Energy and Utilities

Unveiling the growth potential of utility outsourcing for business advancement

In today’s competitive business landscape, where businesses are looking for opportunities to streamline operations, optimise resources, and improve efficiency, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services have emerged as lifesavers promising sustainability, stability and growth. Leveraging outsourcing for various business processes has helped businesses, big and small, focus on their core expertise while delegating other supporting tasks, like administration or access expert support, without having to build an in-house team. Although BPO has become a norm in virtually every industry, is utility outsourcing a viable option?

Benefits of outsourcing for utility businesses

The energy and utilities industry is undergoing a major change, with grid modernisation, distributed resource integration, and increasing reliance on alternative energy sources. Utility data management—across different functional workflows—has also become a challenge with increasing data volume and complexities.

Utilising business process outsourcing for energy utilities can help overcome these challenges while also providing numerous benefits. Some of the major benefits of utility outsourcing include:

Responding to changing customer demands with AI and automation

Adapting to evolving customer demands through AI and automation is crucial. Customer and market needs are constantly changing, requiring utility companies to remain agile and responsive to maintain their competitive edge and avoid potential losses. For example, last year, GE was looking at a $200 to $600 million operating loss in its energy business as the company failed to realise the potential of renewable energy and adapt to the green energy movement. This is just one example of a utility company failing to adapt to changing market dynamics. It can also extend to customer service expectations, need for altered or new products and services, or achieve multi-platform interoperability. Leveraging AI and automation services BPO offers can help utility companies stay one step ahead of the competition when it comes to understanding the evolving customer demands, anticipating the changes necessary in the value chain, and overcoming the challenges as they pivot to meet customer expectations.

Complying with the dynamic regulatory requirements

In addition to customer expectations, the regulatory landscape is also continuously evolving as utility companies continue to offer new services like smart homes, EV charging, or distributed networks. Moreover, government objectives surrounding zero GHG emissions can also put regulatory pressure on utility companies for system upgrades and grid modernisation. Outsourcing utilities can provide companies with expert advice without the need to recruit, train, and retain staff who are well-versed in the changing regulatory environment.

Leveraging analytics to improve performance efficiency

Managing data presents significant challenges for energy and utility companies, particularly due to diverse formats from various vendors, security concerns, and accessing real-time data. Increasing data volume and complexity are exasperating these challenges, requiring advanced analytics capabilities to harness the power of data. This data encompasses everything from monitoring and asset management to reporting, forecasting, and fraud prevention. Leveraging utility outsourcing services and the advanced analytics tools they offer can be the key to staying agile, being prepared for any eventuality, improving performance efficiency, and outperforming the competition.

Facilitating efficient resource and time allocation

Many of the utility workflows still rely on manual processing, making them time-consuming and resource-intensive. However, opting to outsource tasks at different levels, such as human resource management, payroll processing, or administration, can help you work efficiently with a smaller in-house team, reducing infrastructure and expenditure costs. As a result, the in-house team can focus on core business tasks instead of spending time on repetitive tasks, helping you save money on recruitment and training efforts, leading to efficient resource and time allocation for the entire team.

Utility outsourcing offers these benefits by providing access to well-structured systems that leverage advanced technology and cloud networks to ensure centralised data management and real-time access to data updates. These can help utility companies maintain one version of truth with distributed data sources, coordinate with vendors more effectively, leverage big data for enhanced efficiency, and ensure regulatory compliance.

How can Infosys BPM help?

In today's changing world, with evolving customer expectations and regulatory landscape, the utility industry is facing many challenges when it comes to grid modernisation, distributed resource integration, and utility data management. Leveraging business process outsourcing for energy utilities is the way to go when overcoming these challenges and staying agile in the face of dynamic market trends. Infosys BPM offers value-driven BPO services for the energy and utilities sector to help them harness the power of data and leverage the next-gen technology to step into the future and drive growth. With service offerings like master data management, supplier enablement, flex-staffing, and engineering documentation, Infosys BPM makes utility outsourcing easier and more efficient.

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