etc. have introduced policies to put a price on carbon emissions in order to incentivize a shift towards cleaner energy sources. This can take the form of a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system.
The EU has a carbon pricing system called the Emissions Trading System (ETS), which covers around 40% of the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions. The current price is around €58 per tonne of CO2. Subsidies for renewable energy, energy efficiency standards for buildings, appliances, and vehicles, and R&D funding all promote the use of cleaner energy sources.
Key takeaways from this chapter for company champions
To successfully navigate the energy transition, significant investments in digital technologies and innovative solutions will be necessary. These investments will allow companies to adapt to new business and operating models, and develop the capabilities required to thrive in the changing landscape.
Navigating the Challenges of the Utility Market
Almost every facet of utilities’ operations will be significantly impacted by the energy transition. They are complex and require utility companies to think creatively and adapt quickly to the ever-evolving business environment. In this chapter, we will explore the key challenges that utility companies face as they navigate the energy transition, and approach the ‘technology question’ needed to make this transition a success story for each company.
Inefficiencies in Legacy IT Systems
Obsolete software and hardware systems can have limited functionality to keep up with the changing needs of a modern utility company. Such systems may lack critical features that are necessary for efficiently managing complex operations or analysing large datasets.
Additionally, these outdated systems can give rise to threats to cybersecurity and data protection, as well as increased downtime, security vulnerabilities, higher maintenance costs, inefficient processes, and other specific limitations.
Different business models, as part of the ongoing energy transition, will call for various sets of capabilities. Based on a 26-year experience in the domain, MaxBill’s experts define that the transition towards new business models should start with digitising core capabilities.
Furthermore, businesses should identify the main process areas to digitise. The most urgent ones might be process automation, asset analytics, field mobility applications and metering, invoicing, and customer service, respectively.
Across the globe, utility companies are under significant pressure from governments, advocacy groups, businesses, prosumers, and consumers to minimise their negative environmental footprint, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and transition to renewable energy sources.
Regulatory agencies are pushing for tangible policy measures while also reducing regulatory returns. Furthermore, these agencies are enforcing mandates to ensure the energy security of vulnerable customers, which has become an urgent issue during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
It’s also worth mentioning in this context the Guarantees of Origin (called GOs or GoOs) Certificate and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). Back in 2009, the European Union made it mandatory to use it in order to increase transparency and promote the growth of renewable energy sources.
The certification confirms that a specific quantity of power has been generated from renewable sources. By tracking and disclosing the use of renewable energy through GOs, organisations can raise awareness about their commitment to sustainability and help drive the adoption of clean energy technologies. RED II is part of the EU’s efforts to promote sustainable energy production and combat climate change. By 2030, the European Union is legally obligated to ensure that 32% of the energy consumed within its member states comes from renewable sources.
Battle for the Market: Competition
The market is under a variety of competitive pressures. For instance, the one that is being fueled by the quick uptake of DERs is reducing profit margins. As an illustration, the price of photovoltaic (PV) electricity has astonishingly decreased by 85% during the past ten years.
Markets where consumers are highly price-conscious and where consumers have easy access to price comparison websites see particularly intense price competition.
Penalties or reputational harm may result from regulatory constraints on pricing, customer service, energy efficiency, and environmental requirements. Smaller suppliers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the major, market-dominating suppliers due to the market consolidation trend.
Suppliers who aren’t able to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of their consumers will eventually see a decline in their customer base as they lose business to companies that can satisfy their evolving demands.
Shorter contracts instead of long-term, fixed contracts
Consumers in the utility industry are increasingly interested in short-term contracts rather than long-term fixed contracts. The demand for utility expense flexibility and control drives this trend.
Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, revealed that more than half of fixed-contract energy users have never switched suppliers, despite the potential savings on offer. This shows that many customers are leery of long-term contracts that may cost them more than they need to pay.
Additionally, the rise of smart technology and the increasing availability of real-time energy data mean that consumers are better able to track their energy usage and adjust their contracts accordingly.
This has led to the adoption of ‘pay as you go’ or ‘pay monthly’ programmes that allow users to simply pay for the energy they use without a long-term contract.
Finally, as renewable energy sources grow and environmental concerns rise, consumers want contracts with more flexibility. Short-term contracts that make switching to renewable energy easier are becoming more popular.
Changing Tides of Customer Expectations
Utility customers have shifting and increasing expectations thanks, in large part, to the offerings of digital dragons, as they have in practically any other sector of the economy. Digital dragons are strong ecosystems that have an effect on other conventional organisations. They include technological behemoths, as well as massive cloud services, potent ecosystems, payment and logistics services, etc.
Consumers anticipate responsive, dependable, customer-focused suppliers of energy and utilities that are also committed to openness, sustainability, and innovation. The factors that influence their choice are optimal prices, reliable service, personalization, convenience of use, communication, transparency, and innovation. They also consider utilities’ commitment to environmental responsibility.
Internal Challenges of the Sector
Utility CIOs are under significant pressure to implement meaningful improvements in operational efficiency and operational resilience since energy security is at stake.
There will be a change from investing in parallel assets for energy security to investing in load orchestration to provide resilience according to a load classification or paid-for priority. Real-time data on scalable, connected digital platforms has become essential to meet the requirements of improved customer interactions, load security, capped costs, and service delivery.
Utilities will increasingly require sophisticated process orchestration, including AI, analytics, and automation and hyperautomation tools, to replace error-prone, slow, and repetitive manual procedures.
Furthermore, supporting multiple business models at the same time can present complex architectural obstacles for metre-to-cash and customer-facing applications. To overcome these challenges, company executives must facilitate the creation of a composable enterprise by transforming the current inflexible, monolithic state of their application portfolio into a more modular and adaptable architecture that can readily adapt to changing business needs.
