British Gas completes SAP CRM and billing system migration

British Gashas moved over 34 million residential customer accounts to an integrated SAP billing system and CRM, its CIO said at Gartner Symposium in Barcelona.

Accounts were migrated from the legacy Siebel CRM in September bar a few “complex customers”, CIO David Cooper said. It also completed its 500,000 business customer account migration.

The complex customers included historical accounts that had information separated into multiple data warehouses, Cooper said. Although British Gas may not still be billing these customer, IT needed to extract all the information and place it in one master copy.

This process was made more complicated by the utility’s sprawling legacy estate that held its residential and business-to-business (B2B) accounts in silos.

Cooper said: “There was actually about 100 systems required to give you a holistic view of the customer, [debt, bill, sites, complaints] it was so fragmented.

“Within British Gas I inherited quite a number of data warehouses. Natezza, Teradata - we had one of almost everything and the data was fragmented; in some cases it was summarised. The data wasn’t available to be used in the right way.”

When Cooper took up his position as CIO in 2011 he transformed the infrastructure to “digitally transform” the company. While implementing new billing and CRM systems with SAP, the business undertook a large-scale rationalisation process across its services, residential and B2B arms.

He said: “We were moving datacentres at the same time, in the move we took out 60 percent of our datacentre applications, making life much simpler for both call centre or customer.”

The move was an attempt to cut overheads and improve customer service. In its financial results the company stated: “We are targeting a significant reduction in customer complaints over the next three years.”

The UK utility company will disconnect the Siebel CRM on 15 December, but all its business and residential customers’ accounts have been migrated and are running on its new SAP system, David Trice, director of business solutions at British Gas told ComputerworldUK.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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