How the Energy Sector is Using the Industry Cloud

How the Energy Sector is Using the Industry Cloud

Summary of Article by Kristen Lotze for ZDNet

Learn how the energy sector uses cloud services and which cloud providers are most popular for this vertical.

Industry cloud focuses on vertical solutions and integration, offering highly customized solutions to help businesses with various aspects of their operations including legal, regulatory, security, and more. To better understand industry cloud's role in the energy sector, it's important to consider the ways it is being used, the pros and cons of adoption, and which cloud providers are most frequently used.

Ways the energy sector uses the industry cloud

Regarding CRM, Kelly James, vice president and general manager of energy and utilities at industry cloud software company Vlocity, explains, "There is a massive opportunity to redefine and transform the relationship between customers and utility companies. Partnerships and collaboration are going to be key in how we look at the challenges of creating differentiated ways of working, harnessing the changing energy landscape, addressing increasing customer centricity, innovation, digitalization, and operational excellence."

James continues: "In the face of rapidly rising customer expectations and disruptive technologies, utility company CIOs and CCOs are asking themselves questions such as: 'How do I exceed customer expectations while keeping pace with disruptive industry change?' 'Can I transform my customer experience without the risks that come with multi-vendor integration and with major changes to my CIS and billing systems?' 'How can I bring new offers and products to market while ensuring core meter to cash processes remain stable?'"

Having a solution designed specifically for the industry – one that delivers value today and can flex and scale for tomorrow – will allow for continual growth, agility, and differentiation, and the path to a bright future.

– Kelly James, VP & GM Energy & Utilities, Vlocity

To address these and other challenges of a rapidly growing market, many energy companies are turning to the industry cloud because it provides a way to improve CRM and allows a digital transformation strategy to be put into place. According to Vlocity, "There aren't many [in the energy sector] that we know of doing industry cloud. Most are [using] on-premises software. Having a solution designed specifically for the industry – one that delivers value today and can flex and scale for tomorrow – will allow for continual growth, agility, and differentiation, and the path to a bright future."

Pros and cons of using the industry cloud in the energy sector

Disadvantages to cloud computing tend to deal more with cultural adaptation. As explained by Vlocity: "You have to make sure your executive team, your IT team, etcetera, are brought into the change and that they know how best to make the change. You can't move away from being the energy company you are. You may need to move as quickly as Amazon or Uber, but the specific customer needs are very different." 

Vlocity suggests that energy companies give customers more choice and to "help them make decisions on energy-efficient appliances and know which customers have them. But don't try to be a retailer or gig economy company. These are lifetime customers in most cases, after all."

Top cloud providers in the energy sector

According to Vlocity, Salesforce also provides CRM for several industries, including the energy sector. More specifically, Vlocity partners with Salesforce to "bring industry-specific SaaS software for CRM and customer experience to our customers. Energy is one of our six verticals."

Read more here.