The hars wind of a read ocean market is blowing on the face of your municipal utility. Customers simply click away. Cost pressure is steadily increasing. The law on Energy Transition is threatening your core business. You must implement the European Data Protection Directive. Every day you are offered another breakthroug innovation. You are desperately looking for IT specialists. And now the mayor from the city wants to develop a Smart City. – Your utility is in the middle of digitization.
Digitization is the kind of problem solving, the radical involvement of the customer, the continuous learning process. The Digitale Stadtwerk is not a utility that has achieved a measurable number of digitized processes. It is a utility that has deliberately started to strengthen ist position in the digitized world, in many small steps, always with added value for its customer and for its city. It is therefore a utility that no longer sees any threat in digitization but recognizes an opportunity to transform itself into a 21st century service provider of critical infrastructres.
THE DIGITALE STADTWERK
How do smart meter data become value-added products for customers? How can we use apps to communicate with our customers in the future? How can data streams be harmonized in your utility, how can synergies be achieved across divisions? – These are the challenges of the Digitale Stadtwerk. As a result, urban sensor data can also be used to develop value-added products for city dwellers. Then it can also create synergies with external services and service providers. The Digitale Stadtwerk is a natural networking machine – a Smart City engine.
IMPULS SMART CITY
Conversely, the requirement for a smart city solution can trigger the impulse for digital transformation of a municipal utility. The demand of a car dealer for a fast ev-charging station triggers a distributed smart grid project. The desire for smart parking leads to the development of a sensing infrastructure that should perhaps be combined with a smart street light solution…. All this can not be done simply in addition to the daily business. But the Smart City invites you to digitize your classic processes and become more efficient and customer-driven.
The digitization of a municipal utility is not based on a linear strategy development process. Digitization starts with the solution of internal and external problems with a radical focus on customer added value. The first projects form the basis of a digital roadmap, a structured project portfolio. It is flanked by a strong vision of the 21st century utility. Between the projects, synergies and contradictions become apparent. This interconnectivity is then gradually condensed and harmonized into a strategy with the corporate focus sharpened.
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WE TAKE WITH YOU THE TRIP OF DIGITALIZATION
We support the municipal utility in developing ist traditional role as an infrastructure service provider in the digital age. With our help, the utility designs its digitization roadmap and becomes the driving force in the sustainable development of cities and regions. Together with your employees, we develop the first, agile solution to an acute challenge as a process solution. Who is the external or internal customer, what does he or she expect, how does she experience the solution? Are the instruments available for an adequate solution, can they be operated competently? Are there role models? Who can help? Parallel to the first solution, we create a rough strenghts and weaknesses profile of the company. Encouraged, your people can reflect on the risks and opportunities of the organization and design a digital roadmap, which is primarily oriented to the solution of problems, increasingly developing visionary power for the utility as a comprehensive infrastructure service provider in the digital age, as the engine of the smart city.
MANIFESTO OF DIGITALIZATION
EMPLOYEES ARE DRIVERS
The Stadtwerke’s digital transformation begins with a return to the skills and strengths of its employees, as self-confident employees are open to tackling current problems with innovative solutions.
RADICAL CUSTOMER ORIENTATION
All solutions are radically oriented towards customer benefit. The simplest and fastest solution is always the best.
FAIL FAST – FAIL CHEAP
Only those who make mistakes, learn! Product development follows the agile “method”: a first solution is tested by customers and brought to the market as quickly as possible. Thereafter, it is iteratively developed in new versions.
FIRST THE PROCESS – THEN IT
New IT tools are only used to the extent that they actually support the project’s goal of creating customer value.
Those who collaborate with an open mind receive more information, learn faster and receive recognition. This principle applies on an individual as well as on an organizational level.
Stefan Slembrouck is a philosopher and entrepreneur. After twenty years in sales and corporate development of international corporations, he found his real vocation when in 2009 he became a project manager and business developer in the German energy market for the Dutch network operator Alliander. Alliander is a municipal company and a globally recognized innovation leader in the energy sector. For this company, Stefan Slembrouck has managed projects in important and pioneering concession procedures and gained a lot of experience in the fields of smart grids, smart street lighting, telecommunication networks, charging infrastructure for electromobility and smart city.
In recent years, he has been active as Manager Business Development for the Alliander software start-up Smart Society Services. Here he immersed himself in the philosophy of digitization: the agile, radically customer-oriented development. He immersed himself in the architecture of digital platforms and got to know the Internet of Things. Most recently he has worked extensively on Design Thinking, a method that perfectly supports agile development and his experience in business development, team coaching, project and customer management.
Stefan Slembrouck is a member of the board of the German association Bundesverband Smart City e.V. and a member of the Steering Committee of the cooperative openKONSEQUENZ, a working group of network operators and software companies for the development of open source IT instruments for digital network operation.