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Looking across industries for inspired innovations


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Looking across industries for inspired innovations WRITTEN BY

OLLIE MULKERRINS

PRODUCED BY

BEN MALTBY

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INNOGY SE

innogy is using digital innovations to speed up the green energy transition and help 23mn customers become more sustainable

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nnogy is a large-scale energy provider based in Essen, Germany, currently serving 22 million clients across Europe. The com-

pany spans three major industry demographics: retail, grid infrastructure and renewable energy production. It has also started to expand into the e-mobility market with one of the largest charging point networks in Europe and a worldwide number of 34,000 charging sites. Since innogy was carved out from RWE and listed on the M-DAX separately in October 2016, the business has been driving digital transformation as a key part of its strategy. Kuldip Singh, Digital & Data Director Retail International and part of the Retail Leadership team, sat down with us to elaborate. “We want to play a leading role in the global green energy transition and we believe that digital and disruptive new technologies are going to be at the heart of speeding up this process,” explains Singh. “Digital transformation is really at the heart of our customer facing business. We’re constantly looking for ways


“Keep this planet a great place to live, not only for the current generation but for many to come” — Kuldip Singh, Digital Director Retail International, Retail Leadership team

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INNOGY SE

2016

Year founded

€36.9bn Approximate revenue

to optimise our end-to-end customer journeys - seeing where we can give our clients a ‘digital delight’ as I like to call it - as well as exploring new business models which are data-driven, platformbased, and highly scalable in nature.” innogy is, next to its core business of supplying electricity and gas to its customers, making services available

42,000

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Approximate number of employees

to help customers install and maintain sustainable energy solutions such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, insulation of houses, smart home devices and e-thermostats, all with a view to “make society more sustainable.” As part of the Retail Digital Program, the focused use of digital innovations such as AI is able to grant customers a seamless and insightful journey into sustainable solutions for their home or business. “A beautiful example is the application of data analytics and artificial intelligence algorithms to make the whole journey of orientating and selecting solar panels easier for customers: Looking at whether your house is able to have solar panels on the roof as well as buying or renting them. What we have done is to bring lots of data points and sources together (through selected partners)


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘HELLO, I AM INNOGY’ 07 and have thereby been able to give the

with their local heads of digital, driving

customer a complete online journey.

a joint roadmap and enabling the delivery

Several years ago, this journey could

of selected digital value pools with

have taken several months due to uncer-

great scaling opportunity across all

tainty. Now, we have narrowed that down

these markets.

to a one-click experience, completely

An important pillar of the Retail Digital

online: enter your ZIP code and house

program is the delivery of a joint Mobile

number and an algorithm calculates how

Strategy across markets, in which innogy

many panels can go on your roof, how

realises smarter and faster app develop-

productive they will be, your payback

ment, improved life-cycle management

time and investment needed including

and best practice sharing in all aspects

a rental option” says Singh.

including a joint asset library for UX and

A key driver of the Retail Digital pro-

design. “We work closely with all our mar-

gram is our Leadership Team Digital that

kets to give customers a seamless and

consists of the key six markets of innogy

consistent mobile experience within all w w w.i nnog y. com


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Enabling the Connected Energy Customer Through Cloud and Voice Services For more than a century, electric utilities have focused on the sale of a single commodity. The proliferation of distributed and renewable energy resources, advanced analytics and increasingly connected homes and businesses is now opening up the opportunity for utilities to think and act less like traditional providers of electricity and more like innovative retailers with an array of products and services that empower and delight customers, all while ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of power. Simply put, the pressure to deliver increasing value for utility customers is mounting and non- utility players are willing to step in as intermediaries if the incumbents fail to act. Electric utilities intent on maintaining their customer base – and revenue flows – must transform how they interact with increasingly connected energy consumers. With the proliferation of distributed solar, electric vehicles and energy storage, along with the adoption of devices such as smart speakers and Wi-Fi thermostats, utilities can leverage advanced cloud analytics to build and strengthen their customer relationships – while simultaneously working to build a more resilient digital grid. Just as Amazon makes use of consumer insights to create new, highly valued offerings for its customers, next-generation electric utilities can likewise transform themselves into digital organizations that rely on advanced cloud analytics to learn far more about their customers than they ever could before, and then tailor services to improve their customers’ lives. The convergence of digitalization and decentralization provides an opportunity for utilities to tap into the capabilities of machine learning and artificial intelligence to build upon their role as a 24/7 core service provider in people’s lives. Unlike past transformations in the utility industry, redefining the customer experience through cloud analytics can start to bear fruit in months, rather than years.

