Author:
Manoo Bhatnagar
Business Consultant – Energy & Utilities Practice,
Tech Mahindra Business Process Services.

AMI Command Center Support Using isMobile Platform

The Global Utility market is experiencing a delay of smart meter rollouts. Due to Covid-19, smart meter rollout will see a decline of up to 3.2% (best-case scenario) to 28% (worst-case scenario) over the next five years. Hence, utility companies are seeking suitably qualified suppliers to provide an end-to-end AMI Command Center solution that includes elements such as Metering devices, AMI Fixed Communication Network, AMI Software Application, Data Analysis Services, Flexible Customer Interface, Professional Services for Design and Implementation / Installation, Ongoing Support and Maintenance (as a Managed Service).

These elements broadly indicate the scope of work that includes Design, delivery, operation and maintenance of complete Advanced Metering Infrastructure Solution. Ongoing Managed Services on a 24X7 basis, services delivered by using commercial models which facilitate solution scalability and extensibility aligned with evolving business needs and ensuring that the proposed solution remains dynamic, while providing opportunities to explore potential service improvements and developments as best practices.

The goal is to achieve a better management of electric energy, water, and gas providing networks and an efficient balance between demand and consumption. The key technological element in this context is the “Smart Meter”, which is a significant aspect inside an IoT environment. The integration of intelligent devices using IoT allows collection of necessary data for becoming a smart AMI Command Center.

AMI Command Center Services

The smart AMI Command Center services are designed to scale for managing multiple activities such as:

  • Smart One Office consists of onboarding calls & emergency response support, variability & seasonal peak support, managing incidents, events & IHD/technical issues, 3rd party supplier coordination, customer complaints management & reporting, daily updates and reports on installs & work orders, proactive notifications, alarms, meter reads, CSAT Surveys and field efficiency.
  • Smart Meter Data Management is an amalgamation of remote configurations & firmware updates/upgrades, managing subscriptions & terminations, predicting-proactive analysis and troubleshooting exercises, remote billing/meter reads and diagnostic services, monitoring loads and emergency service support, and investigating unusual reads to handle exceptions.
  • Roll-Out Installation & Commissioning Supports prioritizes customer segment by sociodemographics and terrain, books customer appointments while educating, creating awareness, installing and commissioning engineer support with visit details. It further makes it easy to proactively monitor smart prepayment installs, plan & schedule field engineers by skills, need, and liaison. Additionally, work order is managed via Analyzing, Planning, Creating, Assigning & Processing.
  • Supply Chain & Asset Management works on asset tracking – types of smart assets for new installs & serialization, managing change of supplier related asset mgmt. processes, tracking and reporting smart metering assets in warehouses, in-transit- engineer vans, customer premises, returned assets, third-party triaging, inventory, warehousing support, and 3rd party communications with support asset materials audit and compliance reporting.
  • Analytics & Reporting focuses on best time to call and schedule field appointments, workforce optimisation & seasonality management, common operating real-time dashboard single view – SMART MIS, track and report repeat engineer visits and jobs done. Engineer Interaction analytics & insights – powered by SEER and incident & event analytics.
  • Governance of multidisciplinary business, change & service management, communication and expectation setting, single ownership of 3rd party issue management, while tracking, managing and reporting key measures, metrics and KPI’s.

Tech Mahindra’s Solution

Tech Mahindra’s AMI Command & Control Center uses the isMobile partner platform for various smart metering operations and is capable of designing, developing & rolling out the entire AMI Command Center solution. It is engineered to enable and operate various real time functions, mobile apps for field crew ops, automated data collection & analysis. We have strong capabilities & experience of running AMI centers for energy suppliers worldwide to help them drive their futuristic smart grid vision and follow a robust methodology for successful implementation.
Our Smart Grid solution is also customized according to the utility’s requirements of the project with which our approach is to deploy a solution that is based on process flows, built upon utility best practices, for full visibility and accountability and flexible business rules encompassing a virtually all work scenarios.

Enable AMI Command Center Support

With our AMI Operations support leveraging the state of the art isMobile platform, we can design and implement a smart asset management system covering the entire lifecycle - smart asset procurement, deployment, operations, maintenance and retirement (Product Tracking System), along with 24x7 operations and command center for smart metering transactions.
We can also integrate AMI and other applications to enable an AMI Network Operations/Command Center, enable the target state of a unified customer view and field service view in a contact center, incorporate customer facing requirements on onboarding and welcoming customers on new smart meters, suggest the new enhanced services and products and answer any queries.

