Through the new agreement, SEW will access the flexibility and scalability of the IBM Cloud. Consequently, it can provide a common global infrastructure for its enterprise web and mobile applications. These workloads include customer engagement and mobile workforce engagement applications, online bill processing, energy efficiency and demand response applications. They also include reward programs as well as tools for real-time data collection and management in the field.
For example, a large scale energy company may turn to SEW to deploy its full digital customer and workforce engagement platform with IBM Cloud. SEW can now scale its services faster, more easily and at global scale. This helps the company to meet the fluctuating demand of its customers.
This agreement comes as SEW looks to grow its business. It also wants to tap into advanced offerings like analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT). By hosting these workloads on the IBM Cloud, SEW can gain more value from its data and accelerate the development of new tools that can help improve efficiency and engage customers in new and personalized ways.
Rapid need for change
The energy and utilities industry is grappling with an aging infrastructure, growing client demand for affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable electricity, as well as stringent government mandates on energy efficiency and water conservation. These challenges, coupled with the growing expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumers, have driven a rapid need for change. Furthermore, they are forcing many utilities to tap new technologies to solidify a competitive advantage.
“Consumers are open to new ways of engaging with their utility,” said Harman Sandhu, President Smart Energy Water. “Together with IBM, we can deliver solutions at large scale. Consequently, we help utilities to lower the cost-to-serve by moving customers from the call center to lower-cost digital channels. Or they can personalize service to increase overall customer satisfaction, or target customers for the right opportunities for value-added programs and services.”
The SEW and IBM agreement also provides a platform to jointly expand accretive and complementary go-to-market efforts globally.
“Smart Energy Water is anticipating the major impact of connected technologies,” said Brad Gammons, IBM Energy, Environment and Utilities. “By investing in data, their workers can do their job better than ever before and customers will have access to self-service capabilities that can help improve client service.”