The Digital Future’s Demands
By the end of 2025, Gartner predicts that operational enhancement, decision augmentation, and automation will take the lead as the main investment drivers for utilities all over the world.
For utilities to successfully transition into the digital age, they will need both continuous intelligence and the means to put that knowledge to use in making strategic decisions and realising benefits like streamlined operations and reduced risk.
The path can be summarised as an ever-increasing blend of seamless workflow, information transparency, operational transparency, and automation capabilities. Integral to all these processes is the use of data as the main source of strategic decision-making.
Key takeaways from this chapter for company champions
The increasing pace of the energy transition is putting to the test the utilities’ capability to handle the operational complexities of the forthcoming energy landscape and to future-proof their business as a whole. To address this challenge, it is advisable to reassess core capabilities to digitise in the first place and their approach to billing and customer service technology. Investing in digital capabilities with full interoperability should be on the radar of utility leaders.
Moreover, it is recommended to consider a shift away from the outdated and inflexible CIS COTS towards a modular collection of pre-packaged business functionalities, consolidated on an orchestration platform.
“The technology is there – we have everything to move forward fast.”
Claude Turmes, Member European Parliament, President of the European Forum Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES)
The Introduction to Utility Tech Solutions
The energy transition is driving changes in utility business models and customer expectations. To future-proof the business, tech leaders inside organisations are obliged to address these new requirements and get a full grasp of modern multi-utility billing and customer management software solutions.
The two pillars of new business models
New business models call for a different set of metre-to-cash and customer-service capabilities, which in turn affect the functionality of CIS (customer information systems) and product architecture.
To effectively serve both traditional and novel billing requirements, the multi-utility billing software should offer adaptable billing functionalities that can integrate seamlessly with new products and services. Additionally, it should be capable of accommodating discrete customer engagement and experience capabilities to enhance customer satisfaction.Such a solution allows the resilience necessary during disruptions associated with the energy transition by utilising a discrete set of packaged business capabilities that can be easily constructed to fit the requirements of a certain business model.
Speaking of customer management, leading vendors of traditional commercial-off-the-shelf systems, which concentrate on commoditized system-of-record requirements, don’t always address modern customer engagement and customer experience requirements.
As a result, utility buyers are actively searching for modern customer information systems and billing solutions that can effectively address the evolving market demands and fulfil the customer engagement functions for both established and new retailers. Such functions encompass customer retention, acquisition, contract management, and advanced analytics.
The offerings behind such solutions are disrupting the industry by delivering reduced customer service costs and increased agility in the billing process, which enables utility companies to quickly introduce and deploy new products and services. Additionally, modern CIS products are expected to be modular, unlike traditional commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems, and predominantly offered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), providing greater flexibility for businesses.
What’s more, utility buyers are pursuing efficiency in the system-of-record functionality, agility, and composability to accommodate personalisation and incorporate multiple innovations. To achieve this objective, they are increasingly embracing cloud-based utility invoicing and CRM solutions as a suitable method of achieving seamless metre-to-cash operations and delivering a superior customer experience.
Empowering Utility Companies with Effective CIS Software Solutions
In the field of software solutions for utility companies, the share of utility customer information systems (CIS) on the market is pretty significant. It caters to the needs of utility companies to effectively address the utility metre-to-cash (M2C) process and various customer service-related business processes.
Being a pioneer in Utility Tech with 26 years of expertise, we have identified the core areas that an M2C SaaS utility billing and customer management solution should cover. These areas include:
- Account management: efficient management of customer accounts, including customer information, contact details, and account history;
- Order processing: streamlined processes of managing customer orders, from initiation to fulfilment;
- Product or service management: effective management of the portfolio of products and services offered to customers;
- Rate design: easy configuration and management of pricing structures and rate plans to accurately bill customers;
- Billing: ensuring accurate and timely bills for customers based on their usage and pricing;
- Credit and collection: monitoring and managing credit limits, payment arrangements, and collections for outstanding balances;
- Accounts receivable: tracking customer payments, invoices, and outstanding balances;
- Statement preparation: Issuing clear and concise statements for customers to review their billing details;
- Payment processing: facilitation of secure and convenient payment options for customers, including online payment methods;
- Customer self-service: equipping customers with a user-friendly self-service portal to view and manage their accounts, access billing information, and make inquiries.
Modern multi-utility billing and customer management software is essential for utility companies to effectively serve diverse customer groups and adapt to scaling operations. It should possess robust capabilities to provide comprehensive invoicing solutions for various customer segments, including households, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMB), and large commercial and industrial (LC&I) clients.
Furthermore, the software should offer a wide range of payment options to enhance the convenience and flexibility of the billing processes and accommodate the requirements of various groups of customers.
These options may include prepayment, allowing customers to pay in advance; multicommodity billing, handling multiple services or products; and the ability to charge for both metered and unmetered services. This ensures that utility companies can incorporate different billing models and payment preferences, building a solid foundation for sustainable revenue growth.
An impactful add-on to main systems
Based on MaxBill’s experience in the utility and telco industries, partnership management capability is gaining traction as companies seek to extend their service offerings, increase revenue, and secure the future of their businesses.
Partnering with other companies can be a powerful strategy for utilities to leverage complementary offerings and accelerate the transition to low-carbon solutions. With less capital required upfront, utilities can quickly adopt new technologies and services.
At MaxBill, we recognise the importance of partnerships for utilities and offer a B2B partner management solution to streamline this crucial aspect of business activity. Our solution enables utilities to efficiently manage their partner network, combine offerings, and drive innovation towards a more sustainable future.
