ees Holland primes public utilities for new world with MECOMS™ as a Service (MaaS).
“MaaS gives ees Holland customers access to a platform with all the functionality they need in terms of CRM, contract management and invoicing, at a competitive, flexible rate to boot. As all data is contained in a single system, the information is also much clearer, resulting in fewer misunderstandings and mistakes.” - Werner Boom, Director of Energy Engineering Solutions Holland
About ees Holland.
Energy engineering solutions Holland – ees Holland for short – has positioned itself as an independent engineering firm that focuses on innovation, sustainability and energy savings.
To support customers’ business processes, ees Holland’s three country offices provide not only advice, but also infrastructure, meters and software. The organisation has clients from both the private and public sectors, such as municipalities, housing associations, health care institutions and project developers.
To what extent does ees Holland see the needs of public utilities changing?
The introduction of the new Dutch Heating Act in early 2014 has had a massive impact. It is the response to a European directive, which is currently being translated in all member states. The new Heating Act stipulates that every individual should have insight into their energy consumption. This also applies to people living in a block of flats with a communal heating system. From now on, costs that were hitherto simply included in the service charges or rent need to be individually measurable and be clearly specified.
What challenges does this involve in terms of IT?
Public utilities must be able to draw up clearly itemised invoices on the basis of detailed measurement data. In practice, however, ees Holland sees its customers struggle to have their IT solutions communicate smoothly with one another and to achieve the desired end result. Moreover, smaller companies often lack the resources to invest in advanced software. ees Holland seeks to help its customers capture and process the individual data efficiently by means of a smart and reliable software platform in the cloud.
ees Holland decided to offer MECOMS™ as a Service. Why precisely that software?
MECOMS™ uses Microsoft Dynamics AX technology and Ferranti moulded it entirely to the requirements of power companies and public utilities. The package has since developed into a tried and tested solution in the sector. The latest version of the software is fully geared towards the new Heating Act. In addition, the trusted Microsoft environment guarantees a high degree of userfriendliness. “By nature, we are highly SaaS-minded (Software as a Service). For us it was a foregone conclusion that we wanted to offer the solution as a cloud-based service. Given that Ferranti’s selection process was focused on finding a company with which to set up a MECOMS™ launch project in the Dutch market, the deal was quickly concluded.”
What, in concrete terms, does MECOMS™ as a Service do for ees Holland’s customers?
All meters are communicating with MaaS and send the measured values to the platform. MaaS then reads the data and links it to the customer contract. This means that invoices are always drawn up based on accurate information. The follow-up on the invoicing, including the necessary debits and reminders, is also provided for.and be clearly specified.
What is the greatest benefit that public utilities can derive from MaaS?
MaaS gives ees Holland customers access to a platform with all the functionality they need, at a competitive, flexible rate to boot. The customer pays for each connection, so they always know what to expect. As all data is contained in a single system, the information is much clearer, resulting in fewer misunderstandings and mistakes. Moreover, MaaS means maximum flexibility for the customer. They can manage the solution themselves or leave it all to ees Holland. Of course, the company’s look & feel are preserved within MaaS.
Are there already ees Holland customers who use MaaS?
Warmtebedrijf Ede, a subsidiary of MPD Groene Energie, is the first client to introduce MaaS. The solution is about to go live. By the end of this year, around 600 customers of Warmtebedrijf Ede should be managed with MaaS. The original target was to have 20,000 customers in and around Ede served with MaaS within 10 years, but given the solution’s great potential, this number is bound to increase. For ees Holland and Ferranti, it is at any rate obvious that many more customers stand to benefit from MaaS. These will initially be Dutch customers. After six months, Belgian customers will also be able to rely on MaaS. In the more distant future, Germany, the UK and even Turkey are potential markets foor ees Holland.
Are there already ees Holland customers who use MaaS?
“We have been collaborating very closely from the outset. Ferranti not only supports us during the implementation on the client side, we also team up to introduce the solution to new clients. Ferranti’s knowledge of the energy market provides significant added value in that respect.”
“The main mission is to convince customers of the opportunities to bring financial processes to the cloud. In addition, we want to make it clear to the customer that MaaS definitely satisfies all their needs (and more) and that they can follow all future developments quickly by means of regular updates. For example, it will soon be possible to use MaaS to compensate customers who have unintentionally been cut off from the heating supply for more than 4 hours without them having to ask for a refund. By continuously expanding the options, we can take the Business Process Model that we offer our customers to the next level time and again.”
More information can be found here (in Dutch).
(picture: members of the Ferranti & ees Holland teams)