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I attended this session yesterday, with mostly other East Coast utilities.  The Eventful Group had been traveling throughout the week to Los Angeles, Houston, and then finally the east coast to obtain feedback.

This year Eventful’s Jennifer Mellace is producing the SAP for Utilities Conference in October in Huntington Beach.  The conference is to “address pain points.  With Eventful's permission, I am sharing my notes of only the East Coast discussions.

We started off by introducing ourselves; in the room there were 2 different sets of identical twins and one person was a the parent of identical twins; how unusual.

Question 1: What is critical to you and your business?

We were asked to be CEO, and on Monday we have a staff meeting with executives – what are 3 things critical to our business and how do we solve them?

Below were some of the comments/feedback:

  • How serve customer better
  • Rates are down; how can we optimize the work force
  • Cyber security
  • Customer experience
  • Revenue analytics – forecast, confidence
  • Safety
  • Flint water quality– issue
  • Less outages
  • Water main breaks, alerts
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Performance, archiving
  • Reporting
  • Consistency across the channels, same answer, same information
  • “Single view of the customer”, 360 degree view of the customer
  • “How grow business with declining rate base”
  • “declining use in water”
  • Manage workforce
  • Retain employees
  • Aging workforce
  • Need good data in system
  • Disaster recovery
  • System responsiveness

Top 3 the attendees voted on:

1) Safety

2) Customer experience & usability

3) Data

Question 2: Three most pressing pain points for SAP Technology and business process alignment

1) One view of the data

2) Usability of SAP

3) Changing technologies; all new innovations going to cloud – not ready

Question 3: What could the conference solve for you to make it massively compelling for you to attend

  • Hearing other customers stories
  • Hearing about solutions about to implement
  • Usability – user interface, move in move out – too many clicks
  • Where is SAP going – roadmap, leaps in technology – hurt by speed and cost to deploy new technology
  • Installed enhancement pack, no time to turn on

System of records for assets

  • - GIS vs SAP
  • - Geo enabled software synch (ESRI)
  • - Keeping data in synch
  • - Difference in plant and linear assets

One customer said they have a “Mountain of data, need action points”

Enhancement pack – how do the changes impact me?  Business Function Prediction, automated testing

Another company was interested in Data governance (MDG) or EIM with ISU

Question 4: What are some pain points and what you like to see at a conference?

  • - Options for scheduling work orders
  • - Managing warehouse and inventory
  • - IoT – how relate to EAM – IoT – how relate to SCADA
  • - Mobile work orders, some still print
  • - Interactive GIS – how interface with mobile solution, embed to work order solution
  • - Going from a map to work order
  • - IoT – how used effectively – how different from SCADA – monitor transformer
  • - Time of use metering (IoT)
  • - Multi-Channel Foundation
  • - Retain SAP talent, workforce
    • Summer internship
  • - Company Acquisitions
    • Data Services RDS Utilities

Reporting & Analytics

  • - Self service
  • - Analysis Office
  • - Lumira
  • - Dashboard

How roadmap this?

End user self-service and trust data

Bring in other sources of data – GIS, weather, with SAP data

  • - Merging customer account information – metrics on operations
  • - Cloud for Analytics

Question 5 - Six to Eight Months Now, What Kind of Problems are you expecting?


HANA – when invest, when do I have to invest


Knowledge Management

  • - Approach
  • - Succession planning
  • - Cyber security
  • - SharePoint – information for stale information

Top votes for topics to see at a conference:

SAP discussed the content flow at the conference

The conference is 2.5 days, with a day 1 day 2 day 0.  There is a keynote, a SAP Keynote, and a keynote from customer with 4 tracks

Feedback from last year:

  • Too much content – feedback
  • Enjoy hearing from other customers – need more time to interact
  • Too many SAP speakers
  • Too much HANA talk

Under discussion suggestions:

Ask the Experts

Meet the Speaker

Make the content 70% customer, with 15 % how – enhance today and 15 % roadmap

Everyone said yesterday they enjoyed the conference and looked forward to attending it again. It was a great opportunity to share experiencing and learn how other utilities use SAP.

A subset of some whiteboard pictures:

Voting on the topics:

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