Africa energy firms urged to embrace technology
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A LEADING multinational software corporation has encouraged energy utilities in the continent to adopt modern technologies to enhance operations.SAP Africa officials believe this is in line with the realization the energy business model is under immense pressure as energy is moving from a century-old model of centralised generation and unlimited demand, to distributive models and growing requirements to secure supply.
“To be disrupted in such a manner is not unusual. If anything, it is the hallmark of just about every industry functioning today, thanks to the overwhelming influence of technology. Old business models, in particular, are under pressure to reinvent or be discarded by new mavericks,” said Pedro Guerreiro, Head of Sales: Energy and Natural Resources at SAP Africa.The official pointed out that big data systems and the smart grid were the new paradigm for the energy business model.
“The numbers back this; utilities that have adopted smart grid concepts through SAP, on average, reported 61 percent higher returns by reducing breakdowns and improving the effectiveness of their equipment. Health, environmental and safety audit costs have halved, while billing errors
dropped by 28 percent,” said Guerreiro .
He said SAP had a pedigree that places it at the top of data solutions and to blow our own horn is tempting, but the truth is that the energy business is inefficient and stuck in the past.
“There are many bolts that can be tightened and laces strapped down. Leaks, time wasted on processes that could be automated, staff-draining customer disputes. Indeed, the very idea of a one-size-fits-all delivery model once had a place, but it’s now showing serious shortfalls. To reach
for a buzzword, utilities need to become smart about their business and start running simple.”
He said those were meaningful figures, demonstrating the potency of a data culture.“Why are utilities seeing such solid results?” he asked rhetorically.“It’s not by chance. This is not meant to sound condescending. As mentioned earlier, energy is not some light-footed service model that can pivot like a ballerina. It needs time, planning and careful execution. Big data delivers that, particularly once combined with the machine-to-machine
world of sensors and automation.”
Guerreiro disclosed utilities that have adopted smart grid concepts through SAP, on average, reported 61 percent higher returns by reducing breakdowns and improving the effectiveness of their equipment. Health, environmental and safety audit costs have halved, while billing errors dropped by 28 percent.– CAJ News
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