Retail and distribution are the two areas undergoing the greatest transformation in the utility sector, Marie Fossum Strannegard, Head of Utilities at Ericsson, told Engerati in an interview at European Utility Week 2014.
In retail the need is to provide a new customer experience and retain customers. Distribution is the enabler of the new infrastructure and the products and services that the retailers will sell on to the customers, Strannegard says.
By way of example of such services, Strannegard says that some retailers are offering visualization services, while others are offering charging for electric vehicles or customer apps.
“Retailers need to do this, because if they don’t they will lose their customer base.”
Strannegard says that distributors are concerned with excellence in operations and are focusing on areas such as asset management and grid automation.
“They want high availability and reliability, and to maximize their business.”
Without this enablement on the distribution side, it would be impossible to offer the services on the retail side, Strannegard says. “So there needs to be a corporation between those two players.”