How digitalization can be significant for municipal energy suppliers?

The role of municipal enterprises as a system manager for future is very important. Data management, securing critical infrastructure, new communication channels, smart services and data protection as well as modern recruiting are central core topic in digitalisation.

In the transformation process, at the forefront, the people play a significant role for municipal companies. In order to satisfy the customer needs and demands, new networks and interfaces are created that requires cross-departmental solutions which lead to the requirement of cross-divisional rethink.

In order to achieve this, municipal and private companies must find success in networking internally including all areas. Once the first step is achieved, digitization of the existing business is successful. In the traditional sales business, major changes are prominent.

As in the past, selling commodities were just primary matter but in the future it will become a matter of energy services offering. It is quite conceivable, that in the future municipal utilities will be without its own generation or grid-like the Airbnb without its own rooms providing the largest room for rent. Ola the provider of Taxis without being a Taxi company and eBay being the largest goods trader without a warehouse. The Hotel Reservation Service (HRS) or the booking portal Booking.com providing the best deal and information about hotels without owning a single hotel and Amazon being the publishing house without owning any of its single books.

Telecommunication providers are also entering into the electricity/gas, and refrigeration market which offer services in the area of smart homes. As it can be seen there are no limits in innovation and cooperation ideas. For example, Shell, the oil supplier not only provide gas at their station but also provides premium coffee in cooperation with Starbucks but also electricity contracts, thereby responding the customer demands. As the customer needs and demand changes, the providers also communicate in that order to meet the satisfying demand and respond to the rapid changes and developments.

The industry is also massively driving the spread of sensors and gadgets in all kinds of devices. Smart homes are designed with not only toothbrushes, coffee machines and lawn sprinklers but more and more devices are getting integrated. With the help of Amazon Prime, the product can be delivered at the same day and delivered by Amazon’s own shipping services. In the near future, it may be possible that customers are purchasing their electricity via Amazon.

Municipal energy suppliers are aware of their considerable innovation and time pressure through which they will find themselves increasingly. Cost reduction is not the only answer but also adapting and developing the entire business model further is also a major challenge in digital transformation.

 

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