E.ON at the service of a successful digital transformation
In several of my blogs, I talk about digital business transformation and how various digital trends are shaping this new era of business. While I can talk about the implications of these new technologies and digital transformation all day, real case studies show the true impact of digital transformation.
This case study is the story of how a well-established energy provider with millions of customers transformed into a start-up while maintaining its strong legacy of sustainability and creating an innovative business and technology model. . Although this story is specific to the energy industry, I believe it shows how any company that needs to adapt its business and operating model at scale can innovate and work more efficiently.
E.ON UK is part of the E.ON Group, one of Europe’s largest energy companies. At the start of the global pandemic, E.ON UK announced that it would migrate customers from E.ON and npower supplier brands to a new sourcing brand called Next. This migration took place after E.ON had taken over former rival npower in an asset swap between their respective parents in late 2019.
In 2019, E.ON became the first major UK electricity company to switch all of its domestic electricity customers entirely to renewable electricity as standard and at no additional cost. In the fiercely competitive UK energy market, E.ON wanted to improve its service and the variety of its offerings to its customers, expand its customer base and accelerate its response to an ever-changing regulatory environment.
Digital transformation was key to maintaining the strength of the business, which led E.ON to partner with Kraken Technologieswhich is part of Octopus Energy Group, and Infosys to create a new digital-focused company – E.ON Next.
Upon reflection, the fundamental approach of the transformation project deployed by E.ON can be broken down into several work streams that could serve as a model to help guide other organizations facing similar challenges.
Business readiness – streamlining business processes to work with the new platform
The technological platform chosen by E.ON was Kraken Technologies. Kraken is an advanced customer-to-cash energy management cloud platform and the backbone of E.ON’s large-scale digital transformation.
E.ON decided to completely change its business and operating model for its supply business, and this change was made possible thanks to Kraken’s proprietary BOT approach – Build, Operate, Transfer. To put the challenges of this transition into perspective, it was akin to creating a start-up within a company that required a digital first culture and mindset with solid leadership.
Along with the need for a digital-first culture, the new model necessitated a change of action, focused on action in the best interests of customers. The culture of E.ON Next has become action-oriented, data-driven, forward-thinking, collaborative and agile. Digital development and creative talent has been outsourced to help drive time to market, consistency and efficiency.
Target operating model – serving the customer throughout the lifecycle
For E.ON and most other energy providers, the traditional business model involved managing discrete tasks in specialized – and often distinct – areas of the organization. The new Target Operating Model, designed and implemented by Kraken Technologies, was a sea change where the same specialists now manage all interactions with a defined group of customers.
Krak’s first “universal agent” model provides visibility across the entire customer journey and lifecycle. It is designed to improve efficiency and transform the customer experience while moving away from more traditional models where customers move between departments and individual specialists cannot see the full picture. These changes better meet customer expectations of an effortless experience where they talk to the right person and get a response the first time. As a result, E.ON Next has been consistently rated “Excellent” by its customers on Trustpilot.
Customer migration – a smooth customer journey
Migrating customers from a number of different brands and service platforms with minimal disruption to both customer and normal business practices was a key part of the strategy. There was a risk that customers would leave if the migration was not done well.
The integrated copy-design-digital team has been key to the success of this workflow, with the ability to quickly and efficiently develop hundreds of communication assets like never before while ensuring consistency across platforms and canals.
End state architecture – removal of legacy systems
The final work stream was the end state architecture. With the customer’s migration to E.ON Next complete, the focus shifted to successfully decommissioning the existing legacy systems.
Michael Lewis, Managing Director of E.ON UKsaid: “This has to be the largest and fastest customer migration ever undertaken in the UK, and the fact that we have achieved such success during a global pandemic and while achieving satisfaction scores “Excellent” customer is a massive achievement.
“Customers are at the heart of this decision and this is even more important given the current cost of living crisis. We are still focused on the energy transition and steering the UK towards a carbon free future. , and our work with the Kraken and Infosys means we can build more effective and responsive relationships with our customers, understanding their needs and responding to them more effectively.”
Greg Jackson, CEO and Founder of Octopus Energy, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the teams at Kraken Technologies and E.ON UK for completing this migration in record time. This is an extraordinary example of the level and speed of transformation that can be achieved using our Kraken technology platform. If more energy companies took the same approach as E.ON, we would see huge improvements for both people and the planet.”
Saurabh Jain, Infosys Client Partner for E.ON, said: “The creation of E.ON Next is an inspiration for energy companies on how to rethink themselves in order to remain successful in a competitive market by remaining focused on the evolution of customer needs. E.ON drives forward decisively the energy transition and Infosys is proud to support their ongoing digitization in innovative and meaningful ways for a more sustainable future.”
The migration process took about two years. The steps to success are clear: build a solid, future-ready platform, migrate customers effectively and efficiently, communicate with customers at every stage, and reduce the previous operating model. Finally, be sure to take your people, your culture and your customers with you.
So far, it’s clear that customer service has improved, organization has gotten leaner, and decision-making is often faster and closer to the conversation with the customer. The technology platform and target operating model are designed to be flexible and scalable, as well as respond more quickly to regulatory changes and changing customer needs.
Several UK energy companies have foundered during migrations from large legacy systems, losing customers, money and reputation. This transition is the first time in the UK energy industry that a customer migration of this magnitude has been successful – congratulations to E.ON, Kraken and Infosys.
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