SAP and Infosys amplify the utility business model
Key challenges for the industry
The industry has changed across several dimensions; in terms of business, competition, environment, health and safety, and regulations. And let us not forget the short-term but immense challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted energy consumption and service.
Renewables and distribution are changing the way utilities do business today. The volume of the distributed generation business will grow four-fold in the next seven years – it will be a quantum leap.
The use of electric vehicles will grow rapidly over the same period. The US alone will need 330,000-plus public charging outlets. While this is a great opportunity, the challenge lies in new patterns of how and when consumers utilize electricity. We are working on deploying S/4HANA to build smart charging solutions.
Another emerging challenge is that the commodity business is shrinking. This is leading to cost pressures and intense competition.
Safety is a big concern in these time for various factors such as changes in weather patterns and temperature as well as natural calamities like hurricanes, wildfires and other extreme conditions.
According to Forrester, by 2024, energy utilities will be investing a massive $15 billion in edge computing, IoT and robotics.
There will be a reduction in operational spend – operational efficiency will become the focus with regulatory changes too driving the same.
What we are doing
SAP and Infosys have enjoyed a long partnership of over 20 years.
Right now we are engaged in a wide variety of activities that include consulting (like assessments, roadmap definitions, product/solution selections, digital consulting), transformation programs on S/4 HANA, and S4 migrations for our utility clients.
We are also working together on projects around multi-channel foundations and energy data management.
In the AMS space we are seeing increased trend in agile and DevOps engagements.
We are also partnering on several analytics transformation programs and programs involving new functionalities and processes using cloud platforms
How we are enhancing our services
Up until now, businesses have largely leveraged the opportunity presented by cloud to achieve agility and cost stability/optimization in their operations. Today, I see the partnership between Infosys and SAP driving responsiveness in the utilities market. We are scaling innovation in faster cycles for greater resilience.
Recently, Infosys launched Cobalt. This is not a product or app. Infosys Cobalt is a set of services, solutions, and platforms that acts as a force multiplier for cloud-powered enterprise transformation.
Infosys’ Live Enterprise Application Management Platform is now certified by SAP for integration with SAP. This enables us to leverage open source and other new technologies, particularly in the process and intelligence layers.
We are further developing new competencies in intelligent asset management, data governance and management, landscape transformations, and application consolidation.
The Infosys SAP Practice is geared to help client organizations navigate the changes. Our focus can be grouped into two apres – the industrialisation of services for greater efficiencies, agility, safety and resilience; and digitalization for new business models involving customer, grid, and the workforce.
I see the Infosys-SAP relationship going from strength to strength. SAP’s new technologies will provide new solutions and opportunities. We are collaborating to deliver programs together for solutions that will bridge the gaps in utility process chains.