Tech Mahindra – isMobile, the platform

isMobile provides a solution approach to achieve efficiency by ensuring transparency between field worker, back office and the end customer. Flexibility built in both software solutions and everyday behavior empowers the ability to manage change- both in real time and over time. Additionally, close collaboration by sharing information in real-time and flexible end-customer dialog by customer booking service, sms, email and digital letter generation, and efficiency by transparency across field workers, back office and end customers.
The Service Components include:
(A) Mobile Field App: Shared schema, real-time change alerts and reporting, navigation support, and thumb-dial to customer.
(B) End-customer booking service: Information of work and proposed time-slot, confirm & re-book on real-time scheduling, notation of availability, sms- reminder.
(C) Planning app: Shared schema, track progress, notification & alerts of real-time changes.

Value Proposition

TechM has partnered with isMobile for the AMI Command Centre Ops mgmt. solution, Field service & Asset Maintenance coordination support and provides services of capability & trust for energy suppliers worldwide. These solutions are running with several utilities and is highly flexible and easy to integrate with 3rd party systems. It has the ability to run smoothly even with changes in surround systems such as Meter Data Management system (MDMS), Head End System (HES), etc.

Expected Benefits

Tech Mahindra can provide the following business outcomes leveraging the isMobile platform:

  • ~5% - 8% savings through faster resolutions with unified desktop and ready reckoner of FAQ’s
  • ~ 4% - 6% reduction in AHT with improved productivity and higher CX & NPS
  • ~ 8% - 10% reduction in total FTEs through automation of NVA / repetitive tasks
  • One-view case tracking & E2E Back/Front office workload solution management
  • Insights to support app and infra roll out, customer analytics and segmentation & centralized data and analytics center of excellence (D&A COE)

isMobile Sample Case Studies

1. Nordic Multinational Power Company


Business Challenges: Business Benefits:
  • A single software platform flexible enough to handle all current delivery processes & case types.
  • A solution that integrates perfectly with an existing yet complex IT landscape involving numerous data sources.
  • The ability to rapidly adapt to changes in business models, organizational structures and processes.
  • The ability to provide excellent case support to field personnel in order to ensure SLA compliance, clear reports and accurate billing information.
  • Optimized for rapid deployment and ease-of-use in order to ensure fast implementation and to minimize the need for user training.
  • isMobile’s template-based solution allows for easy business-specific customization & eases up everyday assignment of resources.
  • The new system provides a reliable foundation to enable strategic decision based on actual business conditions- not system functionality or constraints.
  • Ease of use for rapid deployment.
  • Field personnel get access to case information to reflect current customer's contract.
  • Enhanced productivity using reporting feature to reduce load on administrative resources.
  • Reduce delay between task completion and billing.


2. South European Multinational Gas & Energy Company


Business Challenges: Business Benefits:
  • To thrive in its country’s open energy market, the customer needed to improve the efficiency of its field force to meet the needs of current and potential customers.
  • The customer realized it needed to transform its field service and sales processes to respond quickly – whether it was a service call or a new business opportunity
  • €500,000 in annual administrative cost savings
  • 30% increase in service call completion rates.
  • The customer engaged isMobile to deploy a workforce management solution that enabled the company to redesign and optimize its service dispatch operations and empowered the sales force to find and close more revenue opportunities.


Conclusion

Tech Mahindra’s vision is to design, implement, run & manage best-in-class 24×7 AMI Operations Command & Control Center for various smart metering operations, and to engineer the command center to enable and operate various real time functions & mobile apps for the field crew and customers. Tech Mahindra’s key solution levers that enable best in business services are:

  • Understanding of the AMI System Components In-Scope
  • Define Solution Implementation Methodology
  • Architecting AMI System Command Centre & Smart Grid Vision
  • Enabling Features & Functionalities of AMI Command & Control Centre Operations
  • Live Systems Demo: AMI Command Center - Requirements Categorization
  • Kick-off AMI Command Centre Operations & Service Value Roadmap
  • Managing the AMI Operations, Command & Control Centre thereafter
  • Transforming the AMI Command Centre Operations

Tech Mahindra’s AMI Command Center Solution is not only used as a tool for cost reduction and scalable system architecture, but also for enriching Customer Experience and create trusted, long term   relationships with customers by redesigning processes as per the customer requirements & changing market trends.