In his latest blog, UK Country Manager Saul Nurtman overviews Gentrack’s UK activities as we head into Q2 2019 and introduces some new team members.
Some people believe that change is a bad thing. If you work to support the UK utility industry, I’d say it’s our normal mode and indicates that innovation and growth are happening. As we move into the second quarter of 2019, I’d like to share my views on what’s changed and how we’ve reacted.
2019 started with the first price cap from Ofgem and the release of the latest Which? Survey. Ofgem reported that in January, the cap increased switching by 12% for electricity and 15% for gas, compared to the same month in 2018. And the survey also highlighted some positive results; the most improved suppliers, Robin Hood Energy and Ebico rose to 2nd and 4th place respectively. We’re proud that 6 out of the top 10 suppliers are using Gentrack platforms. For further analysis, see the latest blog by Geoff Childs. There was also the unfortunate demise of Economy Energy, Our Power and Brilliant Energy.
In March, the Future of Utilities Summit took place in London where we spoke about the need for technology to further support consumer engagement. The signature of a major new contract with a leading business water retailer was announced, along with Mojo Power in Australia as the first customer outside of the UK to deploy the latest Junifer solution; chosen for its significant cost-to-serve advantages. As I write, our teams are actively engaged with new and established energy suppliers, looking to get new product offerings and business models to market quickly. We’ll keep you posted as we progress these projects. And we also held our first Partners’ Networking event of the year to brief independent consultants on Gentrack news and plans.
Navigating change with expertise
Our customers, leading and innovative utilities serving energy and water customers, expect us to prepare proactively for change. We’re already preparing for the June regulatory releases; which look significant. We believe they will have a substantial impact on updates from market interaction partners and will share how we’ll respond once we have all the detail.
In my last blog in December, I said we would communicate more this year, so in addition to our regular emails and face to face updates, I’m pleased to announce a new series of product webinar updates for our UK customers, kicking off in mid-April with a demo of our updated Smart PAYG functionality. There’s another one planned in May, where we’ll cover the work we’re doing to prepare for the upcoming Guaranteed Standards of Performance (GSOP) requirements. Email me if you would like to know about other product news and events. Like I said before, change is normal in the energy industry, so we are constantly investing to help us keep up and better respond to our customers’ needs. Since December, we’ve welcomed around 40 new members of staff to our UK operations, the majority of which are in hands-on technical roles. But we have also invested in management roles and expertise that will help us to serve our customers better. In the UK over the past few months, we’ve welcomed our new UK finance director, commercial manager, two product owners, a training consultant, partnership manager, our head of marketing and appointed a chief information security officer. In the Gentrack Group, we’ve appointed Gavin Martin as our head of cloud operations and Fiona Oliver joined our board as non-executive director. The image at the top of this blog introduces many of them.
Just as I am proud to see that our Junifer product has been adopted by its first customer in Australia, I am equally proud of the ongoing demand we are seeing in the UK for our portfolio of Gentrack solutions. Suppliers continue to need and demand cost effective, out of the box functionality that our solutions deliver. Suppliers of all sizes have consistent expectations from a specialised meter-to-cash solution, expecting robust scalability and stability. We’ve been delivering these for over 10 years in the UK, with our UK-born specialist energy billing and customer information system designed to respond to the specific but wide-ranging needs of B2C and B2B customers.
We are proud that products like Junifer and Velocity have helped to bring down the cost of a new entrant coming to market – one of the key reasons, we believe, that greater competition has become more possible over the past five years with about seventy domestic suppliers and almost one hundred in total, now operating in the market. Now, that’s definitely a good change.