Key takeaways from this chapter for company champions
New business models come with diverse revenue streams, making technologies around metre-to-cash a top priority for investment interest. Another prioritised process area for utilities is customer management since customer expectations are evolving and making the competition even fiercer.
This is where the market for customer information software solutions comes in, catering to the needs of utility companies. While there are numerous options available, the M2C SaaS utility billing and customer management solution specifically addresses the utility metre-to-cash (M2C) process and different customer service-related business processes, making it highly relevant and on-point.
Traditionally, it encompasses up to 10 process areas that utility organisations are looking to level up. Additionally, MaxBill recognises partnership management as another essential area to which businesses should pay attention to efficiently expand through service and product portfolios and scale up faster.
Therefore, a powerful Utility Tech solution is fully capable of addressing the challenges brought about by the current shake-up in the utility and energy markets. It effectively tackles the driving forces behind this transformation, such as changes in customer behaviour, while keeping up with the competitive pace set by industry rivals.
Transforming Data into Profit: Unpacking the Key Processes of an Effective Multi-Utility Billing Solution
A well-functioning customer management software is either a standalone platform or a closely integrated module that works in tandem with billing processes, facilitating effective relationship management between a business and its existing customers. It consolidates all pertinent customer information into a comprehensive digital platform, encompassing contact details, contract information, transaction history, and summaries.
Primarily designed to assist municipalities and service providers, CRM solutions often play a crucial role in metre reading and rate structure management. Through customer segmentation, these solutions enable metered billing, consumption tracking, peak/off-peak/shoulder billing, tiered rates, flat rates, time-of-use billing, and even custom ratios for specific customers, if necessary.
The processes are to be adapted to the specific roles and functions of individuals involved, including customer service users, billing users, credit control users, meter reading users, sales representatives, and technical administrators. Each role has its own set of responsibilities within the system, ensuring efficient workflow and task management.
The inclusion of a customer portal is vital to enabling self-management for customers, offering them the ability to monitor their usage data, access account information, and manage preferences.
Key Operations of CRM Explained
The CRM system is designed to provide customers with the best possible experience throughout their journey, ultimately increasing satisfaction with the utility company.
360º Customer Relationship Lifecycle Management
The CRM system enables companies to manage the entire customer relationship lifecycle, from acquisition to retention. It allows for personalised offers based on customer preferences and account records and maintains comprehensive customer profiles, including addresses, phone numbers, financial information, billing history, and more.
Customer Financial Management
This functionality allows for the management of customer financial details, such as billing cycles, deposit amounts, outstanding balances, payment methods, and applicable discounts. It provides the flexibility to modify or remove these details from the customer’s contract as needed.
Customer Products and Services Management
CRM systems facilitate the quick initiation or termination of services during the billing cycle. This includes processes such as service renewal, extension, transfer, change of ownership or tenancy, and associated costs like deposits.
Miscellaneous Customer Requests Processing
With an omnichannel strategy, CRM systems effectively handle and manage customer interactions and requests. This feature ensures that all customer interactions are captured, tracked, and resolved in a timely manner.
CRM systems support the efficient handling of billing disputes. Customer service representatives can respond promptly to inquiries related to charge disputes and establish internal procedures to minimise billing disputes arising from incorrect charges, billing errors, or refunds.
Customer Data Retention
The CRM system stores all customer information and billing history, providing access to archives at any time. This ensures that comprehensive customer data is securely stored and readily available for future reference and analysis.
Introducing MaxCare: The Ultimate CRM Tool for Customer Management in the Utility Industry
MaxCare is a cutting-edge CRM tool specifically designed to effectively manage customer and contract information within the utility sector. With its rule-based approach, MaxCare offers utility tech executives a streamlined approach to enhancing customer satisfaction and elevating customer management practices.
By centralising all customer and operational data one platform, MaxCare provides a single point of contact with a comprehensive and holistic view of customers, empowering companies to make well-informed decisions.
At the heart of MaxCare is a customer-centric philosophy, ensuring that utility customers remain the focal point of the company’s operations.
Built-in customer-oriented features simplify the tracking of interactions and transactions. Additionally, MaxCare provides seamless access to historical records, enabling a deeper understanding of customers’ needs and preferences.
The CRM functionality includes:
- Customer initiation;
- Online price plan assignment and modification;
- Immediate customer and contract activation or deactivation;
- Invoice inquiries and adjustments;
- Handling customer complaints and requests;
- Sending letters and notices;
- Performing service changes;
- Implementing changes in customer profiles;
- Deposit and credit management;
- Billing and collection activities;
- Customer resource inventory management;
- Workflow management mechanism;
- Reporting on all relevant customer and contract information.
Business Value Identified
First and foremost, a CRM system is designed to facilitate the scaling of the company without adding unnecessary complexity. It provides a comprehensive overview of all the stakeholders involved and helps identify valuable business opportunities.
By streamlining processes and expediting payment cycles, a CRM system contributes to an enhanced utility customer experience.
Satisfied customers are less likely to remain neutral or become dissatisfied, resulting in a positive impact on the customer churn rate.
Moreover, configurable features tailored to the needs of municipalities, government organisations, and private companies offer utilities limitless possibilities to establish a strong presence in the market and achieve significant growth.
With the right CRM system in place, utilities can confidently “play big” and capitalise on the vast potential within their industry.
