Global utilities sector must modernise to avoid disruption by digital companies
Gentrack, a leading provider of software and services that create innovative cleantech solutions for the utilities sector, is further leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide integrated, cloud-native offerings to some of the world’s largest utility organisations and drive industry growth through innovation, open architecture, and business agility.
The global utilities sector is facing increasing pressure to optimise their profitability, lower cost to serve, improve customer experience, and move towards data-driven decision making while defending their market share from digital disrupters and non-utility brands. Remaining competitive requires systems with a different set of capabilities to address these challenges and the cloud is a powerful enabler of the evolution of today’s IT landscape. Gentrack is leveraging AWS’s breadth and depth of cloud services, including serverless capabilities, to reduce billing cycles, improve collections, enable rapid responses to customer demand, and optimise cost to serve and speed of data-driven decision making.
Upcoming regulatory changes are set to increase data and complexity exponentially. The Five Minute Settlement (5MS) programmes in Australia will see data volumes increase from 48 to 288 data points per meter daily, creating a sixfold increase in the volume of data systems have to manage, whilst the move to mandatory Half Hourly Settlement (HHS) and the Faster Switching programme in the UK will see both the volume and pace of data exchange expand dramatically.
This trend is further compounded by the influx of data from the growth of new technologies like electric vehicles, residential solar panels, battery storage, and innovative time of use tariffs. Utilities have a far more complex job in managing and analysing the data they need to balance the grid, improve profitability, meet the needs of ever-demanding consumers, and facilitate the shift to the renewable energy systems needed for a sustainable future.
“Over the coming years, utilities have to innovate at speed to meet the requirements of a decarbonising energy system and of consumers who are more demanding of the products and services they expect from their energy suppliers,” said Loukas Tzitzis, Gentrack Chief Technology Officer. “By using AWS’s scalable, agile, reliable, and innovative cloud services together with Gentrack’s industry leading clean-tech products, we have created a cloud-first solutions portfolio that addresses the need for innovation, enables rapid time to market, enhances customer experience, and lowers cost to serve, resulting in optimal business profitability.”
All ‘now-generation’ Gentrack products are cloud-native and have been developed taking advantage of AWS’s unmatched portfolio of cloud services, such as AWS Lambda (a serverless compute service), AWS DynamoDB (a key-value and document database), and Amazon Simple Queue Service (a fully managed messaging queuing service) to increase time-to-market and optimise developer experience. Using the cloud yields tangible business results: customers utilising our latest Meter Data Platform, built entirely on AWS, have improved billing performance three-fold, improving cash flow, whilst also reducing cost to serve across the business. Customers also have the ability to process meter data in real-time, unlocking new tariff options that could drive changes in consumption and optimise the use of the grid for cleantech benefits.
Gentrack has recently completed a project with a large utility organisation in the Australia and New Zealand region, migrating its industrial and commercial portfolio onto the new Meter Data Services platform. This has enabled billing of the utility’s entire portfolio on the first day of the month, resulting in significant cash flow improvements and a significant customer experience improvement through a reduction in Late Bill enquiries and complaints. With this platform in place, the utility is able to improve its operating efficiency and cost of systems ownership as well as handle the requirements of 5MS with ease.
Gentrack currently manages 45% of New Zealand’s energy meters through its solutions, and 50% of New Zealand Networks are operating on our platform, with a significant footprint in the Australian and UK markets.