The heat is on for the energy sector to maintain service availability and performance

January 13 2020 By Posted in Expertise
Electric power is essential at any time of year, but in winter months energy companies across the northern hemisphere face greater demand, precisely when harsh weather makes consistent provision more difficult. How do they cope with the challenges of providing energy and service?

 

 

One way electricity providers have adopted is to make sure their application services and digital tools work well. To do so, they use APM solutions from several different angles – this post presents three of them.

 

Ensuring availability and performance of customer-facing digital services

Electric companies provide omni-channel interfaces for customer interactions day or night. Consumers rely on these services for billing options, to check outage reports, review usage dashboards, submit meter readings, manage their accounts, contact the help desk, etc. They can also find crucial advisories on planned power cuts for maintenance works and other alerts. What would happen if customers find these resources unavailable?
This is why energy companies resort to end-user monitoring (synthetic and/or real-user monitoring). They need to make sure the customer services provided by their websites and APIs are fast and available whenever people need them.
Synthetic monitoring tools measure response times and availability around the clock. They generate end-user metrics and provide diagnostic information that points technical teams toward any problem spots. Alerts can be set to notify IT teams to any violation of specific quality thresholds so that they can resolve incidents even before users notice them. Reports help business units to better understand customer usage trends.

 

Supporting and enhancing workforce productivity

The availability and performance of enterprise applications and industry-specific software are crucial to ensuring business productivity and reliable power supply. This is why it is necessary to measure not only technical components, but also how the application behaves on the user side, for the entire workforce, at the office, in the field, and wherever they may log on to work.
This calls for synthetic monitoring of the ERP, CRM, and other types of business software or mission-critical tools, which may be distributed on complex platforms (Citrix, etc.) across a number of locations and devices.
Furthermore, a variety of IoT-enabled appliances are involved in every segment of the sector: from energy production, to transmission, and on to distribution. When urgent intervention is required, on-call technicians need to be sure that their digital work tools don’t fail them. These mobile appliances can improve efficiency to such an extent that some energy companies estimate double-figure productivity gains!

 

Tracking and reporting SLA compliance (service level agreements)

Energy providers generally have established their own quality standards so that B2B or B2C customers know what to expect. Regulations specific to the energy industry likewise may be formulated as SLA targets. In addition, the company may set up internal SLAs to promote efficiency and cut costs.
The only objective way to track SLA metrics over time is to implement end-user availability and performance monitoring with customizable service level targets. The powerful reporting features built into APM solutions chart where things are running smoothly and define areas for improvement.
Electric companies that we work with, for example, use metrics gathered from monitoring as a basis for attributing bonuses for staff and calculating refunds for customers. Energy providers release figures and data to regulatory authorities to document their compliance with sector requirements.
They refer to end-user quality of experience dashboards to understand the level of service they provide to customers… in the dead of winter and the whole year round.

To learn about how ip-label works with companies in the energy industry to help them optimize their digital tools and services, contact us!

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