SAP On-Site Billing Solution – Empower Utilities Customers With Mobile Solutions
Integrating partners in the complete sales and service cycle is SAPs strategy for successfully taking business to another level. For more than two years SAP Brasil and PROLOGA GmbH have lived up to this new motto through a close and cooperative partnership – and the success proves them right.
The secret behind is not really one – while both partners focus on their respective strengths, they align them for the customer’s benefit.
In terms of SAP Brasil and PROLOGA this means that the SAP team contributes their closeness to the local customers on the Latin American Market, their in-depth knowledge of the SAP ISU solutions as well as excellent project management capabilities. PROLOGA, on the other hand, scores with its expert knowledge of the SAP technology, some 15 years in developing mobile solutions and their know-how of implementing product standards within the SAP environment. This combination finally culminates in product implementations that stand out not only due to lower costs for maintenance but particularly due to their versatile usability. Applying technical software plug-ins, the products can easily and cost-efficiently be adapted to new markets and customer requirements.
But a successful partnership is not necessarily a “pas de deux”. Particularly when it comes to specific functions or processes, SAP and PROLOGA try to integrate reliable local service providers. So, it is for example possible to outsource the device management of the customer to a service provider with a broad service network. This enables SAP and PROLOGA to concentrate on their core competence such as tariff changes, contracting, meter reading and development of mobile apps.
Let us have a closer look at the On-site Billing solution that enables SAP customers to optimize their billing processes by creating meter reading bills directly on-site of the meter reading.
In October 2013 SAP Brasil and PROLOGA announced a second successful go-live of a mobile project in Brasil. The solution focuses on periodic and aperiodic meter readings. The customer, Neoenergia S.A. (the third-largest Brazilian-based utility holding company taking care of about 8.000.000 meters), benefited not only from a well-established cooperation of the service providers SAP Brasil and PROLOGA but also from a sound solution. The mobile application that comes with the solution is able to differentiate between an online and offline mode for meter readings. If the device hosting the mobile application is connected to the internet, the data changes will automatically be synchronized with SAP IS-U in the background while the meter reader is doing his work in the field. Next to planning the actual meter readings and supporting the mobile meter reading itself, the solution comes with a calculation and on-site printing function. The invoice can thus easily be presented to the customer right after the reading. The mobile invoicing function is a further enhancement to the already well-established meter reader planning. By configuring an additional view on the data, the integrated planning tool set supports utilities companies in an efficient roll-out of their smart meters. Moreover, sitting on SAP Netweaver Gateway the solution is ready for SAP´s multichannel strategy.
But what about performance? The readings of millions of meters create a lot of data, not to mention the planning or invoicing of such readings. Customers for sure do not only want to support their business processes with mobile software because it is fancy but expect clear advantages in their daily operations. For example, AES Eletropaulo, the first pilot in Brasil implementing the SAP On-Site Billing solution, challenged the teams with the requirement to create an invoice within 20 seconds. Only in this way it is possible to create roundabout 300,000 invoices per day after the complete roll-out in 2013 (approx. 1.200 meter reader).
The solution: the nightly settlement runs are performed during the day thereby freeing up system capacities for maintenance runs and batch processes. The system turns upside down today’s standard process of creating invoices in the backend. This is possible since the mobile solution integrates all relevant meter reading and invoicing checks of SAP IS-U. If a problem or error occurs during a meter reading tour, the respective workflows in SAP IS-U are automatically triggered. Moreover, tariff changes are automatically synchronized between SAP IS-U and the mobile devices. This reduces the effort of device administration immensely having a positive influence on the TCO. A clear advantage of the SAP products compared to other providers of such solutions.
On the plus side as well, the distribution of computing time.
The following illustration shows the process in an overview.
The current numbers of the two Brazilian customers speak for themselves.
- Status: Roll out company-wide finished
- 1300 mobile workers live
- Go-live for 3 companies within 3 days – all controlled and monitored by one central system
- Status: Roll out company-wide finished
- 3500 mobile workers live
In the meantime, PROLOGA has worked on improving the solution according to the SAP road map and the customer needs:
- Since November 2013 the solution is also available on SAP HANA.
- Since 2014 a analytic toolset for monitoring, alerting and reporting the meter reading and onsite billing process is provided based on SAP HANA.
- Since Q1/2015 the mobile application is supporting as well Android as the operating system of the mobile devices.
- In Q2/2015 Dynamic Periodic Control (DPC) as well as DEMAND billing was added to the product.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Stefan Engelhardt, IBU Utilities.
SAP Brasil and PROLOGA – a success story to be continued…