E.ON modernizes and automates business processes, achieves ROI of €1.8 million with the OutSystems Platform

 
 

For the past four years, OutSystems Platform and Methodology have been powerful tools in keeping our IT aligned with the business, helping us deliver and change web business application at an amazing rhythm.

 

Erik Roet,  ICT & Data Manager

 
Thanks to OutSystems Platform, EMS is built to change, allowing E.ON Benelux to quickly respond to changing market or regulatory conditions, while still retaining integration with vital legacy systems; EMS is also an incredibly hardy system and has run non-stop for four years with a 100% adoption rate.
 

The Challenge

The liberalization of the energy market is having a great impact on the organization of Energy companies such as E. ON Benelux. On top of the challenges posed by the new market structure, companies face:

  • Evolving legislation & regulation;
  • Ever-changing market conditions;
  • Mergers and acquisitions;
  • Increasingly competitive marketplace.

To address this fast-paced change environment, E. ON Benelux identified the need to deliver a set of new business applications for automating core business processes, from short-term planning to customer management. These applications would have to be:

  • In the hands of business users in weeks;
  • Easy to change at any time of their lifecycle, ensuring continuous alignment with the business;Integrated with a wide range of existing systems with minimum project risk;
  • Implemented under a Service Oriented Architecture;
  • Web-based and fully adopted by business users.
Why OutSystems?

E.ON Benelux selected the OutSystems® Platform for the project, as the Platform’s change-friendly reputation fit in well with E.ON’s scope, as well as the Web-based nature of the new applications; based on a multi-layer Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework, E.ON successfully built their Energy Management System (EMS). Some of the advantages:

  • Fast application releases;
  • Flexible and easy implementation of changes to guarantee constant business alignment;
  • Service Oriented Architecture capabilities;
  • Ability to easily integrate with specific and closed legacy systems.
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The Solution

Using OutSystems Platform and methodology, E.ON Benelux successfully implemented the Energy Management System (EMS). Based on a multi-layer Service Oriented Architecture framework, the EMS is comprised of several fully integrated web business applications that dramatically improved business performance:

  • Balancing, Scheduling and Nomination - Provides Balancing Portfolio, Day Ahead & Intra-day Scheduling, Bidding & Nomination, and Profile Management. These features facilitate short-term planning to better manage balancing and scheduling activities;
  • Imbalance Settlement & Reconciliation - Delivered in six weeks, includes Energy Validation Pipeline, Reconciliation Validation, Grid Operator Allocations, and Metering Data Validation. Provides distinct user interfaces to cover different information needs inside the organization, and assists in identifying potential imbalance situations and their root-causes; Registry Management & Synchronization - Ensures Master Data Alignment, Registry Synchronization, Switching Processes, and Connection Trends & History. Offers the ability to achieve master data accuracy, and supports all market players involved in the registry management process;
  • Customer Portal - Includes Load Profiling, Contracts Information, Multi-site Contracts, and has XML Integration. Provides a direct interaction channel with customer by supporting up-to-date and real-time access to all energy-related data;
  • EbIX Messaging - Provides full support for automated energy business information exchange. Has built-in auditing, monitoring, reporting and versioning of all exchanged transactions.

Solution Capabilities

  • Integrations
    • SELIA
    • Regulator
    • RTE
    • KW3000
    • EnergyICT
    • Gasunie
    • SCADAe
  • Functionalities
    • Balancing
    • Scheduling and Nomination
    • Imbalance Settlement & Reconciliation
    • Registry Management & Synchronization
    • Customer Portal
    • EbIX Messaging

The Benefits

Beyond the technical aspects, OutSystems Platform was a resounding financial success as well, with E.ON Benelux saving €1,850,000 each year by avoiding billing errors, providing a more reliable portfolio and optimizing the company’s gas resources and services.

Agile fit: Combining OutSystems Platform and Methodology allowed prioritizing features according to business needs, and to quickly deliver “first things first”. Business users are involved in all project phases, ensuring that the end result really serves the business. The EMS has been running non-stop for 4 years, with a 100% adoption rate;

SOA fit: With OutSystems Platform, software assets become building blocks that are reused in other applications, setting the focus on assembly rather than implementation. Components are used internally to create new applications and externally to integrate with other systems. Web Services are natively supported;

Built-to-Change: all OutSystems applications are built for continuous change, keeping IT aligned with the business. The EMS has been adapted over time to reflect changing requirement and is currently in its fourth version;

Built-to-Integrate: The integration capabilities of OutSystems Platform minimize the risk of integrating with a large set of very specific and closed legacy systems. The EMS was quickly integrated with: ELIA, Regulator, RTE, KW3000, EnergyICT, Gasunie, SCADA, and using XML, EDI, Secure Connection (SMIME), and Screen Scraping;

1.8 millionestimated ROI
4 runningwith continuous improvements
7 integrationswith legacy systems
100%adoption rate

Estimated ROI of €1,850,000 considering:

  • Reduction of imbalance costs;
  • Gas portfolio optimization;
  • Billing errors avoided (by tracking customers switches);
  • Admit the possibility on a sensitive Electricity and Gas intraday market profit;
  • Profit increase by a more reliable portfolio overview for hedging purposes.
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