How Big Data & AI is enhancing innovation in the energy & utility sector 

02 December 2020

The energy and utility sector is something most of us take for granted. We pay them for warm showers and to heat our homes, and no doubt we will all be reaching for the thermostat over the long winter months ahead to keep us extra cosy. However, behind the scenes, these companies have to embrace digital transformation and harvest massive amounts of data in order to grow, evolve, and meet the demands of the future. 

The industry is constantly up against challenges; from pressure to reduce emissions, increasing demand, and providing competitive prices to their consumers. Google Cloud has a wide range of industry-leading and energy-specific solutions aimed at helping these businesses digitise faster, and respond to these demands. 

Why data is important for digital transformation

The most valuable asset many companies have is data, and in order to be successful, energy providers must adapt to change, stay current, and realise this. They need to be able to store, read, and analyse data properly, in order to gain a competitive advantage and solve complex business challenges. 

Google’s BigQuery can help businesses bring different data sets together in order to gain those insights, and Google’s AI-powered solutions are the key to unlocking analytics capabilities within your data sets. In this case study, you can learn how Energyworx, an energy supplier in the Netherlands, uses GCP and smart analytics to harvest their data to better plan for future energy demand, and find ways their customers can save on their electricity use. 

If you would like to learn how to use smart analytics to help your business grow and evolve, download our Smart Analytics White Paper here.

A deeper dive into AI and ML energy-specific solutions

Powerful AI models use data analytics to provide actionable insights, and these models can help inspections at scale. This is extremely useful for energy and utility companies who have large areas they need to monitor, such as energy grids, wind farms, or solar panels. Google Cloud’s Visual Inspection solution reduces inspection times without compromising on safety or accuracy and makes organisations more efficient and sustainable. 

Businesses also have the ability to build their own custom Machine Learning model with minimal effort and little to no Machine Learning experience. 

AES is a Fortune 500 global power company that distributes sustainable energy in 15 countries. Their asset inventory is phenomenal, with a value of over £33 billion. They use Machine Learning and drone technology in their wind farms to monitor, manage, and maintain their assets. 

This was the perfect solution, as it was in keeping with their greener vision and they were able to massively scale using Google’s powerful infrastructure. Learn more about their custom made solution powered by Google Cloud’s AutoML Vision here.


For most modern energy and utility companies, contributing to greater customer satisfaction is also an important identifier for success.

AI models like Contact Centre AI allows agents to assist with customer requests more efficiently, leading to shorter call times and improved outcomes, with much quicker resolutions. Learn more about Google Clouds CCAI and how companies are using this technology to modernise.

A smart future for the energy industry

Smart meters are the latest innovation to tackle the biggest challenges facing the industry today. By 2024, almost 77% of EU households will have one installed*. 

This new technology brings multiple benefits such as delivering automated, real-time readings, giving consumers access to their own data; and being able to identify faulty appliances, reducing downtime, and enabling repair staff to be efficient and effective with their time. They also improve the awareness of energy consumption, allowing individual households and businesses to reduce their energy use and generate savings.

Of course, with all new technology advancements, comes an influx of data. Energy companies need a scalable data warehouse to be able to import, process, and anaylse this data. Google Cloud’s BigQuery streams data in real-time and can predict business outcomes with powerful built-in ML models; plus it runs on Google’s infrastructure and is a managed service, meaning companies spend less time developing technology and can focus on their service instead. Read how Halsfund, the largest power company in Norway, uses GCP and BigQuery for the new smart meter network here.

Being a successful energy and utilities company today requires the right technology to solve big business problems. However, in order to truly succeed, you must make the right decisions for your business by making the most of the information you gather.

Now you know what you can do with your data, are you using it to the best of your advantage?

Speak to one of our data experts and we can help you implement this technology and show you how to use it. Contact us here.


*By 2024 almost 77% of EU households will have a smart meter installed, European Commission 

 

17 November 2020

Realise the true benefits of digital transformation with Google Workspace

It is no secret that the retail industry is forever changing. In order to keep up with consumer trends and behaviours, businesses need to constantly adapt to stay ahead of the competition. New strategies and processes need to be implemented. It is more important than ever to optimise the most valuable asset to your business: data. But before you begin with implementing these complex strategies, you need to start from the very beginning: are you using the right tools for your digital transformation?


