Aligning IT With Business Enables New Growth Opportunities
US Gas & Electric aligned IT and Business units to enable new growth opportunities, using the OutSystems platform and an innovative approach to deliver enterprise applications.
The flexibility OutSystems provided to build a modular app and its ability to integrate with the several systems within EDP made the low-code platform the perfect partner for this transformation. By using OutSystems, the company’s IT team embraced an agile methodology and replaced the old collection system without impacting any part of the business, while uniformizing and centralizing all payment collections.
Collect is a smart application that integrates with several other business apps, including SAP, Oracle, and the systems of several EDP business units. The Collect app manages all the payment channels that come from these apps and systems. Collect is also connected to the banking institutions to process the payments.
This is how it works: a customer goes to an ATM to pay the electricity bill, using the reference provided by EDP. Collect manages the whole process from receiving the payment information from the ATM to communicating it to the entire organization.
The new system allowed EDP to automate this entire process that had to be done manually before, leading to errors. Now, any problem in the circuit can be detected, and its users can act preventively. In addition, the payments are now running in real-time when, in the past, it took several days until EDP systems received the notification that a payment had been made.
Results - At the moment, about 80 percent of EDP collections are done using Collect. In just a few weeks of use, the new application allowed EDP to detect a few errors that, if they hadn’t been discovered in time, would have impacted a vast number of customers.
With a friendly user interface, Collect’s higher level of control has led to an improvement of EDP customers’ experience. For example, collaborators in the call center have immediate access to each customer file, including the status of payments in real-time. This has led to a decrease in the number of complaints.
As from the back-end team perspective, they have higher control over the app. Before repeated and duplicated information had to be dealt with manually, now Collect detects it automatically.
OutSystems was also crucial to support the development and evolution of the project using an agile approach. Business and IT teams work closely to adapt to the company’s needs faster. In fact, developing and implementing customizations now takes only half the time when compared to before.
"It was impressive how the team was able to put Collect online without any commercial interruption. The robustness and control that the new app gave to operations led to a new confidence in the process. Now, people trust the system."