Energy and utilities

Transforming challenges into new
opportunities and competitive advantage

The energy and utilities sector is experiencing rapid change amidst widespread regulatory and public scrutiny. An intimidating array of challenges has made it imperative for organisations to find innovative ways of increasing productivity, developing new products and services, managing costs, reducing environmental impact and streamlining operations. 

These challenges range from the need to secure supplies of raw materials at the right price to maintaining ageing production and distribution infrastructures. Add to this tightening regulatory control, changing customer expectations and ever-growing environmental concerns and it is clear there are testing issues with business-critical implications that must be urgently addressed. 

Sopra Steria addresses these challenges through the end-to-end management of the energy chain (production, transport, distribution, sales, measuring energy costs and end customer service). 

End-to-end service

Sopra Steria helps to defuse these business-critical threats with a truly unique end-to-end service. We have over 25 years experience of supporting Europe’s leading energy and utilities companies with over 1,500 industry specialists, based across 20 countries, who are fully immersed in the challenges utilities face today. We have been supporting our clients in the electricity, gas and water industries with new and innovative solutions,  helping them to improve efficiency, adapt to change, increase their competitiveness, develop new services and provide a fantastic customer experience. 

We achieve this with services that straddle the entire business transformation process, from IT and business consulting to systems integration, operations and business process services (BPS). The combination of innovative solutions and industrialised operations, in tandem with our renowned integrated approach to BPS, means we can be there for our clients at every stage of progress, through improving resources to overcoming those critical business challenges. 

We have invested in developing vertical solutions that meet the unique challenges faced within this industry:

  • mForce: our digital solution that unifies existing field and back office IT workers and their systems into a single IT platform that can run on any mobile or tablet device
  • Safedig: our Business Process Service shared service that offers a scalable, high quality field planning, scheduling and survey pack creation (including Safedig) for engineering divisions
  • Rocca: a full managed service to trace individuals and repatriate credit balances held on balance sheets by utility companies
  • midata: our Customer Information Lab helps businesses identify the opportunities and maximise  the value of their customer data as part of the midata Government initiative, which aims to give consumers better access to the electronic personal data that companies hold about them
  • Software robotics: Sopra Steria is using pioneering technology to deploy software robots that can perform a range of transactional customer management activities, thus improving quality and throughput in traditional Business Process Services operations.

Our experience

Field force management

Our mobility services enable real-time, two-way communication between the field force and despatch centre and timely access to vital information. They form an integrated suite designed to streamline the business processes that support the operations of transmission and distribution organisations both in the office and field. Our field force management solutions include:

  • Field fleet management
  • Resource and job management
  • Enterprise IS interfaces

Our business consulting services in this area include mobile device selection and mobile interface architecture, along with change management and field force training.

Billing and customer services

Our billing and customer query expertise and experience makes us the ideal partner for redesigning complex processes to improve efficiency, reduce cost to serve and enhance competitiveness.

We can also help redesign processes to prepare for the step change in metering data and billing that smart metering will bring, while allowing a mixed environment of old and new meter-reading processes during the transition phase. For example we handle more than a million customer billing enquiries a year for Thames Water in the first business process outsource of this type in the Utilities sector.

Smart metering

The UK Government has a stated goal to install 46 million meters in all 25 million homes across the country by 2020.

The new paradigm of smart metering and the smart grid will require a completely different approach, especially with regard to mission-critical customer-facing practices and back-office systems. It is clear that a considerable amount of planning and preparation needs to take place in order to prepare the business, people and IT Infrastructure.

We have considerable knowledge to help at all stages of the transition:

  • Putting the right business processes re-engineering activities in place for back office functions
  • Augmenting and managing legacy systems
  • Assessing and handling data readiness
  • Managing the infrastructure roll-out of meters in homes and businesses.

ERDF chose our high-performing Rollout Information System to coordinate the full national replacement of 35 million traditional electricity meters with smart meters.

Data management

We have skills to help prepare organisations data methods, discover the real gaps and define the procedures needed to prepare to exploit the richness of data for analysis that smart metering will bring. We help organisations today too.

At Centrica our Data Discovery Dashboard™ analysed customer data, leading to a deeper process and operational review which ultimately led to business process change, earlier processing of billing issues and as a result tangible financial benefit.

Infrastructure roll out

Our smart metering infrastructure roll-out solutions are already facilitating the planning, installation, data synchronisation and job management for Europe’s largest smart meter rollout, including:

  • Overall programme management support
  • New IS design and implementation
  • Smart metering mobile communications network and SI infrastructure solution design and build
  • Planning, pre-deployment and mass deployment programmes
  • Real-time monitoring and operations including desk facilities
  • Reporting dashboards.

A smart meter infrastructure deployment solution might, for example, feature concentrator and meter deployment, resource scheduling, workforce and contractor management and back office interfaces.

SAP services

Our range of SAP services for the energy and utilities sector comprise:

  • Business strategy
  • Business solutions
  • Business technology
  • Propositions
  • Lifecycle management supporting
  • Run SAP services methodology
  • Business process consulting in applications management
  • SAP Managed Service for application management
  • SAP implementation, integration and innovation support.

Key clients

  • Northumbrian Water: organisation transformation as they moved from resourcing via 18 recruitment agencies to just one: Sopra Steria Recruitment. Watch the video of Northumbrian Water on YouTube 
  • Thames Water: Business Process Service model to further enhance customer service delivery and business performance
  • Yorkshire Water: enhancing business systems to inform asset management decisions, resulting in lower business risk and a more strategic approach to water and sewage services asset management