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UTILITIES

Application Consolidation Effort for Boosting Customer Experience


The Challenge

A major U.S. power utility that supplies electricity and natural gas to commercial and industrial customers in 15 states needed to streamline its application and system portfolio. The utility’s pricing process challenged its pricing specialists because they were unable to capture or enter sub-components in the system at a granular level, leading to inaccurate and sub-optimal pricing. In addition, the utility’s existing framework didn’t offer segmented pricing and limited its flexibility to launch products with exciting new offers. The utility wanted to rebuild its pricing system to enhance accuracy, flexibility and the customer experience by consolidating its applications and building a new content management system (CMS).


Our Approach

Cognizant's utilities experts partnered with the utility on an application consolidation program called Amplify. It not only enhanced the utility’s process and operational efficiency but also helped improve the customer experience. The program covered 15 states, six independent system operators (ISOs) and the regional electricity authorities, each of which follows an independent set of rules. Amplify enhances the pricing systems that calculate the cost of components, capturing cost components in a new database and enabling the utility to develop integration services to transform its retail cost components.

Because the utility’s customers were dissatisfied with its existing framework, it built a new CMS on the Sitecore platform to fix invalid pricing issues and push relevant offers to customers at the time of renewal. The platform also alerts customers to special offers and improves the utility’s product mix by enabling it to introduce bundled products. We adopted an agile methodology to deliver this project, deploying incremental functionality at the end of each four-week sprint.

Application Consolidation Effort Improved Pricing Systems in Two Different Areas

The Amplify program helped reduce the number of applications across the utility’s value chain by 50 percent, leading to an approximate savings of $1.5 million in overall project costs related to operational efficiency. In terms of customer experience, the program consolidated billing statements and enhanced pricing functionality. The new CMS also has the potential to reduce the customer churn rate by $1.4 million per year.

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50%

reduction in number of applications across the retail utility value chain

~$1.5 million

saved on overall project costs due to the Amplify program

$1.4 million per year

expected reduction in customer churn due to the new CMS

Up to $23 million

potential annual operational savings


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