- Consultancy, system integration, app development and service/BPO for utility companies in focus
- Boost for digital transformation of utilities
- Special utilities chatbot optimizes customer service
(powercloud, Offenburg, March 9, 2021) A strategic partnership has been agreed between hsag Heidelberger Services AG and powercloud for the bundling of competences. The energy services supplier, with representation all over Germany, will work closely with the cloud provider in the fields of consulting, system integration, app integration and services/BPO for energy utility companies in order to provide still better support for public utilities and energy suppliers adapting to the digital transformation.
In recent years the market has changed significantly. Innovation and competitive pressure, partly from the entry of new market participants, some of them from outside the industry, are calling for a rethink to processes and systems. Heightened customer expectations with regard to service quality and customer experience are adding further to the pressure on companies in the utilities sector. This is exactly where the partnership intends to act. Working together, powercloud and hsag will offer energy utilities sustainable, successful service and BPO-solutions that provide a highly attractive cost to serve, opportunities for entry into new business and sales models and outstanding customer service.
Additionally, hsag will make its Isa chatbot available to powercloud customers as an out-of-the-box solution via powercloud’s powerApp Store. “Isa” is short for “intelligent service agent” and uses artificial intelligence to answer over 10,000 different questions on some 220 typical customer concerns.
As a result, public utilities and similar organizations profit from a minor service revolution: customers can send text-based questions regarding tariffs, meter readings, moving home, deductions, and energy utility services round the clock. Not only does this initiate a communication that is targeted accurately to the question, but the data from the conversation is also assigned to the customer in the backend and processed through to conclusion. In addition, the shared use of this SaaS solution can be extensively analyzed and used for marketing purposes. The opportunities opened up by this innovative approach can be seen from a typical sales example: if the customer asks about a cheaper tariff, the bot assists with a targeted search for a suitable offering – and specifically on the basis of the data requested of the customer specifically required for the search. For over 30 utility companies already using Isa, this resulted in an increase in conversion rate of five per cent. Simultaneously, thanks to the bot, use of the customer portal increased by an average of 12%.
We can point to a whole series of comparable successes. Our language model has been perfectly trained, it functions smoothly and will be further trained by our NLP experts – and all this without further outlay by the utility company. Customers are reporting significant reduction of the workload for customer services and a far better customer experience.
Dr. Carl Heckmann from hsag Heidelberger Services AG
At the same time, the bot is perfectly compatible with powercloud since both allow SaaS solutions to be implemented and adapted without major outlay. Users profit subsequently from regular updates in the background. Even larger new requirements are implemented in an agile manner and are quickly available for use. Additionally, as a powerApp listed in the powerApp Store, Isa can be connected very easily to the open interfaces of powercloud. Major IT projects involving the bot, which for example can be configured individually in terms of its speech and regarding the service processes required, are therefore not necessary for powercloud customers.
“Given this background, we are delighted with this cooperation. It matches our philosophy,” says Thayabaran Thanabalasingham, Head of Partner Sales for powercloud. “We are able to offer our customers a comprehensive cloud solution that can be expanded with further options. This flexibility is an essential condition for utility companies since their markets are in a state of flux. New products and services are appearing all the time, for example, and powercloud is perfectly designed to accommodate these. Working together with hsag Heidelberger Services AG, we intend to develop sustainable, complete solutions in the coming years, including service operations, which will assist public utilities and other utility companies with their digital transformations. Isa is an outstanding example of this.”
About hsag Heidelberger Services AG
hsag Heidelberger Services AG has been advising and supporting regional and supra-regional energy utility companies since 2005. The services spectrum offered ranges from the temporary leasing of personnel and execution of everyday business activities through process consulting to complete business process outsourcing (BPO) for utility companies. Additionally, hsag offers consulting, conception, coordination and implementation in sales and marketing plus chatbots and robotic process automation (RPA) for the digitization of business processes.
In addition to major energy groups such as E.ON Energie Deutschland GmbH, Innogy SE and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, customers also include regional and municipal utilities such as Stadtwerke Heidelberg GmbH and SWP Stadtwerke Pforzheim GmbH & Co. KG. Changes in the market in this sector have led to further specialization by hsag in real estate business. Currently hsag employs over 280 people across its sites in Heidelberg, Essen, Munster, Gera, Chemnitz, Bremen, Munich and Walldorf.