What is new in SAP Cloud for Utilities 2011 (Cloud Only) Release for Meter-to-Bill Processes?
Good news: Interested in the latest and greatest features of SAP Cloud for Energy, SAP Subscription Billing, and their out-of-box billing integration? You can now try them out by yourself via the new Free Trial for SAP Utilities Industry Cloud. Check my colleague Holger’s blog for more details and how to access this trial.
SAP Cloud for Energy and SAP Subscription Billing have successfully released many new features for SAP Cloud for Utilities 2011 (Cloud Only) Meter-to-Bill processes in a continuous delivery manner (Feature Packs every 2 weeks).
In Cloud for Utilities 2011 (Cloud Only) release, Cloud for Energy and Subscription Billing have jointly designed and implemented out-of-box integration between the solutions. It is event-driven, loosely coupled, and highly scalable to support mass billing processes. This new integration supports:
- Multiple divisions: Electricity, water
- Multiple meter types: Discrete meter with single/double registers, time-series smart meter
- Multiple charge types: Total consumption charge, on/off-peak consumption charge, peak demand charge, base fee
- Multiple use cases: Periodic billing, price change, subscription cancellation
In Subscription Billing, you can define the product and rate plan for a commodity product and manage the full life cycle of a subscription/energy contract. Subscription Billing allows specifying the billing cycle of a subscription and automatically triggers a public event when a bill is due.
In Cloud for Energy, meter master data can be maintained. Meter measurement data can be ingested, validated and stored; missing data can be estimated. Upon receiving the billing event from Subscription Billing, Cloud for Energy calculates billing determinants based on plausible measurement data, then sends them to Subscription Billing as usage data for rating and billing.
Highlighted Cloud for Energy Features in Cloud for Utilities 2011 (Cloud Only)
View Measurement Data
- Cloud for Energy supports viewing measurement data for both discrete meter (picture below) and time series smart meter. You can also filter the measurement data or export the data into a file (e.g. XLS).
Manage Synthetic Load Profiles
- Cloud for Energy supports managing Synthetic Load Profiles including its special type Standard Load Profile. Standard Load Profile together with usage factor is used to estimate consumption for a discrete meter when actual measurement data is not available/possible (e.g. when there is a price change).
View Operational Monitoring
- Cloud for Energy provides the Operational Monitoring tool to get an overview of the issues with measurement data. It gives you insights on the number of issues filtered by many attributes such as data quality, period, city, manufacturer and model. Once the measurement data issues are solved, they become plausible and can be used for billing purposes.
Configure Measurement Methods
- Cloud for Energy provides the Measurement Method Configuration tool to define which reading type and method to use for billing determinant calculation. This configuration is required for integration with Subscription Billing, it is also used to check if the meter’s capability can support the measurement method(s) required by the product.
Highlighted Subscription Billing Features in Cloud for Utilities 2011 (Cloud Only)
- The energy contract is saved in Subscription Billing as a subscription. The subscription holds the information about the product, the price and the Technical Resource ID, which is the corresponding Meter ID in Cloud for Energy.
Support Periodic Billing
- At the end of each billing cycle, periodic billing is automatically triggered. Subscription Billing publishes a public event to notify Cloud for Energy about bill due.
- Upon receiving the bill due event, Cloud for Energy calculates billing determinants (e.g. total consumption, peak demand) and sends them back to Subscription Billing as usage records.
- Subscription Billing does real-time rating and the bill is immediately updated. The bill also calculates the costs included in the charge (e.g. grid usage fee, concession fee, ….)
Support Measurement Specification and Rate Subelement
- Subscription Billing supports Measurement Specification and Rate Subelement:
- Measurement Specification is used to specify which measurement method in Cloud for Energy should be used to calculate the usage
- Subelement is used to support more complex charges such as on/off-peak consumption charges
- Cloud for Energy uses the measurement specifications to calculate and send both billing determinants/ usage records for on-peak and off-peak consumption.
- Subscription Billing applies on-/off-peak consumption with corresponding rates.
- Subscription Billing allows changing prices during a billing cycle. The following product has changed the price on October 16th.
- As a result, Cloud for Energy sends 2 billing determinants/usage records to Subscription Billing:
- 1st one is before the product change
- 2nd one is after the product change.
So that each usage record can be applied with the corresponding rate
- You can also end an active contract by cancelling a subscription. Once the subscription is cancelled, the last bill is due. Cloud for Energy sends the billing determinant/usage record until the date of cancellation to Subscription Billing, and then Subscription Billing updates the last bill.
Documentation & useful links
A few more useful links:
- SAP Cloud for Utilities page
- SAP Cloud for Utilities Help Portal
- SAP Cloud for Energy Help Portal
- SAP Cloud for Energy Trial
- SAP Subscription Billing product page