“What is the real total cost to connect a utilities customer?” Simple question, right?
From the customer picking up the phone and saying, “I want service from you”, all the way to getting them their first bill.
What was that actual cost to connect not the cost to serve?
Not too long ago a utility client asked us that question and tasked us to find out and get back to him. We contacted 5 different people throughout the organization and, like a blind man feeling an elephant, came back with 5 different answers. Some describe the trunk; some describe the ears and yet others describe the skin. In our case, we got different answers. Find out why…
The Business Operations team (Customer Information System) gave us the cost to do the billing or the cost to connect a customer in the CIS system. The Asset Operations group (Asset Management) was looking at meter costs and Field Operations was looking at the cost of sending someone out to meet the customer. We didn’t have any understanding of the cost of travel time to make the initial connection, the Network Operations cost, or the Financial cost (ERP impact) which was not even considered. The bottom line is that all the data and use cases that could provide this vital number was hiding inside separate, siloed systems.
Since the systems were not connected, they were not sharing the information and there was no way of understanding what the real total cost to connect a customer was.
That got us thinking…
We wanted to produce a service to bridge the gap to bring a solution to the marketplace that integrates these parts together. To provide utilities a model in which they see realistic use cases and can leverage the value of the data they already have and present a simple, unified framework to deploy this solution.
It’s like going to Home Depot or Amazon to buy parts for something you want to build. You must buy lots of individual parts that come together to build what you need. But if you don’t have the right tools and the right people with the right skillset to put it together, it ends up being a collection of things cobbled together creating a disjointed and departmentalized system.
Today as we are move faster and faster into the digital world, people want speed, people want things to look similar, people want things to deploy fast, change fast and stay current.
ESC’s decade-plus experience in the utilities industry puts us in the ideal position to address this challenge and our answer is Utiliprise. The idea behind Utiliprise is the creation of a customer-centric digital enterprise.
The 5 core themes or pillars of Utiliprise are:
1. Financial Benefit – Slash up to 60% off the overall project while reducing the overall Total Cost of Ownership by 30%+. Phasing out an aging and expensive hardware infrastructure while concurrently virtually eliminating upgrade and customization costs yields massive savings.
2. Connected Customer – Seamlessly and immediately link customers to real-time information in response to their data-driven and digitally enabled lifestyle.
3. Continuous Improvement - Create opportunities to embrace innovations more quickly including rapid software upgrades without disruption, improved and evolving security and the flexibility to swiftly respond to change.
4. Cloud Movement - Allow utilities to embrace and move towards their cloud vision and make tangible, executable plans to do so.
5. Connected Enterprise – Melding the entire system into a digital ecosystem that addresses the lifecycle processes in a utility holistically and provides priceless data visibility across the enterprise at your fingertips.
The power of Utiliprise as a concept is that all the customer’s data and all the integration layers required to perform service are all now a fully functional together. You’re not just collecting a bunch of different parts and pieces of software that are specialized to complete their specific function alone.
By adopting Utiliprise, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and extracting value from your system occurs on Day One instead of possibly months down the road. The power of Utiliprise is waiting for you and your organization. Connect with ESC to see how it can work for you.