Abjayon successfully completes re-engineering of Meter-to-Cash and Meter lifecyle processes for a leading water utility in the Middle East
Forward-thinking water utilities are using smart metering systems and other state-of-the-art technologies to improve water resource management, drive better revenue collection, and enhance customer service management.
Attaining an optimized meter-to-cash process involves multiple challenges: collecting reliable meter reads, ensuring their validity, calculating consumption with relevant business rules and estimation techniques, and generating an accurate bill. Handling these challenges requires a high degree of planning and sophisticated execution.
Our client, a leading water utility in the Middle East region, aims to provide the best quality water and wastewater services to 2.7 million consumers across the region while increasing effectiveness, efficiency, and financial sustainability.
With its objective of implementing the Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management application to streamline meter-to-cash, sophisticated meter alarm management, integrated smart meter operations, enhanced billing accuracy, and deepen customer engagement, it awarded a project to Abjayon in February 2020 with the below scope:
• Implement a Oracle Utilities smart meter data management system (MDM) and integrate it to their multiple billing systems and customer portal
• Re-engineer meter-to-cash process to implement a billing process based on bill determinants from MDM
• Optimize the meter lifecycle processes to monitor, manage, install, and replace the meters
• Implement a comprehensive alarm management system to handle leaks and tempering situations occurring in smart water meters
• Integrate with GIS, Work management system and Field Work systems to enhance management of assets
• Operational reporting
Additionally, with their special emphasis to minimize billing errors, the decision was taken to start bringing in the meter data in the shortest period. The idea was to give their data analysts maximum time to analyze and clean the meter data. On average, it takes ~18-24 months to successfully complete a full meter data management system, however our goal was to bring the meter data in as early as possible. The decision increased the complexity of the project many fold.
Responding to these requirements, Team Abjayon followed an iterative approach to execute the project in the following 4 phases:
Phase-1: Base MDM implementation, including meter data integration with the head end system and master data integration with the billing systems for all divisions Phase-2: Full integration with the billing systems and end user training for the end-to-end meter-to-cash process Phase-3: Meter-to-Cash go-live for the first set of divisions Phase-4: Meter lifecycle and alarm management process implementation, integration with GIS, WMS and Field Work applications.
The onset of Covid pandemic made the task of gathering requirements and working with customer teams extremely challenging, however Team Abjayon persevered through and successfully completed the first phase of go-live in a mere 3-month period, making this one of the fastest MDM implementations in the world.
The final set of deliverables of the last phase of the project were fully implemented in June 2021, completing the re-engineering of their meter-to-cash and meter lifecycle management processes.
Our iterative approach helped align the project deliverables with the organizational milestones the customer had planned. The extra time the data analysts got to analyze and optimize the meter data quality and parallel billing system setup resulted in ~99% billing quality adherence from day-1 after go-live. The process engaged the entire customer organization from the beginning and prepared them for the changes that come with the new system and processes.
Our practice to handle AMI implementations holistically and guiding the Utility through the best business process re-engineering and implementation practices proved very effective in making the project a spectacular success.
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Abjayon is amongst the leading providers of state-of-the-art technology solutions to help energy and water utility companies achieve improved revenue collections, superior customer satisfaction, higher operational efficiency and grid management.
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