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News : SAP CRM Problems Prompts Loss in British Gas Operating Profit
London, UK, July 30, 2015 -- British Gas Business has suffered a 95 percent loss in operating profit during the first half of this year, following a transition to a new SAP billing and CRM system.
The utility firm said in its profit announcement this morning: "British Gas Business was impacted by issues following the implementation of a new billing and CRM system in 2014, which has resulted in significant delays to issuing customer bills.
"As a result, we incurred an increased bad debt charge and additional costs associated with extra resource required to help resolve the issues"... "the utility only made a small profit in the first half of 2015, significantly lower than in the first half of 2014."
British Gas’ CIO previously told ComputerworldUK it had moved residential customer accounts to an integrated SAP billing system and CRM, its CIO said at Gartner Symposium in Barcelona last year.
The accounts were migrated from the legacy Siebel CRM in September bar a few "complex customers", CIO David Cooper said. It also completed its business customer account migration.
However, it admitted today that there are still "significant delays in issuing customer bills" in its B2B unit, which resulted in a bad debt charge and additional costs to help resolve the issue.
Following the migration, British Gas' data team were left to join the duplicate customer records in its data lake, a process that its director of insight and data decribed as a "very painful process".
The company’s Connected Homes unit had a more positive start to 2015. The firm said it would invest in operating costs and expenditure in connected homes’ activity over the next five years.
British Gas recently acquired AlertMe, the platform it used to create its Hive connected thermostats and smart home products.
Hive is planning on opening a gateway to its new IoT platform Honeycomb, which was built on AlertMe's technology. This will enable developers and third party device makers to integrate with its smart energy appliances, its CTO told Techworld.
British Gas said it had installed more smart meters homes. Smart meters are a separate entity to the Connected Homes' Hive thermostats. The UK government has required all utility companies to install smart meters in every UK home and business by 2020, a project that has been widely criticised - and delayed.
However, many of British Gas' customers with smart meters receive ‘my energy’ reports from their devices, which gives a breakdown of their energy consumption and energy saving tips.
It is also trialling a mobile app called ‘my energy live’, which allows customers to access the smart meter display functions from their smartphone. British Gas said it would provide "significant enhancements" for this app over the next year.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About British Gas:
British Gas is a British-owned company. As part of the Centrica Group, we provide gas, electricity and home repair services to millions of customers in Scotland, Wales and England. In fact, we are the UK's leading energy and Home Services provider.
Published: Monday, August 3, 2015