Delivering services on mobile platforms to improve customer interaction via mobile devices

Large UK Utility

Multi Channel consultancy on design, development and testing of mobile applications for IOS (Apple) and Android devices used by utility firm’s customers.

Challenge summary 

A large utility company sought to increase the number of communication channels for its customers with the roll out of mobile applications.

Key points

  • Applications specifically for Apple and Android mobile devices
  • Adherence to project governance processes and procedures ensures on-time delivery
  • Collaborative working between Sopra Steria and client

Companies in the utilities sector are facing increasing customer demands for value-added services, and our large utility client sought to quickly expand the availability of some operational and customer information on additional digital channels. This strategy aimed to ensure its services were accessible by more customers, helping to improve the overall experience when customers interacted with the company. 

A project to roll out two initial iPhone and Android Apps was initiated, designed to allow customers to access information on products and services close to their location.

The challenge

Companies in the utilities sector are facing increasing customer demands for value-added services. Mobility solutions offer an opportunity for differentiation. For example, customers already adept at interacting with retailers, banks and other service providers via their mobile devices might readily take up the opportunity to download a mobile application (App) from their utilities provider.

This was a key driver behind a leading utility company’s strategy to quickly expand the availability of some operational and customer information on additional digital channels. This strategy aimed to ensure its services were accessible by more customers, helping to improve the overall experience when customers interacted with the company. A project to roll out two initial iPhone and Android Apps was initiated. It was designed to allow customers to access information on products and services close to their location.

Our solution

A trusted transformation partner, Sopra Steria has more than 25 years’ experience at the forefront of energy and utilities expertise. Our Multi-Channel Practice is focused on helping clients ensure all channels communicate from the same database of products, prices and promotions to deliver a seamless customer experience. Working with the utility company’s own in-house development team, Our consultants helped to deliver various applications for a ‘mobile’ audience with key responsibilities to:

  • Development consultancy: design and development of various aspects of best practice for developing mobile applications
  • Testing: carried out in our own testing environment using an agreed set of Apple and Android devices
  • Release management: assisted the client in questions related to securing approval to release the developed applications to the Apple and Android environments

How we worked together

Sopra Steria has worked with the utility company since 2004, providing application development, testing and consultancy services across a number of technology platforms. The latest mobile project saw us providing a multi-skilled team to act as a complement to its client’s in-house development team, providing flexible resource and expert consultancy and testing services. The joint Sopra Steria and in-house team worked through a number of different communications channels to keep the project on track. These included regular conference calls and Web-Ex sessions to minimise the number of reviews required onsite. Each member of our team was paired with a resource within the utility company’s team working at the same level.

Sopra Steria delivered services in three key areas:

Development consultancy: we provided remote consultancy and advice to inform its client’s mobile application delivery. This demanded robust knowledge and experience of mobile application technology within both the IOS (Apple) and Android environments, including industry best practice, appropriate standards and best-in-class tools. The Steria team helped to develop the requirements and delivery plans to fulfil an initial launch of two applications within the pre-defined project timescales

Testing: our dedicated in-house Mobile Testing Lab tested physical devices and simulators based on an agreed set of Apple and Android devices. Working closely with the client team, we confirmed the operating system (OS) levels and devices to be tested, performing high-level non-functional testing on the Apple OS Level 5.0 and on a number of Android devices from OS level 4 upwards

Release management: we liaised with the client team to help develop understanding of the process/quality standards of the relevant governing bodies, such as Apple iStore. This helped to secure approval to release the developed applications to the Apple and Android environments

Results and benefits

This highly collaborative project was delivered in line with the utility company’s project governance processes and procedures. This ensured the two new Apps were delivered to the live environment on schedule and to the agreed quality. The new Apps offer customers the ability to access information on products and services close to their location. They are fulfilling the company’s strategy to enhance customer engagement via mobile channels

New Apps and future enhancements are planned and Sopra Steria looks to support the development work on these in collaboration with our client.