PSE&G’s Tracy Kirk talks SAP HANA and Twitter for Utilities

At the recent SAP for Utilities event in Huntington Beach, Tracy Kirk, New Jersey gas and electricity utility company PSE&G‘s Manager of Customer Technology gave two talks. The first presentation was about the successful implementation of their SAP HANA project, and the second detailed how PSE&G stepped up customer communications via Twitter in the wake of to Superstorm Sandy.

I caught up with Tracy after her talks and asked her to give a brief synopsis of her learnings.

Tom Raftery: Hey everyone! Welcome to GreenMonk TV, we’re at the SAP for Utilities event in Huntington Beach and I’m here with —

Tracy Kirk: Tracy Kirk from PSE&G.

Tom Raftery: Tracy what do you do for PSE&G?

Tracy Kirk: I am the manager of customer technology there, so we try and bring innovative technology solutions to bear for our customers.

Tom Raftery: Okay, roughly what size is PSE&G?

Tracy Kirk: We are about two and half million homes in New Jersey, homes and business in New Jersey.

Tom Raftery: Now, you participated in a number of talks at the event here. One of them was about SAP HANA. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Tracy Kirk: Sure. HANA is in memory processing and utilities collect a lot data very high volume, high velocity data and we need to be able to get at it and use it in new ways. HANA is a tool that will allow us to do it and we’ve begun a use case to bring that to bear, to really help the company finances which in turn help all the rate payers and all our customers by helping — make sure that revenue gets billed.

Tom Raftery: So the used case that you were talking about this morning, it was something of the order of a procedure that you were doing. You used to take 26 hours and now it’s taking 60 seconds.

Tracy Kirk: Right. In order to indentify the information necessary to go after this segment of usage, that the company currently isn’t billing. In order to find that, right now, it takes that long to run those queries and sometimes frankly they time out. So we’re not really using the system to its full capabilities. What HANA will do is take all of that data extraction and all of that processing, all of the engine under the hood and turn around and deliver that in 93 seconds instead of 26 hours.

Tom Raftery: That’s an impressive speed bump.

Tracy Kirk: It really is, it’s a beautiful thing to see it come to life after hearing about its promise.

Tom Raftery: And the other talk you gave was around social media, you’ve been using social media?

Tracy Kirk: We have, we started long before Hurricane, Sandy, but during that storm, we found really a whole new level of conversation with the customers and stakeholders in our service territory. People who wanted to find a new way to connect with us during a very unusual event.

Tom Raftery: And the advent of social media for utilities is only starting to kick off now I think, so you are really at the leading edge of this.

Tracy Kirk: Yeah, there are peers of ours who are doing really fine work in different areas. Some of them who are doing a lot of wonderful work with videos, with blogging, with Facebook apps. We started with Twitter and that’s where, where a lot of our effort is gone. We are on Facebook now and we are going into some new areas, so we have a lot of sharing and learning we can do from each other.

Tom Raftery: That’s been fantastic Tracy thanks a million.

Tracy Kirk: Thanks.

PSE&G’s Tracy Kirk talks SAP HANA and Twitter for Utilities

AGL Energy and building Business Intelligence maturity through self service

At the SAP for Utilities event in Singapore I had a brief chat with Mr Cameron Vagg of AGL Energy about the talk he gave there.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Tom Raftery: Hey everyone, welcome to GreenMonk TV! We are at the SAP for Utilities Event in Singapore, and with me I have Cameron Vagg, Cameron is with AGL Energy. Cameron, AGL Energy, who are they?

Cameron Vagg: We’re a large Australian Energy Company; we’re a retailer and a generator of electricity and gas, but not a distributor.

Tom Raftery: Okay! Now you’ve given us an interesting talk at the event, can you talk and just give a synopsis of that?

Cameron Vagg: Sure. I gave a talk about Building BI Maturity Through Self-Service

Tom Raftery: BI?

Cameron Vagg: Self-Service BI.

Tom Raftery: Sorry, BI is?

Cameron Vagg: Sorry, Business Intelligence Maturity for Self Service and Business Objects. Essentially, we’re trying to nail down that, we think that organizations can improve their business intelligence by conducting a simple self assessment that looks at their operating model the way that they are servicing the needs of their organization and their customers through business intelligence.

What their business intelligence culture is like, and what their business intelligence capabilities are like. And in conducting that self-assessment where you’ve made some changes and I go through those and talk about what we did and how we did, and the benefits that we are seeing in terms of terms of improved capacity, speed and breadth of business intelligence.

Tom Raftery: Okay! Can you just talk me through some of the potential use cases for that?

Cameron Vagg: Yes, particular interesting sort of area that we have in Australia right now is that we’re starting to see Smart Meter rollouts, so we have about 350,000 Smart Meter customers, with 48 meter reads a day. So that presents with a data challenge and a data opportunity for us to get inside into that data.

Tom Raftery: Okay, perfect! Cameron, that’s been great! Thanks again for talking to us.

Cameron Vagg: Great! Thanks Tom, bye!

AGL Energy and building Business Intelligence maturity through self service