Order management is a critical process that enables service providers to effectively track and fulfil customer orders. At MaxBill, we have developed an order management system that organises these activities as Tasks, providing a comprehensive and customizable solution for convergent work order processing. Our order management package encompasses the following processes:
1. Incorporating the customer’s business processes and policies for service requests, initiation, modification, and termination;
2. Automated provisioning interfaces and fulfilment of orders to external devices and third parties;
3. Complex bundles and service order processing, validation, and provisioning.
Our order management system operates on a workflow mechanism, providing flexible configuration options for setting up order steps based on company, product line, and order type. This allows businesses to tailor the order management process to their specific needs and ensure efficient order processing and fulfilment.
Key Operations of Order Management Explained
MaxBill offers the flexibility to manage orders and provide information either in conjunction with or separate from customer service. This flexibility enables efficient control over both metered and unmetered sites, with clear definitions and management of order and supply status and location. These streamlined processes guarantee seamless delivery of products and services to end-users, along with efficient connections to service delivery points.
Inventory management involves the responsibility of information officers to effectively manage and monitor diverse types of inventories, including tangible and intangible assets. This encompasses maintaining precise records of device types, manufacturers, models, purchase dates, serial numbers, measurement units, addresses, and status updates for each item.
Exchange Or Loss Of Supply Management
MaxBill’s solution provides a comprehensive approach to managing and monitoring the exchange process, whether it involves repairs, replacements, renewals, or customer-initiated requests. Furthermore, it ensures precise billing for all installation activities, in alignment with the policies set by the organisation.
Event and Usage Data Record Management
The system employs a service-neutral engine that is capable of simultaneously handling multiple input streams and efficiently processing a large volume of data records acquired from various external devices and gateways (e.g., metre readings, and more).
Master Data Synchronisation
We provide businesses with the capability to manage the master data of the system and synchronise it with different subsystems by using the MaxBill API (e.g., metre data management). This ensures consistency and accuracy across multiple systems and enables efficient data management and integration.
MaxBill empowers automated end-to-end management of the digital product lifecycle, minimising the occurrence of invalid offers, incomplete orders, and activation failures. This streamlined process ensures smooth and efficient handling of the entire lifecycle, from offer creation to order completion, improving accuracy and customer satisfaction.
Metered Reads Management
To accurately calculate consumption over a specific time period, information officers estimate, validate, and edit metre reads. They maintain a comprehensive record of past consumption data and gather information about the hardware configuration at the service delivery point, including prices and available quantities by location. This ensures precise measurement and billing of utility usage, providing valuable insights for both the utility company and its customers.
Business Value Identified
Utility companies benefit from order management software by streamlining and simplifying the purchase process, resulting in a shorter order-to-cash cycle and increased efficiency in order processing for suppliers and wholesalers.
The software provides business users with a personalized approach, allowing them to easily enter and convert orders, monitor stock levels, analyse previous bills for patterns, confirm shipping preferences, and adjust prices, all within a single integrated system that often includes invoicing functionality.
At MaxBill, our order management process area offers an intuitive interface with user-friendly features, empowering tech executives to manage orders without relying on IT support. It is designed to handle the complexity of B2B transactions, allowing for unlimited customer and partner expansion. This capacity drives B2B commerce’s growth and profitability.
The additional business value points of our order management solution include:
- enhanced customer satisfaction;
- increased revenue;
- improved operational margin;
- consistent and error-free order processing;
- maximised inventory productivity;
- improved return on investment (ROI).
Billing and Product Management
Billing and product management provide executives in the utility technology sector with the necessary tools to implement an invoicing workflow, automate billing operations, and fuel corporate expansion.
MaxBill offers a comprehensive billing module that includes various functionalities such as bill formatting, accurate calculation of consumption and charges, verification of bills, and extraction of usage data. This ensures that billing processes are efficient and accurate.
In addition to billing, MaxBill’s product management module provides tools for managing prices and discounts, creating multi-service bundles, defining taxation rules, and organising products and services in hierarchies. These features allow utility companies to effectively manage their product offerings and tailor them to the specific needs of their customers.
Key Operations of Billing and Product Management Explained
MaxBill offers a dependable and user-friendly interface that provides complete control over the invoicing process, including the standards for approving invoices, performing validation checks, and previewing invoices before issuing them.
Off-Cycle Bill for Outside and Other Charges
Customizable ad hoc invoices can be generated outside of the regular billing cycle, ensuring clarity, security, and compliance for additional charges, e.g., any manual invoice or Hot-Bill invoice.
The system supports transparent billing for flat-rate and variable-rate recurring charges, allowing businesses to align their billing with their business plans and outperform competitors. This can be applied at the individual account level or as part of subscription price plans.
MaxBill enables the monitoring of customer consumption for usage-based services and facilitates charging based on chosen rate plans, providing efficient consumption management.
This function allows for the modification of deposit amounts and ensures that all billing information is accurate and safe.
Charges for External and Other Services
Customers’ invoices can effectively manage any services provided separately from the main product or by third parties, such as equipment, installation, or configuration operations.
End-to-end billing procedures can be defined and fully automated based on pre-configured criteria, including simulation runs, formatted bill distribution, and electronic invoicing.
Comprehensive reporting capabilities that benefit accounting, sales, analytics, and other business functions, allowing for manual or automatic report generation.
Email notifications can be sent for regular payments, bills, client retention efforts, and targeted promotions to specific customer groups, enhancing communication and customer engagement.
Introducing MaxCatalog – a manageable and flexible solution for offering several items within one package.
MaxCatalog takes a comprehensive approach to managing a utility company’s product offering, allowing for a limitless range of products, services, price levels, and add-ons. Users of the MaxCatalog module can configure interest rates, taxes, pricing iterations, and resource inventory requirements to create tailored offerings. Typically, the MaxCatalog module is included as part of a complete upgrade to the company’s billing system.
