Provide a brief description of the Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative.
Utilities and energy companies represent some of the largest organizations around the world, similar in size and complexity to telcos, banks and insurance companies. With millions of customers and complex legacy provisioning, customer service and billing systems, these organizations need to: • Provide collaboration across large account teams to better service business clients • Enable powerful search capabilities to find documents, records and contracts that relate to complex projects as well as customer business objectives • Enable millions of dollars in government rebate programs to be distributed to the clients who quality or face stiff penalties for program mis-management • Meet aggressive “green” policies by educating clients on how to reduce energy usage – stiff fines are being enacted for organizations who miss in their energy reduction scorecard • Provide real-time business intelligence to executives who can track that scorecard metrics are being met • Provide real self-service capabilities to business and residential customers. This means tight integration with back-office systems and third party payment engines so that tasks like moves, adds and changes can be completed by an end-user. This complex requirement sets into motion several key activities that impact multiple systems such as billing and provisioning, sending out service technicians and updating accounting information. The incumbents trying to solve these problems for this industry are Oracle and SAP. But Navantis is changing the landscape with the Navantis Customer Care Reference Architecture for Utilities. At The client we have delivered this reference architecture to provide a highly functional self-service web presence, tightly integrated with their back-office Oracle Customer Care and Billing system. Navantis and our vertical market expertise in utilities, oil and gas are enabling technologies to support the goal of The client to deliver collaboration, search, customer management and a strong web-based digital relationship helping residential and business customers interact more efficiently with the utility. Along with SharePoint 2010 (and now available with SharePoint 2013), the reference architecture includes core infrastructure products, such as UAG and virtualization, Windows Server, Conservation Demand Management built on CRM for call centre and customer data, SharePoint for internet, intranet, and extranet, SQL for BI, Lync for real time collaboration, Biztalk for integration and Bing Maps for customer data. Four distinct yet inter-related projects have seen the implementation of the Customer Care FrameWork at The client for: • Microsoft SharePoint for collaboration and document management internally at The client • Microsoft SharePoint for external web-site and Customer Self-Service • Microsoft CRM for Conservation Demand Management and: • Microsoft SharePoint for integration to the The client Oracle CIS platform for real-time customer and billing information. The client-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 715,000 customers located in the city. It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 18% of the electricity consumed in the Province of Ontario.
Describe what makes this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative original or innovative.
Until Navantis developed this framework, utilities companies had limited choice when it came to delivering collaboration, self-service and demand management with CRM. Due to the complexities of their environment, both from a business model and a technology perspective, extending their back office CIS systems was the obvious solution but due to the necessary rigor around these core billing and provisioning systems, most projects were lengthy and expensive. The Navantis solution can be delivered in a fraction of the time at significantly reduced costs. Two other clients who have deployed this framework realized the following: BC Hydro has realized the following by selecting Microsoft instead of SAP with the Navantis Customer Care Reference Architecture for Utilities featuring our Conservation Demand Management solution: • Less than half the cost to deploy Microsoft over SAP even though BC Hydro already owned the SAP licenses (a savings of $2 million). • Less than half the time to implement Microsoft over SAP • Key Account Manager’s have the tools to help BC Hydro customers access over $150 million in government rebates and initiatives; • BC Hydro will be able to defer billions in infrastructure upgrades by changing customer behaviors – Conservation Demand Management is helping extend the life of the utility infrastructure and extend the capital projects out. “We selected Microsoft because of core functionality, flexible cost savings and reduced time to deploy. We selected Navantis because they had a Conservation Demand Management solution, deep industry knowledge, a seasoned team of specialists and were ready to roll from Day 1. Working with them was a fantastic experience,” said Keith Tolhurst, Solution Lead, BC Hydro. Direct Energy has realized the following with the Navantis Customer Care Reference Architecture for Utilities: • Direct Energy has been able to reduce its door-to-door sales force. On-line upselling of services has increased revenues. • Ongoing development costs have been reduced by 40 to 50% . This is because marketing can manage all of their transformative changes without requiring development efforts. This is due to the ease of use of marketing working within SharePoint and the Cardiolog SharePoint plug-ins. • Direct Energy has found more wallet-share with New Leaf, a service that promotes a premium charge for customers who want to use carbon friendly energy. “Our partner of choice for the DirectEnergy.com website is Navantis.” “Website Redesign extends the reach of DirectEnergy.com’s dynamic content from state and province to city-level making Direct Energy easier to find by search engines and giving customers across North America what they need and want with less clicks. The site integrates Direct Energy’s brands and services – creating one-stop for customers to shop for their electricity and natural gas services as well as search for an electrician, plumber or HVAC repairman in their neighborhood. Through deployment of the Sharepoint Content Management System, Direct Energy has centralized and automated recurring web updates leveraging technology and the scale of our business to reduce its cost to serve.”
Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s sales or revenues. What changed?
Provide evidence of measurable improvements in sales, revenues, cost reduction, etc.
This project was about better customer service and internal efficiencies. See our response in the next question for evidence.
Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s efficiency. What changed?
Provide evidence of how customer efficiency was increased.
With the Navantis customer care reference architecture for utilities The client has realized • Increased the use of self-service by over 20% • Exceeded registration to ‘The client” by 110% • Provided energy consumption reporting to incent better behaviours around energy usage across their client base • Improved profitability through better management of digital assets and web-site usage • A unified corporate Intranet and Internet on SharePoint with robust Search capabilities; • Seamless integration to their Oracle CC&B system; • Seamless integration to third party payment engines; • The implementation of the client customer self-service portal which is tied in to customer billing and provisioning, automatically updating account information and pre-authorized payment registrations. It also provides customers 24/7 access to billing and account information. • Automated the workflow of provisioning and de-provisioning for moves and changes. A complex initiative and fully integrated with Oracle, this SharePoint workflow has meant fewer errors, a reduction in back-office processing, and immediate customer confirmation that move information and account set up has been completed.
How did this Solution, Service provided, or Initiative improve the customer’s ability to serve its internal and/or external clients?
Provide evidence of the improvement.
“The successful launch of our first customer self-service portal has exceeded our expectations. Customers can now easily view their bills and payment history, sign up for preauthorized payment and more, at their own convenience and without live-agent assistance. Based on positive customer feedback, we expect the client will become an integral part of their day-to-day account management. This builds on our corporate strategy to deliver value to our customers while making it easy to transact with us.” , The client. The tight integration to the Oracle CC&B system means that users can access account information on the web portal, pay bills that integrate to third party banking systems and initiate moves which set in motion a series of tasks such as starting and stopping services, dispatching service technicians and modifying billing. In addition, Key Account Managers at The client can manage electricity rebate programs for some of the largest users of electricity in the city, helping The client meet strict “green” policies that have been regulated by the government. Systems accessed include the Oracle CC&B (Customer Care & Billing) and multiple payment engines authorizing payments from banks including some of the largest banks in the world such as Royal Bank, TD Bank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and others as well as credit card payments including Visa and MasterCard. Moving has been simplified and automated so that moving requests take minutes and are tracked in real-time and landlords have increased usage visibility enabling them to track electricity consumption for individual units across the city. Mark and his team at Navantis worked closely with us to understand our current and future needs and provided us with a viable CRM solution. He has gone above and beyond to ensure that our solution is optimal. Mark also worked with his developers to create a tool for extracting data from a third party system that has led to improved productivity when imputing data within CRM.
In what ways does this Solution or Service Provided go above and beyond industry norms and expectations?
In the energy and utility industry, in almost every opportunity we are facing either SAP or Oracle. These two vendors supply over 90% of the Customer Care and Billing solutions for this vertical market. We have used our deep industry knowledge and developed a compelling solution that takes advantage of software that is probably already owned by the client to deliver a flexible, low TCO, easy to use alternative for Utilities and Energy companies to consider. Microsoft technologies provide these organizations with the same or better capabilities at a fraction of the cost of Oracle or SAP.
How does this solution further your customer’s green or environmentally friendly plans?
The need to educate the customer and provide programs to incent new behaviours around the use of energy is a critical factor in The client meeting their corporate goals. As a condition of their electricity distribution licence, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) had directed The client to achieve 1,304 gigawatt-hours of energy savings and 286 megawatts of summer peak demand savings over the period beginning January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014.