Nordic energy giant Vattenfall takes a digital leap forward

The pay-as-you-go model for IT services is becoming a game-changer in the utilities sector. Energy giant Vattenfall has taken a bold step and introduced Tieto Smart Utility cloud – opening the door to cost predictability, shorter lead times and a new solution for consolidated billing.

The pay-as-you-go model for IT services is becoming a game-changer in the utilities sector. Energy giant Vattenfall has taken a bold step and introduced Tieto Smart Utility cloud – opening the door to cost predictability, shorter lead times and a new solution for consolidated billing.

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In a fiercely competitive energy industry where prices are at historically low levels, getting onboard with the latest technology is quickly becoming the magic formula for retaining competitiveness. Aiming for increased efficiency, Vattenfall, the Nordic energy giant, has completely revamped its IT solutions for its operations in Finland.

Following an 18-month project together with Tieto, Vattenfall has laid a new foundation for growth by transitioning from traditional, resource-heavy IT support systems to a new solution, Tieto Smart Utility – a fast and flexible cloud platform based on a pay-as-you-use outsourced service.

“This was a huge step for Vattenfall and there was a great deal at stake. We chose a solution that would give us a powerful sales system and increase our level of automation. Our aim is to acquire a 360 degree perspective on the customer by managing data in a structured way,” says Jimmy Sandell, Vice President, Customer Service Nordic at Vattenfall.

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Shorter lead times, reduced costs
Tieto’s Smart Utility cloud platform offers a flexible pricing model that is adjustable on a monthly basis. This means that Vattenfall’s investment risk is minimised and IT costs become more predictable.

“We knew that in order to manage the current downturn and solve the IT situation in Finland, we wanted a new approach that would also make us more efficient by cutting lead times and lowering the cost base,” explains Ulf Jönsson, Vattenfall’s Senior Project Manager.

A key benefit is also Pass Through Invoicing, a solution that enables Vattenfall to automatically combine and itemise energy charges as well as distribution costs on the same monthly invoice. Previously, the task of processing distribution invoices required a large amount of manual work and resources.

“We give customers the freedom to manage their energy transactions whenever they want and however they want.” The requirements of customers are more important than cost-effectiveness; ideally, we can combine the interests of customers and those of the company.”
Ilkka Salonen, Managing Director at Vattenfall Sähkönmyynti Oy

Making the transition with zero glitches
With no fewer than 1,300 priority items on the specification sheet, the decision to introduce a SaaS based cloud platform was not taken lightly and required comprehensive planning. Vattenfall insisted on working with a systems provider that could guarantee the secure migration of critical customer data with zero glitches.

According to Jönsson, total transparency mirrored on both sides was a prerequisite for success. “In my view, the pivotal factor here was our choice of working method. We worked not in individual camps but as one fully integrated project team,” he says. "This meant that we were able to quickly identify potential problem areas, taking all possible implications into account, and address them at the earliest possible stage.”

Gearing up for change
As the world moves further into digitalised business relationships, the notion of a fully flexible, secure and reliable system with 24/7 availability is as important, if not more so, as the products being offered.

The first class features of Tieto Smart Utility enables Vattenfall to easily ramp up its business in Finland and support increased sales. It also enables Vattenfall to quickly develop new products and services to customers.

Mikko Nieminen, IT Demand Manager at Vattenfall in Finland, concludes: “When we discover new business opportunities, we need to act quickly. If the IT services that are required in order to support a new project take several months to develop, the opportunity will most likely be lost. So this system gives us speed to market.

“There were many stakeholders and third parties involved which required a large measure of change management. Thanks to good collaboration we met the target together. So this was very much a joint success.”

Tieto’s Smart Utility solution went live for Vattenfall on 7 January, 2016 as planned.

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