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How automation leaders accelerate digital transformation across Utilities

By Alf Saggese, Chief Revenue Officer at TrustPortal

Most transformation leaders I speak with across Utilities companies are looking for new ways of accelerating enhanced employee and customer digital services and experiences across high value business units. They are looking to achieve this within a climate of cost cutting.

The majority have exhausted their back-office automations. Like many automation leaders in other sectors, they’re frustrated about not digitising and automating enough end-to-end processes, across the front-office and all channels, at scale. This is where real transformation value is gained. HFS research affirms this sentiment, saying that 40% of businesses report that automation isn’t meeting expectations.

But demand for automation is higher than ever, HFS research says 70% of businesses now see it as a key priority. And with the research also revealing that the top 25% of automation centres of excellence only use 40% of their automation licences - there’s big opportunities for the most ambitious.

For Utilities companies, this means fixing broken customer journeys, seizing opportunities for faster error-free, problem resolution, preventative maintenance, readings, updates, orders and actioning the previously impossible or yet to be imagined.

Making digital transformation happen

Now, while having a great digital transformation vision is a great start, automation on its own isn’t enough to make it happen. So, what’s the next wave of supporting technological capabilties that can help automation leaders achieve their goals with their existing digital worker estate of software robots?

The next wave of automation evolution for automation leaders is ‘advanced’ HyperAutomation. Crucially, it comes without hype because it's proven and delivering within large scale, front-office environments, at EDF, Telefonica, MetLife and other digital leaders.

What does it look like? We’re talking about enabling automation developers working with SMEs to easily design and deliver more processes that make digital workers work smarter, harder, more productively with employees, AI and legacy & digital technologies: all operating in tandem at real-time speeds.

It’s about employees being supported via digital worker-guided, real-time dialogues and interactions to transform every process step. Where human experience and empathy is required, handoffs are made simple via digital worker created, intuitive digital UI’s – all in real-time. Where augmented insights are required, AI or other cognitive tools are used to escalate with predictive analysis and problem-solving capabilities. Again, all in real-time.

The result is HyperAutomated human and AI enriched, real-time digital process flows, of any complexity and business function, that seamlessly connect and augment existing systems, technologies and digital channels: whatever their age and complexity. This results in enhanced digital interactions, services and experiences delivered by employees and demanded by customers - across front-to back-office operations and beyond.

It’s also HyperAutomation that connects and augments the people and technologies that automation teams already have. No coding is required – and there’s no unnecessary costs, impacts and effort. So, no more costly “rip and replace’ or bespoke development. It’s good news for a sector urgently seeking innovative ways of doing more with less.

The potential for much better, smarter HyperAutomated ways of working enabled by automation teams is enormous but now possible.

Imagine finally moving the contact centre towards fully multi-channel and self-service. Or how about enabling technologies such as IoT, Smart Grid, and mobility to deliver pre-emptive and preventative services that reduce risks, cut costs and increase productivity.

And how about harnessing the power of Generative AI to interpret intent and taking appropriate actions in real-time - across any number, age or complexity of systems – at any scale. For example, with inbound email inquiries, pre-processing allows the context awareness for every message before customer service agents even open their inbox.

We’re just scratching the surface here. There are so many valuable use cases.

Accelerating ROI and ROV in the real world

If you’re thinking HyperAutomation sounds too good to be true, a great example of how it’s delivering ROI and ROV at scale is at EDF. Niels Roberts, EDF's Digital, Automation & Process Excellence Director, explains how:

"TrustPortal intelligently orchestrates our virtual workforce, co-working with our advisors to transform over 40 front-office processes, into faster, more efficient, higher quality services - across multiple channels. We've seen improved completion times for complex processes, 98% completion rates, improved efficiency, quality and customer experience as well as reduced advisor training effort."

HyperAutomation is fuelling enhanced digital services at Utilities companies that:

  • Join up multi-channel, customer journeys

  • Prevent missed opportunities – while delivering the highest quality problem resolution

  • Deliver 65% faster preventative maintenance, meter readings, updates, orders and more

  • Reduce engineer visits for smart meter commissioning by 90%

This means everyone wins: the CX teams gain +5 NPS & CSI scores, the CFO gets up to 90% lower operational costs.

At another energy company, we’ve helped their automation team deliver a complex move in and move out processes: from design to go live in only 3 weeks. It's generated £1.4 million of value in just 4 months. Yes, you read that right.

This is just the start, they're looking to deliver more outcomes beyond cost and efficiency, that generate growth and revenue - faster and smarter with their existing digital workforce.

Final thoughts

All these HyperAutomation capabilities I’ve discussed are available from TrustPortal. It’s a patented capability with low integration effort and lightly deployed as a SaaS - so fast implementation and ROI / ROV are proven and achievable in months.

Proof of value, can now be actioned by Utilities’ automation teams in weeks to help their wider organisations benefit from new types of smarter work that solves problems previously deemed impossible due to the limitations of time, cost, resources, and legacy tech. We think this unique HyperAutomated approach is the right option for Utilities companies to action right now.


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