The goal of MaxCatalog is to provide a user-friendly and efficient solution for managing product offerings. It empowers various departments within the organisation to handle provisioning, pricing, and discounting details for product and service packages.
One of the key benefits of MaxCatalog is the elimination of the need to maintain multiple instances of product information across different departments and systems. This approach enhances operational efficiency and simplifies product management procedures.
By centralising product information and eliminating redundancies, MaxCatalog enables utility companies to optimise their operations and enhance their overall product management capabilities.
Business value identified
Configurable billing options allow utility businesses to offer a high level of personalization to their clients. This flexibility enables companies to adapt to evolving regulatory requirements, apply appropriate taxation rules, and avoid penalties.
At the end of the day, customers develop loyalty towards the organisation, leading to a reduction in churn rates.
Furthermore, the operational performance of utility businesses is enhanced through streamlined processes. The availability of robust customization options improves revenue management efficiency and provides the organisation with the agility to quickly scale up its operations.
By leveraging configurable billing opportunities, utility companies can deliver tailored solutions to their customers, ensuring compliance with regulations, maximising revenue, and fostering long-term customer loyalty.
Revenue management software plays a crucial role in utility companies by aligning sales with customer payments and minimising revenue leakage. It provides accountants with the tools necessary to accurately recognise and allocate revenue across multiple business entities.
Moreover, such technology offers valuable insights to various departments within the company, including sales, marketing, and operations. These insights allow for close monitoring of product and service performance, enabling teams to optimise offerings accordingly. Through the analysis of revenue data, these tools help identify the most profitable customers and contracts, thereby improving the overall profitability of the company.
At MaxBill, revenue management software can be delivered as a standalone solution or as part of a comprehensive billing and CRM solution, providing utility companies with the necessary instruments to effectively manage and optimise their revenue streams.
Key Operations of Revenue Management Explained
Our revenue management solution offers robust functionality for usage management, subscription management, billing, invoicing, collections, and accounts receivable. The suite of client applications provides a comprehensive set of tools to design pricing strategies and effectively manage revenue.
The revenue management module also includes an API framework that enables seamless integration with external enterprise business applications. It simplifies complex taxation and payment processing by suggesting pre-integrations to streamline these processes.
Flexible deployment options are available, allowing utility tech executives to choose between deploying the EM solution on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), an OCI-dedicated region, or on-premises using bare metal or virtual machines.
The system provides enhanced convenience and flexibility for bill payments by offering customised payment plans and the option for automatic payments from designated bank accounts. This module enables efficient management of customer accounts receivable, ensuring timely and accurate tracking of outstanding payments.
Accrual Reporting and Forecast
Companies gain the ability to easily monitor earned but unbilled revenue for their entire customer base or specific segments, based on the services provided and projected revenue. Such capability allows for accurate tracking and forecasting of revenue, providing valuable insights for financial planning and decision-making.
Through the collection activities option, companies can effectively manage outstanding invoices that remain unpaid after their due date, including late payment charges and uncollectible receivables. The system allows for the setup of collection activities that align with the necessary policies, enabling timely and efficient collection of past-due balances. This approach ensures proactive management of collections and improves cash flow by minimising the impact of bad debts.
Payment Arrangement Management
The system facilitates the creation, collection, and tracking of time-defined payment arrangements in a simple and efficient manner. This feature enables businesses to easily manage and accommodate customer payment needs, ensuring a smooth journey for customers while driving additional revenue. With this functionality, businesses can offer flexible payment options, monitor payment progress, and maintain clear communication with customers regarding their payment arrangements.
Business Value Identified
The implementation of a modern and powerful revenue management system empowers energy and utility companies to gain visibility, control, and agility, enabling them to build and grow a successful business.
For subscription-based businesses, a comprehensive platform provides the capabilities to capture, retain, and maximise revenue opportunities through automated recurring billing, subscription management, and revenue analytics.
Being integrated with a company’s tech stack, the revenue management system becomes the heart of revenue operations. This integration allows executives to optimise efficiencies across sales, finance operations, accelerating the growth of subscription revenue.
Additional business value points include:
- Employee and Customer Satisfaction: A robust revenue management system enhances employee and customer satisfaction by streamlining processes and providing better tools to perform tasks efficiently.
- Elimination of Data Silos: By eliminating data silos across different business entities, the revenue management system enables seamless data sharing and collaboration, leading to better insights, decision-making, and operational efficiency.
- Seamless Rollouts of New Products and Services: The revenue management system facilitates smooth introductions and management of new products and services, ensuring seamless integration with existing systems and processes.
- Consistent Service Throughout the Customer Life Cycle: With a unified revenue management system, organisations can provide consistent and high-quality service to customers from initial acquisition to ongoing support, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Increased Revenue: Ultimately, the implementation of a powerful revenue management system aims to increase revenue by optimising billing processes, maximising revenue opportunities, and driving business growth.
Traditionally, partner management software, also known as partner relationship management (PRM), is designed to provide businesses with an effective instrument to monitor their sales partners and affiliates.
The digital environment created enables seamless communication and support between the business and its partners, maximising growth through strategic partnerships.
Partner relationship management plays a crucial role in ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of opportunities and funds among partners.
The partner billing component ensures accurate and timely billing for partner-related transactions, eliminating manual processes and minimising errors.
Dedicated partner portals serve as centralised hubs, providing partners with access to tools, resources, and information essential for effective collaboration, including legal compliance, contractual terms and conditions, as well as incentive and loyalty rewards.
Through these portals, partners can track their performance, access important documentation, and seamlessly engage with the business.
