Why does the modern energy industry need IT, and which tools are worth focusing on?
Nowadays, energy companies more and more often invest in IT solutions and tools, also regularly increasing budgets for this area. IT technologies comprehensively support the energy industry. From the production and sale of energy through billing, metering data management, providing distribution services, or customer service, to managing the network assets.10 June 2021 | Reading Time: 2 minutes | Share:
As the energy market is becoming customer-focused, efficient customer service is crucial today. Professional power grid management is no less important, especially cost accounting and optimization, as well as correct usage. Taking proper care of these areas allows increasing the effectiveness of electricity management on the part of suppliers, distributors, and customers.
A comprehensive billing solution
Our client is the first Polish private energy group involved in the production of energy from conventional and renewable sources and energy distribution and trading. Being aware of the growing role of IT, they asked us for technological support in two areas.
The first task was to create a billing solution that would enable settlement of contracts (for customers, distributors and sellers in the energy market), collection of data about all entities involved in the processes of sale and distribution of energy, integration of readings from a settlement period, full settlement of payments and generation of reports and summaries. As part of this project, we delivered a complete software solution, divided into four areas.
- Billing – the IT solution that enables automation of billing processes and efficient cooperation with dozens or even several thousands of customers.
- Payments and debt collection – a module enabling monitoring and settlement of payments and debt collection, fully adapted to the needs of sellers and distributors.
- Workflow – an application supporting the internal work of the Customer Service Office, containing a list of tickets, the ability to manage them, and verify their processing progress.
- Customer portal – a customer portal enabling two-way communication with energy consumers and giving customers access to key documents such as e-invoices or information about the current balance and list of payments.
The implemented solution integrates as many as 17,000 electricity consumption points and enables issuing of 160,000 notices per year. The system is being constantly adapted to the current market requirements, and we provide support and maintenance as part of the cooperation.
Professional customer service tools
The second area of cooperation was to provide the client with a complete system supporting the service of energy consumers. It includes applications that allow end customers to, among other things, update personal data, make payments (including making payments for invoices directly in the application), and view current and historical documents. The work also included UX design, infrastructure design, and implementation of the server layer integrating the Customer Portal with other previously used systems.
- The customer portal exists as a mobile application for iOS and Android platforms as well as a web application.
- The server layer provides access to the payer’s data, support for automated processes, authentication, integration with a payment gateway, and the ability to send an email and push messages.
As a result of this project, the client has gained additional communication channels (also for marketing) with its customers. The implemented software-enabled easier access to accounting, and the implemented notification system had a positive impact on the timely payment of invoices.
By following the path of digital transformation, our client can now better address the needs of his target audience, as well as automate internal and external processes, thus optimizing the time they take.