Call for change

Spanish multinational electric utility Iberdrola is highly focused on digital transformation across its operations. To accelerate transformation, Iberdrola Distribución (i-DE)—the division in charge of bringing energy to more than 11 million homes—wanted to improve the experience and efficiency of its 4,000 workers.

i-DE identified flexibility, agility and innovation as key levers to unlock new levels of understanding between staff, improve their experience and efficiency, and drive effective communication with customers. To get there, it wanted to design and launch a series of digital applications that would facilitate collaboration, engagement and efficiency across its operations and processes. However, it needed an industrialized method to ideate and create these custom applications.

When tech meets human ingenuity

To address Iberdrola’s challenges, Accenture established a Digital Factory at the Accenture Industry X Center in Bilbao. Here, multidisciplinary teams work with i-DE to ideate and develop digital applications, as well as provide the capabilities and services to assist i-DE to transform inspiration into tangible, scalable, practical and effective solutions.

The Digital Factory develops three types of products: mobile applications, desktop apps aimed at specific departments and cross-departmental apps. All of the apps are designed to solve specific needs, such as digitizing the process of managing responses to meteorological situations. Innovation proposals focused on employees and contractors have also emerged, such as the design of an autonomous robot to inspect substations.

A valuable difference

The implementation of the solutions born in the Digital Factory has helped redefine i-DE’s operating and governance model, while supporting the development of numerous applications.

Since establishing the Digital Factory, i-DE has evolved quickly, implementing a transformation that exceeds its initial objectives. The solutions and proposals that have come out of this innovation hub translate into tangible improvements across several aspects of the business:

Optimization of processes

With end-to-end solutions, project development definition deadlines have shortened, reducing time-to-market. The use of agile methodologies makes it possible to have a minimum viable product (MVP) of a mobile app in just 15 days or, for a more complex app, in three months. In fact, productivity has tripled—for example, the company has gone from launching one application a year to launching three or four that are integrated with back-end systems.

Greater employee satisfaction

The incorporation of user experience and user interface (UX/UI) experts in the definition of applications facilitates the adoption of digital tools. This has resulted in a better experience for both the staff and the contractors. As users are incorporated at the beginning of each development, they help define solutions that solve concrete and tangible needs.

Better responsiveness

The need for flexibility and the ability to redirect resources based on various events became clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. To deal with pandemic impacts, key mobile applications were generated in three business days. These included a survey to enable staff to report their health status to human resources teams, and a passport for field professionals to carry the updated safe-conduct permissions with them. This responsiveness remains important in other situations that may arise, such as new legal needs.

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