New entrant energy providers, like any commercial start-up, face multiple challenges in their initial stages, not least in containing costs for all the essentials needed to run their business.
At least one area where savings are possible is in IT, with the growing availability of cloud services offering both lower costs without a large initial capital outlay and without the need for onsite installation and testing, a faster time to going live.
These were the considerations facing the new independent UK energy company Our Power Energy Supply Ltd when seeking a solution for its billing and customer care requirements. The solution had to be proven to operate in the UK regulatory environment and offer functionality for both prepay and monthly customers. A further requirement is scalability with Our Power aiming to reach 150,000+ customers across Scotland by 2020. MECOMS scales well into the millions of connections range, so offers plenty of headroom.
“By deploying a hosted and maintained solution in the cloud, we can concentrate on the day to day running of our business,” says Dawn Muspratt, founding Chief Executive of Our Power.
MECOMS as a Service
The solution selected by Our Power is Ferranti Computer Systems’ recently launched MECOMS as a Service, which offers MECOMS Customer Information System as a full service offering.
“We developed the solution for organisations like Our Power Energy Supply,” Mark Hurcomb, Ferranti’s Chief Commercial Officer explains. “Since the UK market opened in 1998 some new energy retailers have entered the market but the barriers to entry have been high. Often as they grow they discover their initial choice of CIS and Billing doesn’t scale so they have to invest again.
“We wanted to make it easier for new innovators to enter the market with a proven and scalable system. The UK market is in the lead of new entrant activity around the world currently and we want to be at the heart of it with MECOMS as a Service.”
As the first company to use MECOMS as a Service, Our Power’s case will be discussed by Dawn Muspratt and Mark Hurcomb and colleagues from the two companies in an Engerati webinar, Enabling the UK energy revolution with software as a service.
Our Power is a first in the UK market, as a membership organisation of social landlords, local authorities and community controlled organisations operating on a non-profit basis.
A proven solution
MECOMS is used in the UK by OVO Energy, United Utilities and Corona Energy and by more than 40 companies worldwide.
Mark explains: “Commissioning is completed within 3-4 months and our pricing model is based on customer connections. We are responsible for all system operations and maintenance, 24/7 and complying with UK regulations. A MECOMS as a Service customer can concentrate on their customers with the added certainty that there are no hidden future costs with our service.
“MECOMS as a Service is a competitive meter to cash solution that scales with you as your organisation grows.”
To find out more about MECOMS as a Service and Our Power’s adoption of the solution, and to get the answers to your questions, register for the webinar.