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The search for cloud solutions in the utilities industry is as intense as never before. While retailers started the trend, also asset operators like DSOs and generation companies are looking for cloud solutions to manage distributed energy resources, smart grids, and other energy assets. The adoption of cloud solutions will further accelerate the transformation of the energy industry. To both control the risk and use the opportunities of cloud computing, utilities need to take care of three key requirements for a safe transition to the cloud.

1 - Utilities need a stable and complete platform for their core functions

Utilities operate critical infrastructure and are responsible for the reliable delivery of energy and water to millions of customers. The core processes for operation and balancing of the energy and water infrastructure and commercial settlement of millions of customers have always been complex. And now, this complexity is multiplying with change drivers like distributed renewable energy resources and the shift to new service-oriented business models. Shifting the business systems to the cloud under these circumstances brings a critical problem: new cloud solutions are often incomplete regarding both functional and non-functional requirements. While promising the most modern architecture, they usually have gaps in critical business functions for DSOs and energy retailers and still need to prove their qualities like scalability, security, and compliance like GDPR.

2 - Efficiency of the core business must be increased to free up resources for innovation

While the core processes must run stable and reliably, efficiency must constantly be increased. Stranded investments in fossil infrastructure, erosion of classic business modes and need for investment into new business models and infrastructure drive the need for cost reduction in non-differentiating core processes. Usage of big data and intelligent technologies for process automation, avoidance of errors and higher business outcomes is high on the agenda of utilities companies.

3 - New business models must be supported with a flexible innovation hub

It appears like squaring the circle: stability and proven functionality on the one hand must go together with flexibility and innovation on the other hand. This topic has long been debated in concepts like the two-speed IT, which came up about 10 years ago with the first usage of agile methods in established companies. In reality, it was a good starting point at the time, but companies cannot afford two separated IT landscapes in the long run. Innovation must be directly connected and based on the core because new business models can only be successful with the capabilities of underlying processes like asset management and customer management.

SAP combines these three key requirements: stable core, increased efficiency, and flexible innovation hub

SAP’s answer to these requirements is the newly defined SAP Utilities Core solution. It is provided in the cloud and contains the proven core processes of SAP’s Industry Solution for Utilities (IS-U) on the in-memory platform S/4HANA with the innovation and integration power of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). Also, further SAP innovations like management of measurement concepts and market communication are added. On top of this, customers can develop their own innovations on the BTP and have access to the large innovation portfolio of SAP’s partner ecosystem in the SAP Industry Cloud.

Discuss with us your transition to the cloud at our International SAP Utilities Conference in Munich

After three years we finally come together in-person again at our International SAP Conference for Utilities in Munich to meet the Utilities Community to learn, exchange and network. The SAP Utilities Core will play a central role in our conference and among other sessions you can get a first insight in my presentation “SAP Utilities Core – A Safe Way to Transition Towards an Efficient and Innovative Cloud Solution”.

I’m looking forward to discussing with you how SAP can support you with a safe transition to the cloud!

Also check out my recent podcast and tune in here! 🎧
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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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Thank you, this is definitely a must-attend session on the first conference day at 11am right after the opening keynote and the break!
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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We have scheduled a new LinkedIn Live session with Markus Bechmann on SAP Utilities Core on September 15.