Get ahead with the omnichannel approach

In March 2020, the world ground to a halt. High Streets were empty, roads were quiet, and an eerie stillness put doubt into businesses across the globe. Without an online presence, many retailers wouldn’t survive. This was the driving force to innovate faster. Many had to upgrade their technology, not only to implement these digital strategies but to also continue working, remotely. Read our first blog in the retail series: “An enhanced retail experience with AI and Machine Learning” to understand why the omnichannel approach is important to succeed.

To help tackle these challenges, Google has been working on industry-specific solutions. Through driving operational improvements, capturing digital and omnichannel revenue growth, and help make data-driven decisions. Watch Google’s Next: OnAir session “Planning for retail’s new priorities” for further details.


Stay productive and collaborative with the right technology stack

Just because you have identified the solutions, does not mean you can enable them straight away. The biggest obstacle businesses have faced is the cultural shift from working in an office to now working from home. Most companies were simply not set up for a remote workforce. In order for retail businesses to deliver a brilliant customer experience, keep up with consumer demand, and excel in a digital environment, they need organisation robustness – systems, processes, productivity, and collaboration.

Google Workspace

Google recognises these challenges and prides itself on enabling businesses to thrive in a digital environment. The collaboration and productivity tools within Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), are everything you need to get anything done. Earlier this year, Google announced a better home for work. The main applications are now fully integrated with each other, bringing together the core tools for communication and collaboration.

Gmail: Made into a more collaborative space, with tools from Meet, Chat, and more all being accessible in one interface.

 

Chat: Create tasks, upload files, and join a Google Meet from your chat window.

 

Google Meet: Hold a video call on any device, no matter where you are. Send a calendar invite with a link to a Google Meet and transform the way you host a meeting.

 

Google Drive: A safe place to store all of your files and has a powerful search tool to find your files quickly. 

 

Docs, Sheets & Slides: Everyone can work together on the same document at the same time. Create, edit, and share documents directly from within your browser. 

Download our latest White Paper: “How Google Workspace helps businesses thrive & plan for an unpredictable future” and learn why Google Workspace could be the best technology stack for your organisation.


How Google Workspace has helped organisations transition to a remote way of working

When the first UK lockdown was announced, the DFS group decided to immediately close down all operations, pause deliveries, and halt manufacturing. DFS was then left with just an online presence, and had no other option than to furlough 5,000 members of staff. However, after exploring their options, they decided they wanted to align their business wherever possible and to improve collaboration and communication as a business.

Netpremacy partnered with DFS to ensure that the business was able to stay online and to keep the business running smoothly throughout lockdown. DFS saw numerous advantages of Google Meet Hardware for remote meetings; the simplicity of use, native integration with calendaring, seamless, and reliable video conferencing.

Read the full case study here.


Google’s vision for the future of technology in retail

Thanks to the collaboration and productivity tools, Google is able to solve the basic challenges of remote working and can help drive digital transformation. This allows retailers to focus on their marketing strategies, digitise their processes, and ultimately serve their customers better. 

Being successful in the retail industry today requires technology to solve big problems. Whether that’s stock inventory, customer experience, or analysing data. Google continues to innovate and has multiple tools and solutions specific to retail (view here).  


 

Further reading: With Christmas just around the corner, learn how to use your data to prepare for the busiest shopping period of the year with our second blog in the retail series: “Is your retail business ready for a surge in online sales?”.

06 November 2020

Download our new Collaboration & Productivity White Paper to explore the key areas of digital transformation and a new way of working

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Download our “Guide to Adapting to a Digital Workplace” to explore the key areas of digital transformation, and how Netpremacy can help implement these into your business. Also learn the results of the biggest POC ever to understand what the immediate impact of the pandemic has had on businesses, the attitude towards remote working, and what this means for the future.

Contents:

  • Adapting to a digital world
  • The correct setup, MDM & Security
  • How Netpremacy have helped businesses to adapt
  • Google Workspace – Better collaboration in one interface
  • Adapting to work in a pandemic and beyond
  • What the people think – our results from the biggest POC ever, analysed
  • Will things go back to the way they were?

