Empowering the World with Personalized Energy and Data Driven Decisions

The 2020 Bidgely Engage Virtual conference is in full swing, bringing together more than 200 energy industry leaders from around the world to discuss #FutureReady strategies for harnessing the power of AI in the face of unprecedented global change. With events in North America, Japan (held in Japanese), APAC and Europe, Engage is a global forum for leaders tackling the greatest challenges of today.

    Engage prompts global utility and industry leaders to be #FutureReady to address changing times, whether it may be the gradual evolution of customer expectations or sudden shifts brought on by the pandemic. At Bidgely, ensuring our partners are equipped to meet changes is core to our mission and the way we approach our UtilityAI suite of solutions. This year’s discussion of the broader applications of AI included a great deal of focus on how digitalization, resilience, and personalization are shaping a new utility reality across operational areas: 

    1. Digital customer experiences are boosting engagement and reach. 
    2. Data is enabling a richer, more enduring customer experience. 
    3. Enterprise analytics are transforming existing utility data into powerful decision-making tools.
    4. Tech stack investments, from AMI networks to enriched CRM and meter analytics, are yielding greater ROI.
    5. New market opportunities are on the horizon, including end-to-end integrated marketplaces.

      Digital Customer Experiences Boost Engagement and Reach.  

      One essential Engage take-away is that utilities are actively embracing digital strategies to drive customer engagement and extend their reach.  

      For example, next generation, digital Home Energy Reports are designed to drive DSM objectives and improve satisfaction among both electric and gas utility customers. During Engage, Dr. Liza Legaspi from SoCalGas discussed how her behavioral energy efficiency program was able to drive meaningful savings for customers, including medium-consumption users. Hanna Balla and Sarah Poe, from NiSource and Columbia Gas of Ohio respectively, shared how digital transformation and energy efficiency goals have come together to drive the customer journey and help reinforce their brands. JD Power’s John Hazen also weighed in with his perspective as to why customer engagement and modernized communication, particularly following the pandemic, are critical to utility relationships and CSAT.

      At Bidgely, leveraging the immediacy, personalization and interactivity of digital communications drives our HER 2.0 and alerts program. We help utilities achieve cost-effective energy efficiency at scale for all customers and optimize spending on targeted demand side programs. COO Varun Nagaraj discusses the HER 2.0 design insights that inform Bidgely’s approach. 

      Data Enables a Richer, More Enduring Customer Experience.

      Providing a better customer experience is often the catalyst behind a utility’s decision to pursue an AI strategy. 

      During Engage, we heard from Avista’s Matt Halloran who outlined how his team addresses common customer problem statements. Highlighting results and proof points, Adam Grant from NV Energy and Shawn Carr from Hydro Ottawa walked attendees through case studies demonstrating how the success of each AI-powered program builds on the next, using AI to strengthen customer outreach, target programs, drive DSM objectives and more. Patty Durand of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative summarized the SECC’s latest ‘voice of the customer’ research to help utilities fine tune these programs with messaging and program designs that resonate. 

      AI enables utility initiatives to be more inclusive, relevant and interactive — three key factors in delivering a superior customer experience. Bidgely helps utilities deliver the personalized service customers expect to increase satisfaction (CSAT) and reduce churn. Bidgely COO Varun Nagaraj shares more about Bidgely’s CX approach in this short video.

      Enterprise Analytics Transform Existing Utility Data Into Powerful Decision-Making Tools.

      Enterprise analytics allows utilities to leverage their existing data to inform strategy at every level and in every department. 

      At Engage we heard how some utilities are breaking new ground in harnessing their data to inform program delivery and achieve critical benchmarks. Neil Strother and Michael Kelly of Guidehouse Insights shared how AI is successfully being applied across the industry to realize advances in everything from home energy management to grid analytics. Lon Huber from Duke Energy described his use of data to inform an iterative and customer-centric approach to accelerating renewable energy adoption. Lon’s Duke Energy colleague Lang Reynolds then shared how analytics enables his mission to ‘electrify everything’ as part of advancing the utilities EV initiative. 

      Bidgely is helping utilities more accurately model and plan for the integration of EVs and renewables with AI-informed customer analytics. Our Analytics Workbench also empowers utilities to optimize grid operations through more granular load forecasting, informed grid upgrade planning, smart load shaping and hyper-targeted roll-out of Non-Wires Alternatives and load shifting programs. 

      In this video presentation, Bidgely CTO Vivek Garud highlights a range of key Analytics Workbench use cases.

      Tech Stack Investment Yields Greater ROI 

      Disparate data sources and an often-fragmented technology stack have historically hindered utilities’ abilities to advance customer engagement beyond isolated touchpoints to deliver an integrated customer journey. Leading utilities are changing that reality with a more holistic view.

      Hydro Ottawa’s Mark Fernandes shared how AI permeates throughout the utility’s customer experience strategy, leveraging their 100% smart meter deployment for an end-to-end experience. Bhavani Amirthalingam from Ameren shared how her digital information team is delivering a differentiated customer and co-worker experience and enabling the grid of the future. Attendees also heard key industry perspectives from Itron’s Don Reeves about how Itron’s partnership with Bidgely is bringing enriched analytics to smart meter capabilities, and from Salesforce’s Kelly James about how the Salesforce Utility Cloud enables AI-enhanced CRM solutions.  

      Bidgely offers utilities scalable integrated solutions that optimize program deployment, reduce costs, and propel a data-driven enterprise evolution. UtilityAI augments existing utility CRM solutions with enriched data analytics to help integrate and streamline investments in the utility cloud

      New Market Opportunities Are on the Horizon

      Utilities are increasingly seeking to reimagine existing impersonal and outdated marketplaces and adopt new consumer-brand-style personalized approaches.

      Lisa Lee from Hydro One details the criteria her team developed to drive the design of the utility’s soon-to-be-launched modern retail experience, which is centered upon a hyper-personalized approach. To share the broader context of what’s on the cutting edge of AI applications and opportunities in the market today and on the horizon, Simon Chong and Emily Walsh of Georgian Partners provided an investor perspective.

      A new era of utility marketplaces is one of the greatest areas of opportunity, and Bidgely is leading the way. Rather than a stand-alone ecommerce channel, Bidgely’s Smart ShopTM, built on the UtilityAI platform, leverages our highly engaging and successful UtilityAI digital energy alert technology to create an integrated approach to positioning products and services and enables a more effective selling process that is simple for customers to navigate. 

      In this video, Bidgely CMO Gautam Aggarwal explains how Smart Shop is delivering a smarter end-to-end marketplace based on hyper-personalized recommendations.

      Bidgely and UtilityAI were designed for these changing times, and ensuring our utility partners are always #FutureReady. If you missed the event or would like to learn more, please connect with our team

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