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Author's profile photo James McClelland

SAP HANA – A Gamechanger for Utilities

Decarbonization, deregulation, and decentralization are disrupting the century-old utilities hierarchy.

We see a “Digital Energy Network” emerging that reflects new structures of distributed generation, water supply, transmission, distribution, and retail. The Digital Energy Network will foster new business models and processes. It will transform work in a competitive and collaborative digital economy.

The consequences are dramatic. Proven utilities business models based on trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure collapse. New market entrants, such as Google, Amazon and Tesla, disrupt the value chain. Rapid technical and social innovation puts new capital investments at risk. Consumers, communities, and companies go “off the grid” with new wind, solar, water and storage technology.

Utilities, Reimagined

The industry is currently balancing the efficient operations of its existing infrastructure with the need to adapt to the volatile market environment. Leading utilities are re-evaluating their physical assets and customer relationships to:

  • Reimagine business models to find new revenue and profit sources. Achieved by offering innovative supply, load balancing, and smart home/business energy services
  • Reimagine business processes and use of digital technology to optimize business outcomes. Achieved by converging information and operational technologies
  • Reimagine the role and structure of the workforce to support future business. Achieved by incorporating wearable technology, Blockchain, 3D printers, and geospatial technologies

“Reimagining” the utilities business will shape the Digital Energy Network that overlays and complements the power supply system. All participants – utilities, consumers, and new non-utility players – will use digital innovation to anticipate real-time demand and supply, operate self-healing grids, and innovate the customer experience.

Digital Business Framework

SAP understands the five pillars of digitization, and we also understand that the continuously changing requirements pose big challenges for businesses. The method of reimagining business models, business processes, and work helps develop the digitization road map.

We have built the digital business framework to support utilities in developing and executing on their digital enterprise strategy to become digital transformers that fully leverage and contribute to the Digital Energy Network.

Digital Opportunities for the Utilities Industry

Utilities must digitize to grow profits and reduce costs by simplifying their operations. The value of the digital economy is based on how to serve the consumer or prosumer. Value creation often comes from edge solutions which are based on and coordinated by the digital core solutions. It is the platform for innovation and business process optimization, connecting the workforce, the Internet of Things, the supply network, and the customers.

Using the digital business framework will help companies create:

  1. A smarter and engaged workforce across all employees and contractors
  2. Spend management to accelerate growth and innovation
  3. Outcome-based customer and stakeholder engagement across all physical and digital channels
  4. Full and safe utilization of assets leveraging the Internet of Things and supply chain to drive real-time insights and enable new business models
  5. Real-time business transactions and analytics connected on a digital core so everything is smarter, faster, and simpler

Learn more about how SAP customer Snohomish County Public Utility District No.1 (SnoPUD) is driving digital transformation using the SAP HANA in-memory platform to empower users to get timely answers and drastically reduce development time compared to traditional approaches in our webinar replay.

Get Started Today

It isn’t necessary to implement this digital framework all at once, or even to start with SAP HANA. Companies can start with the pillar that creates the most value for their given situations, and add others when they are ready.

Learn more by downloading our Digital Utilities Whitepaper, SAP HANA – Driving Innovation Brochure and Load Forecasting Brochure

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