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Why platform thinking is vital for energy and utilities operations

Why platform thinking is vital for energy and utilities operations
By adopting an established platform, energy and utility providers can improve customer engagement

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Platform thinking has become a vital cornerstone for any chief information officer to address the new way of working. It involves considering an enhanced customer experience, digitisation and the overall increased expectations of the end consumer. Energy and utility providers need to continue streamlining their operations to maintain a healthy cost to serve.

New business models are emerging, and digital determined utilities are generating revenue streams from new products and services. Utilities need a digital platform that is capable of data-driven innovation and agility. It is faster to tailor a solution built on a reliable platform within a solid eco-system than to customise a stand-alone product. If energy retailers rely on an established platform like Dynamics 365 to run their business processes rather than on a stand-alone product, they will have more options to integrate or extend its functionality.

MECOMS 365 can communicate with platforms from other ecosystems, making it ideal to gradually transition from a different platform to Microsoft Dynamics 365. The ‘one platform philosophy’ however, brings much more advantages to the table for example: higher technological reliability and compatibility, fast updates and fixes, more security and higher data quality.

The ability to integrate MECOMS 365 with other solutions enables us to create an ‘out-of-the-box’ platform for energy and utility providers, covering all business processes with rich functionality. By collaborating with premium Microsoft partners, we allow our customers to extend the functionality of the platform further by integrating with other partner solutions or applications they already use. MECOMS is also able to help tackle the growing need for energy and utility providers to engage their customers. End consumers not only expect more variation in services from their energy or utility provider, but they also expect fast and personal customer service. In liberalised markets, it is an important factor in improving customer loyalty.

The trick is to do all this as close to the customers’ world as possible. Energy retailers need to know their consumers and need to adapt their interactions accordingly. This reflects in how they get in touch with their consumers. Do they like email? Do they prefer social media? The time for one-way communication is long gone.

We have designed MECOMS 365 with a customer centric mindset, which means that all customer information is available at the fingertips of the user. With MECOMS 365 Customer Engagement we have extended the Microsoft Dynamics 365 functionalities specifically for the energy and utility market, with a focus on sales and customer service. This helps energy and utility providers to improve customer interactions with rich and structured communications, allowing them to respond to their customers’ questions or comments across multiple channels.

Michel Delvaux is senior marketing consultant at Ferranti Computer Systems for MECOMS

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