The Basis Technologies team headed to Chicago to take part in some fantastic conversations and networking sessions at this year’s ASUG SAP for Utilities event. Over three days, attendees were able to listen to, discuss and debate some of the biggest trends and transformations taking place across the industry.
We engaged with a huge number of insightful people, ranging from SAP Basis Admins to IT Directors and CIOs.
One of the first things we noticed was the greater IT presence this year, compared to previous years when the more business focused roles dominated attendance. Perhaps companies restricted the number of attendees to save on costs – or maybe it was just a change in focus. But that was certainly observation number one.
When we were able to step away from the invaluable conversations at the Basis booth, and the stellar homemade cookies, the team attended some thought-provoking speeches throughout the event.
A few topics stood out:
1. Migrating to the cloud
Front and center of some of the talks was the continued push towards cloud migration. In particular, Lloyd Adams, President of SAP North America, discussed SAP’s shift from a software company to a services company, delivering outcomes through cloud capabilities. He emphasized the transition to cloud ERP as a centerpiece of their strategy.
SAP aims to provide an immediate success plan and encourage customer adoption of their services, so watch this space.
What’s clear is that SAP is continuing to encourage customers – new and existing – to embrace the cloud at their own pace; the latest supporting arm being the recently launched SAP S/4HANA ERP Cloud, private edition. You can read more on this update in ERP Today’s recent article, and explore S/4HANA transformation in greater detail in this recent blog by our CTO, David Lees.
2. Pace of change
The rate of change is staggering, and it will only accelerate from here. It’s a scary concept for some businesses, especially for those who understand the dependencies but struggle to manifest rapid change.
Teams work continuously to optimize customer experience and meet internal expectations, but it’s becoming an increasing pressure to try and keep up with the pace of change.
Our latest industry research revealed a massive 88% of organizations admit that challenges related to deploying change often become insurmountable barriers in SAP-driven business transformation, yet 92% recognize the need for change.
Gaining foresight of the impact of change, offers businesses improved accuracy, reduced risk and lowered cost. Find out how Basis Technologies’ ActiveDiscover solution can enable with this.
3. Robotic automation
A hot topic amongst customers at the moment is robotic process automation (RPA) – the application and maintenance of software robotics to aid with back-office tasks. As another tool to help utilities companies streamline business-critical processes and optimize workflows, they’re keen to understand how all these solutions fit together across the SAP environment.
We’re aware of this expectation here at Basis, which is why we aim to facilitate, support and accelerate RPA integration for all our customers with our BDEx solution.
4. Supporting our customers
It was excellent to see and support one of our valued customers, Southern California Edison. Catherine Fulton, Senior Manager in Revenue Services, very kindly spared a few minutes to discuss the main challenges that the company was faced with when implementing SAP solutions:
- Managing massive amounts of exception data
- Tracking the productivity and performance of each user
- Work allocation and distribution
Hear her experience in her own words in this short video.
5. The Generative AI inflection point
Without a doubt, this technology has the potential to be transformative for utilities, with its ability to enhance modern business operations.
Generative AI has been applied across business functions with huge degrees of success. For instance, it’s been used to significantly reduce code production time. However, while this tech promises to unlock even greater efficiencies, human intervention will remain critical – as even AI makes mistakes! It requires constant input and drivers to be successful.
As SAP looks to build this functionality in the cloud, GenAI will likely play a huge role in the not-so-distant future, with SAP recently announcing its new generative AI assistant Joule.
We’re looking forward to revisiting this topic in the near future, so check back with us soon.
We’re here to help!
It’s such an honor to be trusted by some of the world’s leading utilities companies, like Duke Energy, Southern California Edison, Tampa Electric Company, EDF, American Water, Sydney Water, and DTE Energy – to name a few.
BDEx is a trusted partner for the utility industry, with the team currently helping to deliver exceptional service for 85 million utilities customers across the globe. And we’re rapidly approaching that 100 million mark.