What does it mean to become a digitally determined retailer?
Digital transformation might be the most hyped buzzword, with customer experience being a close second. However when digital is not considered as a project but as an integral part of the business model and the DNA of a company, it is a game changer.
IDC interviewed Alessandro Bertoli, CIO at Sorgenia, on the major steps of this transformation journey, which involved deploying modern ERP, customer care, and billing capabilities, as well as migrating the entire IT infrastructure to the cloud. Building on strategic partnerships with Accenture, Ferranti Computer Systems, and Microsoft, Sorgenia’s transformation program was a success. The company now boasts a set of business metrics that place it at the top end of the Italian market and is ready for a new competitive season on the Italian energy market.
The main driving force behind Sorgenia’s IT transformation was its new all-digital growth strategy, set in the wider context of the upcoming end of regulated energy prices in Italy.
With its legacy systems clearly unable to deliver on its growth plan or customer experience ambitions, Sorgenia saw the opportunity to start with a clean slate and began evaluating a change of its entire IT landscape.
- Step 1: Find the Right Strategic Partners
- Step 2: Deploy a New Engine to Power the Business
- Step 3: Fine-Tune Processes to Become the Best in Class
- Step 4: Migrate to the Cloud for Further Scale and Flexibility
As mentioned, Sorgenia managed to consistently improve its business metrics since going live on Microsoft Dynamics and MECOMS. The company now boasts a set of meter-to-cash key performance indicators (KPIs) that put it in a league of its own, in Italy and beyond.
Regarding Sorgenia’s digital ambition, supported by its new platform and digital channels, the company managed to onboard 100,000 digital clients in 2018 alone. Sorgenia’s integrated platform helped digitize the contact-to-contract process and streamline the meter-to-cash process cycle, while indirectly acting as an anti-churn mechanism through good billing, flawless payment, and better customer service.
For the past year, Sorgenia managed to consistently keep its unbilled-for energy rate under 0.2% of its points of delivery versus 2.0% when the system went live. This was done by establishing and improving pre- and mid-billing controls as well as post-billing quality checks. In addition, the company boasts a very solid 1% unpaid-for energy rate.
“With KPIs like these, it is safe to say that when it comes to billing quality and collection, there is no company as good as Sorgenia in the Italian market right now.” said Bertoli
Bots taking over the world has been a hot topic since the very first birth of robotic activity and has become even more tangible since the 1984 “I’ll be back” Terminator franchise. Just recently, Elon Musk pointed out to consider artificial intelligence (AI) the most serious threat to the survival of the human race. He said national and international regulatory oversight is needed, “just to make sure that we don’t do something foolish.” Musk also stated his investments in AI as “keeping an eye on what’s going on, rather than a viable return on capital”. In other words: automation is a hot topic and positive and negative effects have to be taken seriously.
What is a chatbot?
In order to understand the pros and cons of a chatbot, we’ll define it more precisely. What is a chatbot? How does it work? In a nutshell, a chatbot is an automated system that conducts a conversation by recognition of patterns occurring in communications. Chatbots have become more advanced and are not just capable anymore of recognising a question, but can also look for information that can be useful to the customer in a proactive way. Obvious pros of this system are: constant availability, immediate response time and the number of simultaneous chats a bot can handle.
Bots taking over jobs?
But what are the cons of this new technology? Should we be afraid of chatbots entering a room with a black leather jacket, shotgun and a slight Austrian accent? Or should we be more afraid of the more likely event of bots taking over our jobs?
Although chatbots like our Mecoms MECOMS Interactive Agent (MIA) will render some jobs obsolete, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing at all. Nowadays, repetitive tasks are often still carried out by employees. MIA takes over takes over those repetitive tasks, leaving more space for your employees to think in a creative and dynamic way about your core business so that you can come up with innovative ideas and thus be one step ahead of your competitors. Employees will be given the opportunity to leave dull tasks behind and to tackle more challenging problems that will help your company grow!
Why choose MIA?
As we allowed automation in our company, it gave our employees the possibility to develop a very special chatbot 🙂 MIA is able to recognise the mood of the user it’s interacting with. If a user is unhappy, it will recognise certain word patterns that indicate anger or frustration and change its tactic in order to get the user happy again. Choose for innovation, choose MIA and increase your customer satisfaction!
This new trend in customer engagement is predicted to further disrupt the self service – customer engagement landscape by creating new 24/7 use cases that were not possible in the past. Read all about it (in Dutch): http://bit.ly/2myxSZ6