In the energy and utility sectors, managed service providers can leverage PRM solutions to effectively manage activities with third-party contractors. This allows for efficient collaboration and coordination, ensuring that all parties are aligned and working towards mutual success.
Meet MaxBill Partner Management Platform – Agile, Value-Added Connectivity Solution for Scalable Partnership
The MaxBill partner management platform offers a comprehensive solution to effectively manage partnerships and drive success at scale. It supports horizontal and vertical tree-like reconciliation hierarchies within various business models, including B2B, B2B2C, wholesale, and reseller models. This flexibility allows for the seamless management of complex partner relationships and revenue-sharing structures. Furthermore, the platform provides the unique advantage of two-sided billing, enabling both the business and its partners to handle billing processes efficiently and accurately from a single system.
This solution includes a range of essential features to optimise partner management. It covers onboarding and training processes, contract management, partner billing, dedicated partner portals with relevant capabilities, automated workflows for major business processes, and tracking and measurement of partner activities.
Key Operations of Partner Management Explained
At MaxBill, we understand the importance of establishing strong relationships with partners and associates. That’s why we employ modern billing principles to assist businesses in the energy and utility sectors in fostering these opportunities, scaling across diverse partnership offerings, and driving a stable revenue pipeline.
Financial Operations Management
Financial operations management empowers tech leaders to streamline processes by authorising the automation of billing, payments, and other financial activities, even in cases where approval from multiple managers is required. This comprehensive automation enhances efficiency, accuracy, and speed, leading to improved financial performance.
The instrument enables establishing priority payment allocation guidelines based on the services and invoices received by clients. This feature ensures that payments are allocated in a systematic and efficient manner, aligning with the company’s specific business rules and client requirements. With clear guidelines, financial executives can optimise cash flow, reduce payment processing errors, and enhance customer satisfaction by accurately allocating payments to the appropriate invoices or services.
Miscellaneous Charges Application
With the miscellaneous charges application, businesses are enabled to bill customers based on their designated tariff plan whenever new services are activated, equipment is installed, or configuration changes are made. This ensures accurate and timely billing for additional services or modifications, providing transparency and alignment with the customer’s tariff plan.
Receipt of External Charges & Third-Party Company Settlement
The instrument equips companies with the capability to incorporate fees calculated by third-party vendors into their customers’ final payments (e.g., site work). It allows for seamless integration of third-party billing calculations into the overall client bill. By leveraging this functionality, businesses can accurately account for and include external charges in their billing processes.
Business Value Identified
Partner-oriented businesses benefit from future-fit connectivity and an agile service scaling environment, which support the growth of the ecosystem of partners and service providers. PRM modules empower companies to efficiently manage partner acquisition, facilitate accurate transactions, automate multiple financial frameworks, and ensure transparency throughout the entire partner lifecycle journey.
Overall, the PRM solution ensures the following benefits:
- Building partner trust: By establishing effective communication channels, providing transparent information, and delivering on commitments, businesses can build trust with their partners.
- Legal compliance and credibility: The solution ensures adherence to legal requirements and regulatory standards, enhancing credibility among state institutions and stakeholders. This compliance helps businesses maintain a positive reputation and avoid potential penalties.
- Financial security and penalty-free business: Through streamlined processes and accurate financial management, the solution promotes financial security for both the company and its partners. This reduces the risk of financial penalties and enables smooth business operations.
- Business growth through digital offers: The solution empowers businesses to launch digital offers with flexibility in design, allowing them to adapt to changing market demands and customer preferences. This flexibility drives business growth and enables companies to stay competitive in the digital era.
Key takeaways from this chapter for company champions
MaxBill billing and customer management software is specifically designed to support multi-utility businesses transitioning to new business models and empower them to develop the necessary capabilities to grow amidst changing industry conditions. The solution effectively addresses current operational complexities and future-proofs the business as a whole.
The ultimate all-in-one platform facilitates the digitalization of core capabilities such as customer service and billing; brings in a modular collection of pre-packaged business functionalities, all accessible on a single platform; and provides a powerful connectivity solution that incorporates value-added third-party partner management elements.
With six key modules encompassing vital operations, MaxBill’s modern billing and revenue management software is well-equipped to meet evolving industry requirements and capitalise on growth opportunities.
Efficiency Unleashed: the Benefits & Business Outcomes of Implementing an All-in-One Billing & Customer Management Solution for Energy & Utility Companies
When implementing MaxBill as part of your transformational journey, you can expect three key fiscal outcomes: revenue growth, cost efficiency, and increased profitability, as well as the outcomes that define the success of utilities in the market and their competitiveness. Here are the outcomes MaxBill can help you achieve:
Success Revealed: Real-World Examples & Best Practices in Energy & Utility
E.ON: Successful digital transformation with the largest & fastest customer migration ever in the UK
E.ON underwent a transformation from a long-established energy supplier serving millions of customers to an agile enterprise start-up. The company has preserved its strong sustainability legacy while pioneering an innovative operating and technology model. Central to this model is the integration of a cutting-edge customer-to-cash cloud platform.
E.ON UK, a prominent member of the E.ON Group, which is one of Europe’s leading energy conglomerates, made a strategic decision during the onset of the global pandemic. It was announced that customers of both the E.ON and power supplier brands would be seamlessly transitioned to a new, innovative supply brand called E.ON Next.
One of the key challenges was smoothly migrating customers from various brands and service platforms, while minimising disruptions to both their experience and the company’s normal business operations. The team recognised the potential risk of customers switching to competitors in case the migration was not executed flawlessly.
Unfortunately, in the UK energy industry, there have been cases where companies faltered during similar migrations from outdated legacy systems, resulting in loss of customers, revenue, and reputational damage.
