Analytics chart a path for industry transformation.
As anyone who’s been in this industry for more than a few years knows, technology trends come and go. But sometimes they seem to return after a few years with a different name, a different buzzword.
One case in point is “ERP” – enterprise resource planning software. Back in the 1990s, companies like SAP and Peoplesoft developed ERP systems for utilities that would bring disparate data together into a common warehouse. They provided customized dashboards to help utility professionals in various departments do their jobs better. These systems helped them to analyze historical trends and to detect anomalies and problems, and produce reports to support major investment decisions. The analysis could improve ongoing processes too.
At around the same time, many utilities also built or bought sophisticated customer information systems (CIS) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems – especially in deregulated markets, where they had to deal with new competitive pressures. These systems helped utilities mine their customer data to support marketing and customer service efforts.