18 January 2011: Gentrack, a leading provider of software and consultancy services to energy utilities in Australia, is counting on its experience in the privatisation of Utility assets in Australia and New Zealand to provide support to the NSW energy industry.
Gentrack CEO James Docking sees the NSW privatisation as an important step in the overall reforms in the Australian Energy industry, although not without its challenges for those utilities involved.
“These latest acquisitions are important for the energy sector but present some significant challenges with the myriad systems, processes and customers involved. One of the most obvious challenges will be the separation of the network and retail elements of each utility, a process that Gentrack has been involved in with numerous utilities in deregulated markets across Australia and New Zealand.”
The much debated privatisation sees Origin Energy acquiring an additional 1.6 million retail customers with the acquisition of Country and Integral Energy, making it the largest energy retailer in Australia. TruEnergy picks up an additional 1.5 million customers through its acquisition of Energy Australia (http://bit.ly/NSWenergyprivatisation).
“Our consultants and industry specialists are well versed in the challenges associated with separating the systems, data and processes within integrated utilities,” said Docking. “Enterprise systems and processes for billing, customer management, credit and collections and meter data management across retail and distribution divisions are often tightly interconnected, perhaps within large ERP solutions. We offer a variety of professional services to support this transformation process, including the establishment of systems to support new network business processes.”
Origin and TruEnergy expect to complete the acquisition of the three NSW based energy retailers by 1 March 2011, with status quo maintained for all call centre and customer service operations within the acquired organisations. The transaction also includes the purchase of Eraring and Delta Western Gentraders and a number of energy generation sites currently under development.
“A seamless customer transition will be critical for these utilities,” concludes Docking. “As customers are moved to the retail systems at Origin or TruEnergy and the distribution businesses are reengineered to operate independently, we know from experience that this is the time when all eyes and ears are on what is a very public and political transformation process. Strong transition project teams with support systems and services provided by experienced partners will be key factors to the success of the changes, especially as new systems are sought for the newly independent network companies.”