Most utilities use robust meter, network, and customer service infrastructures designed to support processes and systems for well-defined work routines and functions. For example, they use conventional meters with life cycles of up to 40 years – devices that worked well when energy markets were largely regulated and characterized by price regulations, easy access to energy resources, and sufficient infrastructure capacity. In that environment, organizations could rely on manual processes for everything from checking meter readings to determining future demand for electricity, without as much concern about margins, ensuring customer retention, energy efficiencies, and sustainability.
But changes in the utilities industry are making it increasingly difficult to compete using traditional infrastructures and processes. Resources and infrastructure capacities are becoming more marginal, and inelastic demand is restricting revenue growth. There’s a heightened focus on reducing carbon footprints. New legislatively mandated market rules demand that you compete for customers on the open market, so you must find new ways to differentiate your services and capture additional revenue while increasing operational efficiency. And because customers can switch retailers relatively easily – especially in electricity markets – you need innovative processes to improve sales and customer service performance.
In this environment, success will require finding new ways to boost operational efficiency, effectiveness, and agility. For example, by switching to smart meters that automatically send wireless meter reading data, you can eliminate costly, site-based meter readings, analyze data to better align daily energy demand with supply, and differentiate pricing based on demand trends. To support these kinds of innovations, SAP offers next-generation, advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) technology for optimizing metering and customer service infrastructures.
The SAP AMI Integration for Utilities software streamlines how you access customer meter data and make it available for instant consumption by the back-end systems supporting your customer relationship management, billing, and analysis activities. Using a set of enterprise services based on XML formats, the software acts as a communication and integration bridge between the databases and applications involved in aggregating meter-reading data and servicing and invoicing customers.
This integration lays the foundation for a new way of achieving cost-effective customer service, market efficiency and automation, and optimization of revenues and demand.
Learn more about the SAP AMI Integration for Utilities from the SAP experts within our workshop or both but also from our customers on their experiences during implementation projects:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013:
Workshop 9: SAP AMI Integration for Utilities
Friday, April 19, 2013:
C4 How to Meet the Future Challenges for Smart Metering and Smart Energy with an MDM Platform; Lars Norrman, E.ON
C5 BC Hydro’s Successful Smart Grid Modernization, Lessons Learned, and the Road Ahead; Roger Goodwin, BC HydroBob Borzillo, Itron