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Delta N.V. is one of the largest multi-utility companies in the Netherlands, based in Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland.
Providing a range of products and services including electricity, gas, water, radio, television and telecom services, Delta N.V. employs about 1,653 people. Accenture was selected by Delta N.V. to implement its new SAP-based customer relationship management and billing solutions. Accenture was also tasked with tailoring Delta’s packaged software solutions; especially with regard to customer care.
Accenture was responsible for application development and management, implementation of new technologies to enable compliance with Dutch legislation as well as implementing new functionality to support and improve business processes on an ongoing basis. By providing Delta N.V. with a solid foundation from which to deliver superior customer service, Accenture helped the utility to take great strides toward becoming a high-performance business.
In the Netherlands, the Electricity and Gas Act of 1988 regulates operational activities involving the exploitation of electricity and gas networks. From July 1, 2004, Dutch consumers have been able to choose their energy suppliers and this legislation regulates the various stakeholders in the energy market—energy suppliers, energy producers, network companies and metering companies—according to clearly described procedures.
To comply with this legislation, Delta N.V. needed to implement new customer relationship management (CRM) and billing software solutions. Furthermore, as the legislation is updated on a more or less annual basis, the company needed a service provider that was not only able to implement an agile and flexible solution, but also had the deep knowledge and experience in the Dutch energy industry needed to provide ongoing application support, align IT initiatives with Delta’s evolving business strategy as well as ensure legislative compliance and market-leading innovation.
As the liberalization of the energy market enabled more providers to enter the market, Delta N.V. needed to improve its competitive effectiveness—of which superior customer service is a key differentiator.
As an industry-leader with deep experience in the Dutch energy market, complex solution implementations and superior technical expertise, Accenture was selected by Delta N.V. to implement its new SAP-based customer relationship management and billing solutions. Furthermore, in order to accommodate Delta N.V.’s specific requirements, Accenture was tasked with tailoring these packaged software solutions, especially with regard to customer care.
Following the initial implementation, Accenture was responsible for application development and management, implementing new technologies to enable compliance with Dutch legislation as well as implementing new functionality to support and improve business processes on an ongoing basis.
In 2006, Delta N.V. asked Accenture to upgrade the business-to-consumer architecture it had implemented. This upgrade was brought about as a result of some of the software components no longer being supported by their developers as well as a demand for archiving and open item accounting capabilities within the billing program—capabilities that were not supported by the current versions of the software.
Accenture then extended its responsibility, managing the application development and maintenance of Delta N.V.’s core business systems and middleware. Delta N.V. would identify enhancements or additional requirements and Accenture would then take these requests for changes through the entire development life cycle: from analysis to building, testing and finally, implementation.
In June 2007, challenged by the economic downturn, Delta N.V. and Accenture collaborated closely to help the company reduce its cost to serve without sacrificing the quality of its customer service. Accenture evaluated the company’s existing processes and systems to identify cost reduction opportunities.
Following this evaluation, and based on Accenture’s suggestions, Delta N.V. decided to simplify its business processes, rationalize its information technology architecture and increase its focus on their customers. To this end, Accenture was charged with developing the new information technology landscape.
Because of Delta N.V.’s relatively remote location, Accenture uses a team of onsite consultants to service the company. This team of 60 to 65 full-time employees implements changes and manages Delta N.V.’s applications and IT infrastructure.
On a daily basis, Accenture is helping Delta N.V. to improve and professionalize the maintenance and development of its critical customer care applications.
The Delta N.V. deal is the first large-scale outsourcing contract for customer care applications in the Dutch utility market.
In a testament to the strong collaboration and trusted relationship between Delta N.V. and Accenture, the contract is governed by an innovative shared risk and reward service-level agreement with clearly defined key performance indicators. The monitored indicators include the number of improvements initiated by Accenture, the continuity of invoicing and the number of open incidents.
Since the inception of this agreement Accenture has always achieved its service-level agreement targets. In recognition of Accenture’s excellent service delivery, Delta N.V. extended its contract with Accenture until December 2011.
Accenture is also responsible for managing the third-party vendor that helps integrate messages from other suppliers into Delta N.V.’s applications. This arrangement makes it easier for Delta N.V. to manage its service providers and reduces its risk.
Every three months, Delta N.V. and Accenture review the status of the engagement and all necessary changes are made in accordance with any planned activities and modifications in the business strategy. Recently, the focus has been primarily on cost reduction and Accenture has been working closely with Delta N.V. to identify and implement cost savings initiatives.
Some of these initiatives include increased integration and the possibility of moving some functions to a lower cost offshore or near-shore location. Over the last year, there has been a 21 percent decrease in the number of resources required to support Delta N.V.
Accenture is working with Delta N.V. to achieve further cost savings by consolidating and rationalizing its various applications. Industry-leading applications, platforms and processes will not only drive high performance, but also reduce Delta N.V.’s total cost of ownership.
By providing Delta N.V. with a solid foundation from which to deliver superior customer service, Accenture has helped the utility to take great strides toward becoming a high-performance business.
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