The company had three prioritised work streams on its way to the digital transformation:
- a new operating model where the same specialists now handle all interactions with a defined group of customers;
- customer migration that keeps consistency through all channels and platforms;
- removing legacy systems by delivering an end-state architecture.
As a result, customer service has undergone significant improvements, resulting in a leaner organisation and swifter decision-making that is closely aligned with customer interactions. The technology platform and target operating model have been purposefully designed to be flexible and scalable, enabling the company to respond promptly to regulatory changes and evolving customer demands.
Eneco: From tackling client connection disruption to entering new growth sectors
Eneco Group, a leading energy company, strategically optimised operational costs without compromising on efficiency. Eneco Group undertook a comprehensive restructuring and simplification of its organisational structure into streamlined process streams, leveraging modern digital tools and technologies.
Joulz, a subsidiary of Eneco Energy, a prominent Dutch energy provider, offers comprehensive services in design, engineering, construction, maintenance, and emergency support. As a trusted leader in managing the gas and electricity distribution grids for two million Dutch residences, Joulz is committed to continuous improvement.
In line with its strategic vision, Joulz has embarked on a digital transformation journey to optimize distribution grid operations and reduce client connection disruption.
Eneco Group strived to develop operational excellence, including building and maintaining grids and connections at optimal costs. To achieve this, Joulz’s first strategic move was implementing an ERP system to automate operational procedures. The company then deployed a robust business support management system to drive and monitor process excellence.
This comprehensive solution has facilitated the seamless processing of all installation, maintenance, and support operations from the order through delivery and payment. Furthermore, it has enabled effortless alignment between automated operations and Joulz’s administrative and field operations tasks.
During the entire transformative process, ensuring seamless coordination between automated operations and Joulz’s administrative and field operating tasks was of paramount importance. Once the system was established, diligent monitoring of process performance was imperative, enabling timely operator intervention as needed.
Going digital had strategic ramifications in addition to improving efficiency and lowering costs. Energy retailers can enter new growth markets by using their size, established brands, and significant client bases. Eneco has increased revenues and decreased attrition rates as a result of providing consumers with its smart-energy solution.
In return for a monthly membership fee, customers receive information on their energy usage, boiler performance, weather, and energy-saving suggestions.
The financial advantages of digitalization resulted in a structural reduction in software and maintenance costs of 75,000 euros per year and a total savings of 15 million euros.
Shell (former First Utility): Digital transformation resulted in a shift from 50K service points to 2M
Shell migrated from a traditional consumer-supplier relationship to the concept of smart metres. Customers were enabled to manage and regulate their consumption on their own. First Utility managed to expand service packages and give up legacy systems that used to sabotage operational efficiency.
The scope of business initiatives primarily suggested core business capabilities such as customer service and billing. This included pre-integrated CRM, order management, metre and reading management, rating, a product catalogue, and invoicing modules. The new flexible workflow engine implemented made it easy to integrate the configuration of automated processes across the organisation.
Shell Energy Retail, headquartered in the UK, is a leading provider of 100% renewable electricity, gas, broadband, and smart home technology to households. With a commitment to simplicity, reliability, and affordability, its core business strategy revolves around leveraging innovative technology solutions to deliver exceptional services to its valued customers.
The company’s digital transformation strategy was built on modern billing approaches. However, legacy systems posed a challenge as they were not equipped to support the desired level of efficiency. Furthermore, Shell Energy Retail constantly introduces new and improved packages to enhance its service offerings to valued customers. Yet, transitioning smoothly to these upgrades was hindered by outdated legacy systems, further causing significant operational delays.
After revamping a customer service and billing system, the company got rid of operational inefficiencies, improved customer service (incl., thought-through CRM, and highly automated processes like bots at the helpdesk), achieved more efficient data management, and implemented a powerful billing solution with the ability to adopt literally any payment scheme.
Simplify the Selection Process: How to Choose the Right Vendor or solution provider for multi-utility billing and customer management software
Customer Information System (CIS) systems are complex production environments that handle vast amounts of data. The implementation of a CIS system can be a time-consuming process, typically lasting two years or longer. While back-office Meter-to-Cash (M2C) capabilities are generally well-defined and standardised, the energy market’s transitions and evolving customer expectations introduce new requirements. They may not be adequately addressed by a monolithic, single-vendor CIS solution.
The market has matured to the point where most vendors offer products with a baseline set of functionalities that are readily available out of the box for most products.
Yet, efficient implementation of customer information systems and billing solutions still needs sound configuration and system integration efforts to fulfil specific operating requirements, rate structures, regulatory specifications, and market interfaces that may differ by jurisdiction.
When selecting product vendors, it is crucial to consider the availability of skilled resources for implementation and the presence of IT service providers specializing in the industry with extensive product expertise and experience. It’s essential for leaders in charge of information technology to think ahead about implementation challenges and act accordingly to deal with project risks.
When evaluating the replacement of legacy CIS infrastructure, utility technology executives should look for a vendor offering a modular solution composed of pre-packaged business capabilities. However, that is not the only criterion to consider. The potential technology provider should deliver a product that can be expanded with third-party features or custom-built business capabilities, all conveniently packaged together.
Therefore, it is advisable for business leaders to collaborate and define the specific capabilities they need to achieve their desired business outcomes, such as successfully operating under multiple business models simultaneously. At the same time, IT executives should work closely with the chosen product vendor to ensure that the CIS solution provides well-documented APIs for the exposed capabilities. This collaboration will enable seamless integration with other systems and allow for future scalability and interoperability.
