Managing water resources in Australia, the world’s driest continent, has always been a challenge. Decades of policy work and the successful implementation of water trading schemes have created a $2.4 billion national industry that balances the water needs of residential, commercial and agricultural consumers. Innovations such as the H2OX water exchange online trading platform reflect the government’s long-standing focus on innovation in the sector.

In an industry with notoriously high capital requirements, maintaining a successful customer culture is essential to ensure long-term business growth. Increasing competition and changing regulatory requirements are pressuring water utilities to better engage with their existing customers, and to win new customers with the promise of cost savings and guaranteed supply.

The transition to a regulated but competitive environment has put similar pressures on water authorities the world over. Robust customer-facing technologies are critical to staying relevant in competitive markets, and CSC has a long history of working with infrastructure and service providers to  shape capital investments in new technologies to replace legacy solutions.

CSC draws on extensive global expertise in the utilities sector, with billing system deployments successfully completed for 10 utilities – serving over 24 million customers – in the past decade. This means we can deliver Australian utilities a return on investment (ROI) for new customer-facing systems within 90 days.

CSC’s experience in SAP billing, coupled with our cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions through industry leader Salesforce.com, provide a robust roadmap for Australian water utilities. We can deliver cost-effective customer platforms to replace ageing systems. Similar deployments overseas have confirmed our approach’s effectiveness and business value.

Salesforce as the CRM solution: quick and cost-effective

CSC clearly demonstrated the value of integrating SAP billing with Salesforce.com through a major engagement with Anglian Water, a $2.5 billion (£1.2 billion) supplier of water and wastewater services to customers across the south-eastern United Kingdom.

For more than 10 years, Anglian Water had been developing its CRM system in house. While its core functionality was designed to be flexible, the system had many limitations and required considerable manual effort to maintain and expand. Remote access was extremely difficult, and employees often gave up in frustration before they could connect.

Ongoing deregulation of the water market gave businesses more choice of provider – opening potential new markets for both Anglian and its competitors. It was clear that a more scalable and adaptable CRM system was crucial to the company’s growth in this ever more competitive market.

A single customer view

Despite its importance, other business systems were isolated from Anglian’s CRM system. This limited visibility and control of the end-to-end customer sales, delivery and service process. Key details, such as what technical services were delivering to each customer, were being captured and held in different systems. This made it difficult to get a clear view of the many facets of each customer relationship.

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Anglian needed a new CRM system that would maintain current capabilities as well as adding new functionality. This included accessing and sharing information more easily; creating more efficient workflows; and simplifying mainte- nance, change management and growth.

It was also crucial to seamlessly integrate any new CRM system with Anglian’s SAP billing and back-office modules. Anglian wanted fast and cost-effective implementation that would deliver immediate value, and to set up a skills transfer for self-directed development.

Over just eight weeks, CSC delivered all this and more by implementing a Salesforce.com-based CRM system that was tightly integrated with SAP.

Using Agile development methods, the CSC team supported Anglian through project planning and management; require- ments capture and analysis; solution design and development; communication and training; and deployment, with initial data migration. Owing to the compressed schedule, new ‘drops’ of capability were delivered and discussed daily.

More than 60 system users experienced minimal downtime, and Salesforce.com’s cloud design freed Anglian from most technology management overheads, providing accessibility and on-demand scalability.

A flood of value

The implementation has driven dramatic change in Anglian’s customer-facing teams, better positioning the utility to compete in its market.

Close collaboration between CSC’s technical and industry experts helped ensure that Anglian not only secured ROI benefits within 90 days, but also were capable to drive and maintain the system in the long term.

“We were delighted to get it done so quickly,” said Anglian Water’s Head of Systems and Service Jonathan Clarke. “CSC helped us become self-sufficient users, well set for future development.

Workflow tools like task assignment and automatic notifications made processes more efficient and the end-to-end sales and service process is now unified, simplifying planning and control.

