High-performing utilities recognize the need for connection and transformation.
Utilities ensure there is a reliable source of power. They respond quickly to outages and provide easy-to-understand bills. These services have always been at the core of market expectations for utilities. But today’s customers are more empowered, conscious, demanding and connected than ever before. They certainly want more from a utility than just ‘keeping the lights on’. Utilities must rethink how they work and how they engage – because customer expectations are so much more than what utilities currently deliver.
Connection is key
High-performing utilities recognize the need for connection and transformation. They are slowly starting to connect to their customers with new technology and opportunities for more meaningful interactions. Plus, by also connecting with their employees, they are empowering delivery of their customer promise through their day-to-day interactions. Connecting the front, middle and back offices will enable utilities to execute the customer growth agenda, and connecting the wider ecosystem of business partners improves upon the delivery of commitments and ‘value-adds’ to customers. Finally, connecting to the digital ecosystem will enable utilities to meet customer expectations for a wider range of products and services, improved responsiveness, and more flexible pricing.
Core capabilities of connected enterprises
As connected enterprises, utilities will be insight-led, innovative, and intentional. Data and analytics strategy will provide insight and understanding, and as customers embrace automated technologies, they will influence consumption and contribute to new customer service. There will be links between automated analytics and communication infrastructure, smart meters and digital infrastructure, and connected smart devices and related new services and products such as electric vehicles.
Utilities will also be integrated and responsive. Customers will be able to use grid-edge technologies and services to produce, consume, store and sell electricity, both to and from the grid and in peer-to-peer transactions. Organizations with flexible and resilient procurement and logistics operations will be bestplaced to support these different channels. Finally, utilities will be empowered, digitally-enabled and extended. Utility leaders will model change, championing the connected enterprise and supporting a culture that focuses on the entire customer experience.
Why does being a connected enterprise matter?
In today’s world, the hub of the power system is the utility. But it’s not just the hub for power. It’s the hub of communication, the hub of relationships, the hub of process, the hub of everything. As that hub, the utility must change its paradigm of how it connects customers to its processes. Instead of connecting solely through a call center or a work order, utilities now facilitate customer connections with a range of other products and providers. The relationship is about service. It’s about providing what customers want and giving them information. The relationship is seamless.
Utilities can use infrastructure and operations to embed themselves in the market. They are at the center of all modern relationships. It’s about more than just delivering the power, it’s electric vehicles, communications, and data centers. It’s distributed energy and demand-side management. This allows customers to develop peer-to-peer relationships in the energy marketplace and transform into an innovation hub for customers.