Digital Transformation Recognized for Enhancing Customer Experience
SUEZ, which has been transforming its online presence to digitally link customers, employees and suppliers, has been honored as one of 2018’s top 100 digital companies in the country by IDG’s CIO. SUEZ Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael Salas and his IT team were lauded in the annual ranking “for driving digital business growth through tech innovation.” SUEZ was the only water utility on the annual list, which included many computing, telecommunications and pharmaceutical giants.
“Water utilities are not usually known for innovation and digital transformation” said Salas. “But SUEZ chose to significantly invest in IT governance, architecture, and project and change management capabilities that enable us to deliver multiple large integrated digital projects in parallel. Our innovation was the digital transformation of a water utility.”
The digital transformation, integral to the SUEZ Smart Utility initiative, is a multi-year effort to enhance the connection that customers have with operations and improve workforce productivity through nimble analytics and increased automation.
“SUEZ is on the vanguard among utility services companies,” said Eric Gernath, chief executive officer, SUEZ North America. “We are grateful to CIO for recognizing everything we’ve done to improve the customer experience.”
The new digital core of technologies, not typical of the water industry, will transform SUEZ’ IT operations from supporting infrastructure to one that optimizes every step of the business cycle, including metering, workforce management, asset management, asset location and customer operations:
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an integrated system of smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems that allows for two-way communications between utilities and their customers. AMI networks can account for every gallon of water consumed per hour, increasing billing precision and operational efficiency, decreasing losses due to tampering or data handling errors, significantly decreasing the time to detect customer leaks and virtually eliminating manual labor needed to read meters. SUEZ has deployed the largest AMI system in the U.S., covering over 1000 square miles and over 200,000 customers.
Mobile Workforce Management (MWM) improves customer satisfaction and increases accuracy and efficiency of field service operations through real-time, work scheduling and vehicle tracking and by the elimination of paper work orders, data errors and lags.
Asset Management systems precisely track and schedule maintenance and management activities, lowering costs, increasing asset space and minimizing unplanned downtime.
The digitalization of all asset locations through a Geographic Information System (GIS) down to centimeter-level precision, provides rich online and mobile mapping environments, enhances productivity and eliminates lost, damaged and outdated paper maps.
In North America, SUEZ defied the water industry trend by designing a robust customer web experience. Innovative tools, including an interactive conservation survey and usage reports help customers of every kind more effectively manage their accounts.
SUEZ in North America operates across all 50 states and Canada with 3,350 employees dedicated to environmental sustainability and leading the resource revolution. The company provides drinking water, wastewater and waste collection service to 7.3 million people on a daily basis; treats 577 million gallons of water and 997 million gallons of wastewater each day; delivers water treatment and advanced network solutions to 16,000 industrial and municipal sites; processes 55,000 tons of waste for recycling; rehabilitates and maintains water assets for more than 4,000 municipal and industrial customers; and manages $4.2 billion in total assets. The company posted revenues of $1.275 billion in 2016 and is a subsidiary of Paris-based SUEZ.
With 90,000 people on the five continents, SUEZ is a world leader in smart and sustainable resource management. We provide water and waste management solutions that enable cities and industries optimize their resource management and strengthen their environmental and economic performances, in line with regulatory standards. To meet increasing demands to overcome resource quality and scarcity challenges, SUEZ is fully engaged in the resource revolution. With the full potential of digital technologies and innovative solutions, the Group recovers 17 million tons of waste a year, produces 3.9 million tons of secondary raw materials and 7 TWh of local renewable energy. It also secures water resources, delivering wastewater treatment services to 58 million people and reusing 882 million m3 of wastewater. SUEZ generated total revenues of $18 billion in 2016.