Utilities - An Industry Powering Ahead

Posted on February 2019 By Speller International
Utilities - An Industry Powering Ahead

​The Utilities Industry across Australia and the world for that matter is very busy. Let’s face it, in any economic downturn, everyone (unless they are living a minimalist life in the Himalayan Mountains) needs electricity and gas to power everyday functions of living. It is this fact that keeps the industry thriving and growing in technology and change in general. More and more competition is culminating in a push for the best product and to achieve this, you need the best technology.

Regulatory Changes
Whether Utility companies are government owned and operated or privately owned, they must adhere to strict regulations due to the fact that they are a day to day public necessity. In the last few years, there have been many significant changes to the Utilities Sector including; The Power of Choice- this was an initiative to make changes to the industry in order to give the consumer the opportunity to make more informed choices about electricity products and services.

The changes relate to how metering services are provided and how data is managed and used. The prelude to this was the AMI Metering program, introducing metering devices to read power usage at close intervals in order to provide a more accurate reading. This was a massive program of work that went on for years (2009-2013). This enabled the industry to be prepared for what lays ahead.

The Digital Age
This age of digitalisation is making a big impact on the utilities industry. With more and more competition, the focus on customers is imperative. This leads to a push for customers to access their own data and have a user friendly interface between their chosen power company. The IOT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) products are becoming integrated more and more into everyday technology. These areas of focus need a digital environment to get the best out of analytics, the customer experience, and to ensure smooth business processes.

What it means for SAP/ Technology
Big utilities companies across the country (and internationally) have been undergoing large digital transformations over the last few years. SAP has of course been leaning more towards the customer experience, detailed analytics and the IOT for some time now and will continue to do so.

For IT Consultants it means that upskilling will be essential in order to stay at the top of your game. Cloud technologies, HANA, Fiori and crucially, the integration into multiple systems is now very important for a sleek, efficient ERP system and will be very useful to you to stay relevant.

What about S4 HANA Utilities?
SAP’s Utilities Suite will have a new look in S4. There will be an SAP S/4 Hana core which will be available on premise and include similar offerings to the current ISU modules. There will also be a new cloud offering; SAP for Utilities Cloud is a comprehensive End to End SaaS portfolio.

This will include modules for Marketing, Sales, Service, Commerce, Hana Cloud, Energy, Revenue Cloud Billing & Market Communication. This will also have easy integration to SAP Leonardo which will allow capabilities to link IOT offerings to utilities. These new cloud offerings will provide additional room for new innovations and capabilities within the utilities industry.

The Utilities Industry is constantly growing in technology and with this push towards technology and digital platforms, upskilling your SAP skills may just be a priority in the Utilities Industry.

What do you think about the rise of technology in the Utilities Industry?