Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM deploys cloud for Smart Energy Water

Steve Rogerson
February 19, 2019
Smart Energy Water (SEW), a California-based energy and water cloud platform provider serving over 150 utilities worldwide, has signed a multi-million dollar agreement to leverage the IBM Cloud over the next five years.
Through the agreement, SEW will access the flexibility and scalability of the IBM Cloud to provide a common global infrastructure for its enterprise web and mobile applications. These workloads include customer engagement and mobile workforce engagement applications, online bill processing, energy efficiency and demand response applications, reward programmes and tools for real-time data collection and management in the field.
For example, a large-scale energy company may turn to SEW to deploy its digital customer and workforce engagement platform with IBM Cloud. SEW can now scale its services faster, more easily and at global scale to help the company meet the fluctuating demand of its customers.
This agreement comes as SEW looks to grow its business and tap into offerings such as analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the IoT. By hosting these workloads on the IBM Cloud, SEW can gain more value from its data and accelerate the development of tools that can help improve efficiency and engage customers in new and personalised ways.
The energy and utilities industry is grappling with an aging infrastructure, growing client demand for affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable electricity, as well as stringent government mandates on energy efficiency and water conservation. These challenges, coupled with the growing expectations of today's tech-savvy consumers, have driven a rapid need for change and are forcing many utilities to create business platforms and tap technologies to solidify a competitive advantage.
"Consumers are open to new ways of engaging with their utility," said Harman Sandhu, president of Smart Energy Water. "Together with IBM, we can deliver solutions at large scale that help utilities lower the cost-to-serve by moving customers from the call centre to lower-cost digital channels, personalise service to increase overall customer satisfaction, and target customers for the right opportunities for value-added programmes and services."
The SEW and IBM agreement also provides a platform to expand accretive and complementary go-to-market efforts globally.
"Smart Energy Water is anticipating the major impact connected technologies will have on their customers business," said Brad Gammons, managing director for energy, environment and utilities at IBM. "By investing in data, their workers can do their job better than ever before and customers will have access to self-service capabilities that can help improve client service."
From managing renewables' fluctuating energy levels to bringing new efficiency tools to consumers, utility providers are increasingly turning to hybrid multi-cloud services to help meet the demands of a more sustainability-focused, digital society. Tennet Energy, Ista and Hydro Ottawa have recently turned to the IBM Cloud to help them build customer services, save money and generate revenue.