SAP America Inc., a subsidiary of SAP AG introduced SAP Best Practices for Water Utilities, a tailored offering for small and midsize water and wastewater utilities. The solution provides fixed-scope, pre-defined packages of software that address specific business processes for water utilities and can be implemented rapidly with fast return on investment.
As the leading provider of solutions used globally by more than 950 gas, electric and water utilities, SAP is introducing this new offering in the U.S. to provide water and wastewater organizations with a way to accelerate implementations of customer information systems (CIS) and reduce integration risks.
Water utilities are faced with the need to replace existing customer information systems with newer, more advanced technology to support rapid customer growth, reduce operating costs and support increased expectations for excellence in customer service. SAP Best Practices for Water Utilities aids water facilities in improving operational excellence in customer service, asset, financial and reputation management. Designed to meet the resource, price and industry requirements of water utilities, the offering includes tailored capabilities for call center management, meter-to-cash operations, integrated work management, customer financial management, consumption data collection, connections and device management and consumption billing.
"Small and midsize utilities are looking for support from vendors with domain expertise and knowledge of vertical and business processes and the commitment to support these utilities in achieving value over a long-term relationship," said Zarko Sumic, vice president of Energy Information Strategies, META Group. "A solution that is built on understanding of business scenarios and core mission-critical business processes enables more efficient resource utilization, greater employee productivity and better return on investment. This adds up to longer term growth and helps water utilities meet the evolving market needs."
Integrated Business Environment in Less Time and with Quicker Return on Investment SAP has worked extensively with Deloitte Consulting LLP ("Deloitte Consulting") in developing SAP Best Practices for Water Utilities, which includes proven implementation tools, configurations and methodologies -- a knowledge base of documented business and technical scenarios for water industry business practices. This solution can be implemented independent of an SAP or non-SAP ERP system in stages to align with strategic business goals, priorities and available resources to leverage a facility's existing technology investments.
"Today, water utilities need to replace aging technologies with top-tier solutions," said Tom Turco, Deloitte Consulting principal, responsible for Deloitte Consulting's SAP Utilities Practice. "This need is driven by aging infrastructures, the need to improve operational efficiency and the need to provide customer care on par with other service providers. With this lower design complexity, water and other small and mid sized utilities can leverage the 'best practice' similarities of other utilities without the enhancements that can be required to meet multiple jurisdictional requirements. Template solutions build on these common denominators, eliminating the need to start from scratch."
Specialized Tools for Core Water Processes
SAP Best Practices for Water Utilities features pre-configured business scenarios based on water utility best practices -- including invoicing water and sewage and processing connections and disconnections -- integrated with end-to-end management support for customer service management, billing, meter reading services and enterprise asset management. The solution provides efficient support for call center services and helps call center agents capture customer data and service requests such as move-in/move-out, high bill inquiry, contract management, disconnection/reconnection and bankruptcy and lien processing.
"The introduction of tailored best practices to the U.S. market demonstrates our commitment to bringing innovative products to the utilities midmarket sector," said Gary Johnston, utilities industry solution director, SAP America. "SAP Best Practices for Water Utilities leverages not only our extensive expertise in enterprise software but also SAP's years of service to small, midsize and large utilities. Through targeted investment in product research and development we are able to provide the latest tools for managing the unique needs of water utilities and work closely with our customers and partners to respond to industry requirements."
The framework of SAP Best Practices for Water Utilities is based on the SAP for Utilities set of solutions, leveraging SAP's deep industry expertise and technology experience from more than 17 years of serving more than 200 water and midsize utilities globally-including U.S.-based Fairfax Water, Virginia and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Pennsylvania.