Account managers are finding the system much quicker and easier to use and appreciate being able to log in from anywhere at a moment’s notice.

“The CSC team related well to our business users and showed us how to exploit the technology to improve our business processes,” Clarke said.

“They were invaluable in delivering maximum value for our time and budget by helping us define the project’s scope and  priorities.”

Based on this success, Anglian and CSC are now planning a second phase of CRM activity, which will give customers self-service capabilities and integrate supplier interactions.

Why CSC for Salesforce implementations?

Like other CSC customers such as beverage company Coca-Cola and global insurer Mapfre, Anglian Water’s success with Salesforce.com reflects the expertise CSC brings in helping organisations transform their customer-facing processes with new web-based technologies.

“From the outset CSC really stood out as understanding where we were coming from and what we were trying to achieve,” Clarke said.

“They clearly knew how to make it happen as quickly as we needed. They demonstrated in-depth knowledge, both of our business and of the Salesforce.com applications and platform.”

SAP IS-U billing solution: solid back-end integration

Around the world, CSC’s business transformation projects have successfully delivered flexible, scalable billing and CRM services to water, power and other utilities.

Tight integration between Salesforce.com’s web-based capabilities and the back-end nous of SAP IS-U/CCS (Customer Care and Services) is bridging the old and the new. These flexible CRM capabilities have helped utilities expand their presence and consolidate growth by targeting, securing and retaining new customers.

In each case, CSC’s leadership team has been closely involved in strategy, design, business integration, deployment and application, and infrastructure support.

CSC has access to more than 1,200 highly experienced business and technology consultants worldwide. Their expertise in SAP, Salesforce.com and other platforms can be used for projects in Australia – just as they have been for Anglian Water and other utilities in areas like Latin America, where CSC has completed SAP IS-U/CCS projects with utilities including CPFL Energia (6.3 million customers), Electropaulo (5.6 million), Light (4 million) and COPEL (3 million).

CSC’s work with Embasa, a water authority serving 8.8 million customers in Brazil’s north-eastern Bahia state, highlights our expertise in helping utilities leverage SAP. Like many Brazilian utilities, Embasa was struggling to implement regulatory and taxation changes. Customisation of legacy billing systems was leading to excessive costs, so Embasa decided to standardise on SAP IS-U as its platform for the future. CSC’s experience in managing complex scenarios ensured configuration of SAP, not customization.

CSC guaranteed Embasa’s growth by implementing SAP billing, leading the transformation for 4,000 users. For many utilities in Brazil, the choice was to standardise on SAP IS-U as their platform for the future. CSC as the system integrator, supported many utilities to upgrade billing and lead the transformation of back office and sales systems, like we did at Embasa (SAP ECC, back office, sales and distribution, material management).

Upon launching the SAP deployment, Rogério Cedraz, President of Embasa shared with the organisation “At our foundation is a company that continuously searches for a superior level of performance. Today we put in place an integrated SAP system that will bring integration, reliability and productivity to our organisation.”. The President goes on to mention “this is more than a tool, SAP is made for people. Thus the involvement of CSC and the project team are the main factors for the project success.” *

* approximate translation from Portuguese

Success overseas, potential at home

These projects are a testament to CSC’s track record of implementing systems to support water providers of all sizes.

CSC’s global reach and capabilities thus promise a beneficial outcome – and rapid ROI – for Australian and New Zealand water authorities facing the same market and technological challenges as their overseas peers.

To complement our local works and asset management capabilities, CSC Australia/NZ has seconded billing and CRM specialists from our UK and Brazilian teams to make the skills from these case studies available to our clients in our region.

By bringing a wealth of global expertise to bear on custom- er-facing system implementations, A/NZ customers can rest assured that CSC will quickly be able to build new bridges between SAP and Salesforce.com – giving employees powerful and flexible tools to grow the business and deliver a more effective, customer-focused culture than ever before.

Learn more by watching CSC’s recent video: Customer focus: why engage now?” 

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