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- Thomas Edison
E.ON IT and Convergys: European Utility Embracing Smart Revenue Solutions

By Jon T. Brock, President, Desert Sky Group, LLC
February 16, 2012
Last week I read that E.ON IT was embracing Smart Revenue Solutions via what is called a group-wide framework agreement with Convergys. E.ON IT is the information technology (IT) function of E.ON AG, one of the largest private power and gas companies in the world. E.ON IT manages all IT matters for the E.ON Group and has over 2,700 employees. The company has its headquarters in Hanover and is represented across Europe by nine subsidiaries in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Convergys is historically known for its services in the telecomm industry but has recently seen opportunity in the utility industry. It has approximately 70,000 employees in 69 customer contact centers and other facilities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and its global headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. I spent some time via phone with Eran Ofir, General Manager of Global Utilities at Convergys Smart Revenue Solutions, to get more detail on what a group-wide framework agreement is, and what it entails.
According to Ofir, the group-wide framework agreement is a multi-year framework deal where the E.ON group, which consists of twelve affiliates and 26 million customers, can implement any of the products and services in the Convergys Smart Suite portfolio, which Convergys develops and implements for the utility and energy retail markets. The pricing and terms/conditions do not need to be negotiated for each of the affiliates separately as they are agreed to in the framework. The Smart Suite portfolio includes several solutions:
  • New Programs solution: addressing the need to introduce complex products, especially those that must handle interval data, and doing so by adding adjunct capabilities to existing systems - an alternative to a complete customer information system (CIS) replacement - something Convergys calls “Legacy Co-existence”
  • Energy Retailer End-to-End solution: full meter to cash solution, including rating, billing and CRM, for retailers in the gas and electric space
  • C&I Complex rating and billing solution: complex billing services for a utility’s commercial and industrial customers
  • EV Settlement solution: real-time, cloud based rating and billing services for electric vehicle charging stations – partnered with Plug Smart for the charging infrastructure
Apparently Convergys ran a number of pilots for E.ON IT before the framework agreement was finalized. Germany started the pilots with a smart grid effort that included smart grid tariffs, and Sweden ran a pilot on C&I complex billing using market indexed pricing. Also, Italy ran a convergent billing pilot for dual fuel – gas & electricity. Convergys has other initiatives underway with E.ON.
Several areas in this development seem to be confirming trends in the utility market. The first trend being that smart grid is having a direct impact on a utility’s back-office systems. Secondly, utilities are looking for solutions that can extend the life of the CIS. In earlier newsletters, I have spoken about readers commenting that the CIS/Billing solution needs to change in order to meet new functionality requirements. However, a total replacement of the CIS can be expensive, and it is not assured that new functionality resulting from a smart grid can be met with existing solutions on the market today. Therefore, implementing solutions that augment the existing CIS can be an answer for those searching for a solution.
Where are you in the CIS life-cycle? Looking for a total replacement? Outsourcing? Extending the life of a current CIS? I want to hear from you.
Jon Brock is President of utility and energy advisor Desert Sky Group, LLC. He can be reached at

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