For some of the largest utilities around the world, such as Centrica, Enel and Pacific Gas & Electric, the journey to the cloud is already well underway. But there is ample opportunity for utilities of all sizes and under all regulatory frameworks. For energy providers that have not yet mapped out a transformative customer experience, now is the time to embrace an agile platform and chart a course. Making the most of the cloud requires much more than just a technology change; it requires evolving processes and transforming the business culture. Amazon Web Services (AWS) gives power and utility companies the foundation to focus on delivering the best customer experience and achieve operational and cost efficiencies while meeting demand securely and reliably; the flexibility to evolve their business model and innovate in a rapidly changing industry; and the critical business insights to transform the industry. AWS Power & Utilities solutions address the industries four core business categories and are centered around IT and OT Transformation, Workforce & Asset Management and Customer Engagement. These are underpinned by Data Insights and core cloud services consisting of database, edge technologies, AI/ ML, IoT, analytics and voice services. WATCH Innovation in Power & Utilities with AWS Digital Transformation to Drive Customer Innovation in Energy Efficiency

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INNOGY SE

“Digital transformation is really at the heart of our business” — Kuldip Singh, Digital Director Retail International, Retail Leadership team

10

innogy brands” says Sebastian Schmelz,

reinventing the wheel when it comes to

Team Lead Digital Program.

meeting the demands of its business. A

To achieve a comprehensive view of a

successful example is AI-based online

client’s needs, innogy has worked with

experimentation to improve the sales

several partners outside energy sector

funnel for innogy products & services. By

to integrate innovative technology into

testing a multitude of changes in the dif-

its platforms and processes. Through

ferent online pages, innogy can in a short

tried and tested applications, developed

period of time increase sales conversion

in other industry sectors, innogy avoids

significantly, as proven by great impact


achieved by the energiedirect.nl digital

renewables energy industry. Singh

team. This way of working (“testing and

explains: “We should not be bench-

validating customer flows at scale using

marking ourselves against what

AI based tooling”) is now being scaled

energy companies are doing, but

to other innogy markets, too.

rather look at what other industries

Through adaptation and innovation, innogy is catering to businesses and individuals looking for sustainable

that are ahead of us are doing as also the big tech companies.” Amazon Web Services (AWS) has

energy solutions. As the global industry

been able to provide intricate AI, originally

becomes more interconnected, cus-

used in its online services, to provide an

tomer expectations are founded on

efficient data farming solution. “AWS is

the achievements of disparate sectors.

a partner we are working with very

The Amazons and Googles of the world

closely to see how we can leverage

are setting those expectations and,

advanced analytics and artificial intel-

by looking at them for forward-thinking

ligence in several complex use cases

and rapid innovation, innogy is able

and, by working with them, use algo-

to stay ahead of the curve within the

rithms to be predictive,” Singh explains.

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Kuldip Singh Kuldip Singh is a digital executive with a strong grounding in digital technology adoption and digital business scaling. He has been a digital executive in CXO roles in reputed global media companies and is now leading the digital transformation at innogy in the international retail business.

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Empowering those who power our world Wipro is helping Utilities across the globe move towards a sustainable energy future. Get started on your digital transformation journey today.

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INNOGY SE

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“We can be more relevant, more personalised, and more real-time in our offering” — Kuldip Singh, Digital Director Retail International, Retail Leadership team

most relevance and impact for a cus-

tomer. The Essent Commercial Director Boudewijn Wildeman is working very closely with Singh’s team on this and states: “I believe we can nurture customer relationships much better with this kind

One of the very impactful use cases is

of technology that can enable us to work

centered around retail energy manage-

in an omnichannel approach. We can be

ment and demand forecasting. “By using

more relevant, more personalized, and

the Amazon Sagemaker DeepAR fore-

more real-time in our offerings, whenever

casting algorithm in a successful pilot,

that needs to be done.”

we were able to develop a clear roadmap

As part of its journey to a digital

to further improve our forecasting, which

workplace, Innogy collaborated with

is a very important aspect of energy

Infosys to introduce new multilingual

management.”, states Carsten Kleewald

capabilities, such as the chat chan-

of the Retail Energy Management team.

nel for service desk interactions and

In addition, innogy uses the AWS data

automated password reset. This set the

analytic solutions for a “Full Household

foundations for workplace digitalisation,

View” platform in the Dutch and Belgium

while also offering its employees and

markets. The platform provides the

partners the choice, convenience and

Essent business with the opportunity

control that they experience with their

to do real-time personalization using

personal technology environment.

customer profile data and actual online

In the Netherlands, Infosys not only

behavior combined with a best-offer

manages innogy’s key IT platforms to

matrix. This allows for accurately advis-

efficiently run its B2C business, but

ing on which products could have the

also helps it in building successful new w w w.i nnog y. com

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INNOGY SE

“We should not be benchmarking ourselves with what energy companies are doing” — Kuldip Singh, Digital Director Retail International, Retail Leadership team

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business models (e.g. implementing mixed reality for its boiler maintenance business). It is also improving the digital fluency of innogy’s internal IT teams through focused training programmes n its global learning and innovation hubs. Singh adds: “We apply digital innovations to our sustainability products & services with the clear ambition to keep this planet a great place to live and work, not only for the current generation, but for many generations to come.” The acquisition of innogy by E.ON has also given it a much wider scope to expand. “Together with E.ON, innogy is going to be even bigger; we will grow from 11 to 15 countries, in which we service 50+ mn customers with more than 70,000 employees. I believe that we are even better set up for scaling digital in the future,” says Singh. “My intention is to build upon the good things we’ve done in this retail digital transformation and, of course, learn from the great things that E.ON is doing and ensure that together one plus one becomes three.”

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innogy SE Opernplatz 145128 EssenGermany T +49 201 12 02 www.innogy.com

Profile for Business Chief Europe

innogy SE November 2019  

innogy SE November 2019  

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