As more utilities find themselves in a deregulated market, they need tools to compete with other utility companies.
Due to these challenges, especially controlling meter reading, SAP has added energy industry-specific customer relationship management (CRM), energy data management and new work management functionality to its mySAP Utilities package. The enhancements are geared toward electricity, gas, remote heating, water, waste water and waste management businesses of all sizes.
Part of competing in a deregulated market involves being able to be closer to customers and other service providers. The CRM component of mySAP Utilities now uses portal-based workplaces from mySAP Workplace to streamline CRM functions, including telephone calls, e-mail, text chat and Web collaboration. The back-office system is specific to the utilities industry.
Deregulation leads to more information, and mySAP Utilities Energy Data Management (EDM) assists utilities in handling the large volumes of energy data generated by deregulation and the rise in popularity of interval metering technology. Interval metering technology is used to improve efficiency in gathering data about customer energy consumption. The new EDM addition supports billing functions, including reconciliation and settlement. It can be purchased alone or as part of the mySAP Utilities suite.
To manage work orders, mySAP Utilities Work Management has real-time event notifications and work order planning with pricing, scheduling and approval processing available as information constantly changes. The software also integrates with external systems, including geographic information systems (GIS), outage management or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software.
Both the EDS and Work Management components are available immediately, and mySAP CRM for utilities will be available in mid-June. SAP did not disclose pricing information. The length of time for return on investment depends on the size of the implementation and the company, said an SAP spokesman.
The mySAP Utilities suite encompasses most of the business processes of utility companies, including enterprise management functions such as accounting, CRM, generation software including production scheduling and outage planning, transmission and distribution functions, installation services, energy service, energy data management, revenue management and business support.
The entire suite is based on mySAP Workplace and builds on the basic mySAP business intelligence, supply chain management, product lifecycle management and e-procurement functions.
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