Why is integration vital in the power and utility industry?

The highly competitive power and utility industries provide electric power, natural gas, steam, water supply. The game comes down to cost efficiency: whoever minimizes the cost of a single installation wins. So how can automation and integration help?

Essi Järvinen


Essi Järvinen

Content producer

The highly competitive power and utility industries provide electric power, natural gas, steam supply, water supply, and sewage removal services daily. The game comes down to cost efficiency: whoever minimizes the cost of a single installation work wins. So how can automation and integration help?

Lately, the power and utility industry has faced tough challenges — boosting clean energy, ensuring reliability and resiliency, and maintaining security, while keeping costs down. To tackle this tall order, the electric power industry will likely continue to advance in its “3D” transformation: decarbonization, digitalization, and decentralization. (Deloitte 2022)

The underlying challenge with the power and utility companies is their on-premise legacy systems, which make adding digital innovation risky and expensive. As a result, every new integration is a custom-made, long project, whereas it could be just a plug-and-play, low-code one. To adopt a more scalable and user-friendly operational model, these companies must first implement a composable architecture with modern technologies, like Frends iPaaS.

The day in the life of Seppo, a mechanic assembler

Let’s move on from strategic talk to the everyday operational level for a minute and follow the imaginary workday of Seppo, a mechanic assembler. His work is to install, replace and fix infrastructures, such as telecom devices or electricity infrastructure. When Seppo wakes up, he checks on his mobile phone to find out his first assignment. The Mobile Workforce Management System has already assigned a task to him, and he gets the location information directly to his phone.

Generally needed tools and spare parts are stored in Seppo’s van. However, in his first assignment of the day, Seppo will need a particular part that appeared in the van during the night. Sounds magical, but his company alerted a specialized nightshift to fill out the missing parts with the help of real-time data on van locations.

Seppo drives to the location, climbs to a tall telecom tower, and replaces the broken part. Afterward, he has lunch, updates the work done via his mobile device, and checks the location of the next assignment. So what happens when he updates the job done in his view of the mobile workforce system?

First, the work status is updated as “installed” in the utility company’s ERP system. Then, the status information is sent to the utility company’s telecom client, and the line in that multi-line order is marked as “done”.

Moreover, the code used by Seppo in the update indicated the task was dangerous due to the tower's height. Hence, the HR system gets information about extra compensation for Seppo and a lunch benefit used.

What we witness here is saying no to providing services prone to human error and distress. Automation and centralized data secure the business and save hours spent on coordination, finding information from different sources, and driving around looking for spare parts.

Let’s summarize the benefits of an iPaaS:

  • Employees are always on schedule with less stress → better employee experience
  • Faster response times and case handling for the customer as all data is centralized and many tasks are automated
  • More reliable and transparent cooperation as the customer sees the work process in real-time
  • Better service quality and use of resources with automation
  • The management of work assignments is reliable and easy, with no extra coordination needed. The details of tasks, like location, are always on the mobile device
  • Saving time and money: maintaining an integration platform is more secure, convenient, and time-saving than juggling with point-to-point integrations.
  • Reduced cost of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

Frends iPaaS for the lowest possible TCO

Many customer cases prove that Frends’ low-code approach is easy to understand. It is beneficial for fields such as utility, which require error-free functioning around the clock, and the ability to keep pace with ever-changing regulations and standards. The development is fast, and the operations don’t need the expensive work of developers. For the lowest possible TCO , Frends integration platform has evidently been one of the strongest players on the market. Learn more about the benefits from our references in the power and utility sector:

St1: An energy company selected Frends to unify and simplify its API architecture. During the migration project, over 500 APIs were migrated into Frends processes. With the new simplified API solution, St1 was also able to reduce the number of unwanted network traffic by 50%.

Helen: An energy company serves over 400 000 customers in Finland. The Frends integration platform has extensively automated routine tasks such as customer service operations.

Lining: A utility and water management technology company gained a strong competitive advantage when it adopted the Frends Integration Platform for customer installations.

Automation and integration are necessities in the power and utility sector, not options. Learn more about the topic in a 2-minute video by Antti Toivanen, Frends’s Integration Fellow.


related articles