PRO TIP 1: DEFINE COMPANY-SPECIFIC, BUSINESS OUTCOME-DRIVEN METRICS BEFORE EVALUATING TECHNOLOGY VENDORS
When considering investments in new business and technology capabilities, it is crucial for businesses to prioritise metrics that quantify the value of technology in terms of revenue generation, cost savings, and risk mitigation across the entire utility value chain. Gartner recommends categorising these metrics into three types: aggregated business outcomes, business outcome-driven metrics, and paired technology outcome-driven metrics.
Here are some examples of each type:
1. Aggregated business outcomes focus on metrics related to profitability or financial performance;
2. Business outcome-driven metrics consider metrics that measure customer service provisioning costs and asset reliability;
3. Technology outcome-driven metrics include metrics such as the percentage of AMI meter reads, the percentage of digitally completed customer service requests, and the percentage of digitally connected assets.
Utility CIOs should identify the metrics that align with their company’s transformation strategy as a priority. It is also important for them to effectively communicate these business outcomes and benefits to executive leaders in order to gain the necessary support.
MaxBill recommendations and tips for utility companies surveying technology vendors
Drawing on our 26 years of experience working with utility clients, we recommend the following considerations when evaluating technology vendors:
1. Industry Knowledge and Expertise: Look for vendors with a deep understanding of utility markets, regulatory requirements, customer expectations, and how these factors impact system functionality.
2. Demonstrated Operational Efficiency and Business Agility: Ask for examples and case studies showcasing how the vendor’s technology has improved operational efficiency and enabled increased agility for utility companies.
3. Partnerships and Collaborations: Inquire about the vendor’s partnerships with system integrators and other relevant industry stakeholders, as this can enhance their ability to deliver comprehensive solutions.
4. Value Proposition of Digital Technology: Seek a clear and compelling explanation of how the vendor’s digital technology solution delivers value to utility companies, including improved processes, cost savings, and enhanced customer experiences.
5. Implementation Roadmap: Request an initial roadmap outlining the implementation process, including key milestones, timelines, and resource requirements. This will help you understand the steps involved and align expectations.
6. Strategic Business Support: Assess the vendor’s commitment to supporting your strategic business imperatives and goals. This may include providing ongoing support, consultation, and guidance throughout the partnership.
7. Industry-Specific Approach: Understand how the vendor approaches industry-specific challenges and tailors their solutions to address the unique needs and complexities of the utility sector.
8. Client Testimonials and Use Cases: Ask for client testimonials and use cases to gain insight into the vendor’s track record, client satisfaction, and successful implementations in the utility industry.
9. Open Communication with IT Staff: Ensure that the vendor fosters open and transparent communication with your IT staff, facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing.
10. Valuable Insights for Executive Leaders and Stakeholders: Evaluate whether the vendor can provide valuable insights and reporting that will be useful for executive leaders and stakeholders in making informed decisions and driving business growth.
By considering these factors, utility companies can make informed decisions when selecting technology vendors that align with their specific needs and goals.
PRO TIP 2: DEFINE WHAT FUNCTIONALITY SHOULD QUALIFY YOUR UTILITY PRODUCT
On the journey of researching and selecting the revenue management solution, it’s important to define the specific functionalities that qualify the product for your business needs and growth strategy.
1. Pricing Management: The product should have the capability to track and manage individual or group product and service pricing, allowing for flexibility and customization.
2. Revenue Recognition and Allocations: Look for features that facilitate accurate revenue recognition and allocations, ensuring that revenue is properly attributed and accounted for.
3. Performance Evaluation: The solution should enable the evaluation of package performance, special offers, and incentives, providing insights into their impact on revenue generation.
4. Handling Different Revenue Types: Ensure that the product can handle different types of revenue models, such as transaction-based revenue and recurring revenue, supporting the diverse needs of your business.
5. Discount and Rebate Analysis: The solution should be able to assess the effects of discounts and rebates on overall revenue, allowing for better analysis and decision-making.
6. Revenue Tracking: Look for functionality that enables the tracking of revenue on a contract, customer, or project basis, providing granular visibility into revenue streams and performance.
7. Best Practices and Optimization: Seek a product that incorporates industry best practices for revenue management, ensuring that your processes are optimized and aligned with industry standards.
Key Takeaways for Company Champions
1. Choose a modular solution: To address the energy transition, opt for a CIS system that is modular and can be expanded with third-party features or custom-built capabilities to meet evolving requirements.
2. Focus on quantifiable value metrics: When selecting a technology vendor, prioritize metrics that demonstrate quantifiable value in terms of revenue, cost savings, and risk mitigation across the utility value chain.
3. Assess industry knowledge and expertise: Look for a vendor with a deep understanding of utility markets, regulatory requirements, and customer expectations, as well as a track record of improving operational efficiency and business agility.
4. Consider partnerships and collaborations: Check if the vendor has established partnerships with system integrators or other industry players, indicating their commitment to providing comprehensive solutions.
5. Seek open communication and support: Ensure the vendor offers open communication channels with your IT staff and provides support to help achieve your strategic business goals.
6. Define functionality requirements: Clearly define the specific functionality you need, such as pricing management, revenue recognition, performance evaluation, and optimization based on industry best practices.
7. Consider testimonials and use cases: Request testimonials and use cases from existing clients to gauge the vendor’s track record and client satisfaction.
By considering these factors and aligning with business leaders, you can make informed decisions when selecting a technology vendor for your CIS implementation, ensuring a successful and efficient transition to a modern and adaptable solution that meets your utility company’s specific needs.
Are you about to start the digital transformation journey? Or, do you need a specific, tailored improvement to your existing systems?
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