18 weeks
to release a fully
operating system
2 days
to implement and deliver a
new feature
chart 120% delivered
functionality when compared
to the original RFP

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Start-up Home Energy launches custom-built CRM and billing system in only 18 weeks with OutSystems Platform

The Challenge:

  • Home Energy, a pioneer in the residential market for renewable energy, was established in May 2008 with the goal of being fully operational in just 7 months, by January 2009;
  • The company intended to explore a new market opportunity created by new laws that regulate the energy class of residential buildings. At the cornerstone of this strategy was a CRM and Billing system that would allow the company to automate the end to end process of acquiring a new customer, scheduling a visit by the field team, collecting energy information about the building, processing and issuing the Energy Class certification and, handling billing and payments. This whole system was required to be in business simulation by October 2009;
  • There were no CRM and Billing package solutions available that could fulfill all these needs. Purchasing multiple packages to manage CRM and Billing would have required a lot of customization, effort, and time that Home Energy simply did not have. Traditional in-house custom development of a new CRM and Billing system demanded a huge investment in IT resources within a project timeline that did not fit the time-to-market goal.


The Solution:

Home Energy decided to build its CRM and Billing system using OutSystems Platform, with services provided by the OutSystems Partner, Reditus. This solution was chosen for its ability to address the aggressive time-table and because of the track record of OutSystems Platform to support rapid and continuous change to address future market evolutions and business change requests. The CRM and Billing system delivered the following functionality:

  • Call Center with a unified web 2.0 interface. Handling of contacts, scheduling visits and routes, with status feedback on time to issue Energy Level certification;
  • Sales Automation with management of all customer activity and contacts;
  • Marketing automation with support for Web Site and Partner Portal content management, campaigns management and cross selling of energy-friendly equipment;
  • Field Operations with field personnel accessing the system through a mobile Tablet PC. Work day agenda, visits and routes, integration with Microsoft Visual Earth maps, and on-site collection of energy relevant parameters. Handling of Building Blueprints and support for hand sketching onto the blueprints. SLA management and reporting;
  • Invoicing and Billing: contracts management, billing and payments management, and management of partner commissions;
  • Management of enterprise-wide workflows with notifications, alerts and tracking of SLA fulfillment;
  • Partner Portal for real estate agents to add new customer opportunities;
  • Document Management and archiving (e.g. building blueprints);
  • Integration with other systems:
    • Integration with SAP MM to handle ordering of equipment;
    • Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth maps;
    • Integration with ATM payment system. 



  • A fully operating custom CRM and Billing system in just 18 weeks;
  • The iterative Agile approach (6 iterations/sprints) enabled the business team to get very familiar with the CRM and Billing application, allowing them to request for changes along the way, resulting in a lean and fit to purpose application;
  • Approximately 120% of the original RFP was implemented at the same cost: 70% of the must-have original features plus 50% new must-have features that came from market changes after the initial system was implemented. The latter replaced the 30% of the original nice-to-have requirements without extra cost to the customer;
  • 6 sprint and demo meetings allowed key user involvement and guaranteed business alignment thus reducing the final training effort and increasing user adoption;
  • New features to the CRM and Billing system are continuously implemented and deployed in  production, with no service downtime. Critical features are implemented and deployed in just 2 days. 


About Home Energy:

Home Energy is a new company created to explore the brand new Portuguese market of residential renewable energy. Home Energy belongs to the Martifer Portuguese renewable group. It was established in May 2008 with the goal of being the market leader in a space opened up by new regulations related to Energy Certification and Micro-generation (small photovoltaic panels for domestic use) for the residential market.

Visit Home Energy website


Home Energy


  • Time-to-market - 18 weeks;
  • 120% of the original RFP was implemented: 30% of the initial nice-to-have features were converted in 50% more of new must-have;
  • 2 days to implement and deliver a new feature;
  • Market leader when the market took off;
  • No service downtime while changes are being done;
  • Small training effort;
  • Very high user adoption due to user involvement. 


Project Card

Implemented by:



18 weeks


SAP, Virtual Earth (Microsoft), ATM Payment System, Tablet PC's

User Profiles:

Call Center operators; Technical team; Back office team; Partners; Financial department


Sales Force Automation; Call Center & CRM; Web Site; Marketing Management; Technical Support; Invoicing & Billing


Evaluation Criteria

Top Criteria:

  • Aggressive timeline (to satisfy Home Energy time to market objective);
  • Rapid development;
  • Flexibility (ability to introduce new features with no service downtime).


Other Alternatives:

  • Siebel;
  • Microsoft .NET.


Agility Award winner

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