 

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To find out more, or to see how your organisation can benefit from Google’s collaboration and productivity tools, contact us and speak to one of our specialists: info@netpremacy.com

22 June 2020

In a new age where most of the population is working remotely, could now be the time to look at transforming the way your business works, for good?

 

Hear from our account director, Alastair Lumley on his personal experiences of working remotely, and how he sees the workplace changing.

The world has changed as we know it and there are no signs that we will go back to “normal” any time soon. It, therefore, poses the question, do we ever want to return to normal? 

lady remote workingWe have all suddenly had to adopt a new way of working. Personally I’ve fallen victim to poor WiFi, seeing nothing but a freeze-frame of a colleague only knowing they are there by the sudden boom of their voice. My colleagues have had to deal with my face being too close to the camera, or my persistent shouting as I refuse to use headphones, maintaining that my set up is the best! We’ve all probably had our own experiences of suddenly working from home and things we’d want to change, but these are all teething problems right, this is now the new normal?  

This is why now is the perfect time to look at the tools we use, understand how the wider workforce has adopted a digital-first approach, and really evaluate the business. To put it bluntly, the shock is over, now how do we make it work for us? 

Netpremacy has recently been announced as Google’s Global Partner of the year for Work Transformation – Enterprise. This is a result of over a decades worth of work & experience, implementing some of the largest transformation projects with the likes of, Just Eat, Monzo, Morrisons, Ovo, DFS… the list goes on.

With this in mind, we wanted to share a few things to remember/consider when looking at a digital transformation, they may be obvious but, here they are written down. 

Netpremacy’s 5 top tips

  • Staff are the most important asset. Provide them with the right tools and you’ve won half the battle, we employed them for a reason so let’s ensure they can do their job to the best of their ability
  • Change for the right reasons. Yes a cashable ROI is important, but it’s also imperative we do this for the right reasons, do we want a more flexible working environment, are we looking to reduce operational costs at the same time?
  • Are we looking for a younger workforce, do we need to become more collaborative & innovative to react to market demands? Therefore do the tools we use need to attract that demographic and drive the adoption across the wider organisation 
  • What are our competitors doing? Have they changed how they operate? Are they making changes we arent and benefiting from them? Are we beginning to fall behind? Or, are we the first to change, can we get ahead of the curve? 
  • What’s happening on a global scale? (particularly important right now) Can we learn from other countries and their success or even mistakes? 

 

These are just a few things to take into account when we start a transformation project and very high level questions. Once we start to answer these questions, we can begin to focus on choosing the right tool for the job, and that is where Netpremacy can help. 

At Netpremacy, Google & in particular G Suite has kept us running like clockwork over the last few months. We simply picked up our Chromebooks, in some cases monitors (large scale project planning to do), opened them up at home, and away we went. 

We have teams creating training plans using docs, teams supporting customers via GoogleMeet ensuring they can still operate. Senior management has been able to constantly update the company via weekly meetings ensuring we know what’s going on. Our delivery teams are creating project plans, our Account Directors are creating proposals to roll out GoogleMeet for free to give those who need it most access to vital tools. Our developers are still…..developing. It’s business as usual here at Netpremacy.

The best bit is, that as we do this it’s all super-fast, reliable, and secure as it’s all floating above our heads in the cloud (i am aware that is not strictly true). None of the struggles or delays in wondering how the hell we were going to operate, we just did and it worked. 

What I’m trying to say is, if ever there was a time to take a step back, pause for a second and look at the last 10 weeks now’s the time, but use that reflection and think forward as this is likely to become our new normal. As we all begin to return to the office let’s make sure we have the right tools, our teams have access to everything they need and try to use the positives to build the next generations’ way of working. 

In order to help share some lessons and experience, we’re running a series of webinars that are focusing on how tools such as G Suite, Chrome & Googles wider cloud platform are helping us prepare for a  return to the office, as well as specific industries and how they are coping. 

To find out more about how digital transformation can dramatically improve your company’s way of working, take a look at our digital transformation whitepaper. Or, if you would like a more informal chat, please contact me at alumley@netpremacy.com