“Utilities Have What Other Industries Only Dream Of”

Utilities should take advantage of their extensive customer base and high levels of customer knowledge.
Published: Wed 15 Jul 2015

In this live studio interview at Asian Utility Week, Gil Epshtein, Senior Product Marketing Manager, ECI Telecom, talks about the challenges and opportunities that telecommunications present.

Risk free transition

He lists the challenges as follows:  

1. The aim is to have a risk free transition from the current technology to next generation technology. “This is the kind of industry where there is no room for mistakes. There is no second chance so you need to get it right the first time. It’s important to keep the same performance, management and control even though you are moving onto another technology.”

2. Firms must be ready for future proof services. “Anything that is built today must be scalable and must be based on modular architecture that can grow on the one hand but where one can pay for only what you need today.” He adds, “Therefore, systems and structure should evolve together with you.”

UTelco opportunities

Mr Epshtein discusses the opportunities in store for utilities that make a shift in the business model by becoming a “UTelco” (utility telecom operator). He explains that this is when utilities leverage the telecom infrastructure to offer either services to other service providers and become like a “carrier of carriers” or to become a telecom operator and offer services to large enterprises.

“This is a very great change for them and it’s a complete change in the business model. This is something they can leverage to generate new revenues.” Becoming an operator offers a number of opportunities as it enables a new set of revenue sources. Utilities are in a strong position to offer new services to customers or maybe cooperate with other service providers based on the customer information they already have. “There is an exciting future ahead for utilities,” he points out.

In conclusion, Mr Epshtein says, “Utilities should value what they have –they have what other industries only dream of. They have access to the house and data around consumption and spending habits. They are starting to now realise what they actually have.”