Efficient Operations

CGD companies deploy SAP for key business processes

The volatile global environment and ever-changing regulatory requirements of the oil and gas industry have changed the dynamics of the energy market. With an increase in energy consumption, higher competition, disruption of traditional models, and diversification of products and services, oil and gas companies need to adopt a cost-disciplined approach for carrying out their business operations. Capital-intensive development projects and the need to ensure secure internal processes also pose challenges. To address these challenges, Germany-based SAP AG offers a one-stop solution that enables companies to run their business processes – accounting, sales, production, human resources or payment – in an integrated environment.

SAP is the largest software provider for city gas distribution (CGD) companies in India. All the leading CGD companies use SAP’s solution to support key business processes around metering, billing, collection, consumer service along with enterprise processes covering finance, project management, and materials and inventory management. Some of the solutions offered by SAP are: customer service billing, energy portflio management, capacity management, gas pipeline operation and operational risk management.

Machine learning

Machine learning can accurately categorise service tickets (with a confidence of 97 per cent in some cases), which increases accuracy in the allocation of emails. The agents, typically spending time in categorising emails, can focus on more productive work. A machine learning algorithm can also propose potential solutions after categorisation of the tickets, reducing the turn around time for consumer complaints, thereby leading to an improved customer satisfaction index. Machine learning has now become an integral part of the operations of most oil and gas companies, allowing them to gather large volumes of information in real time and translate data sets into actionable insights. They now need to view data as an extremely valuable resource, with a huge upside for companies having innovative and robust machine learning strategies.  In the ongoing “new norm” low commodity price environment, saving time, reducing costs, boosting efficiencies and improving safety are all crucial outcomes that can be realised from using machine learning in oil and gas operations.

SAP Leonardo

SAP Leonardo is an umbrella brand for SAP’s collection of software and services that organisations can use to develop digital transformation projects. It encompasses next-generation technologies that comprise internet of things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, advanced analytics, 3D printing and blockchain under the SAP Cloud Platform. According to SAP, this provides organisations with the ability to develop new business models and capabilities and also add new technologies as they emerge.

Conclusion

For CGD companies, SAP solutions can play a key role from the development phase to the operational phase. In the construction phase, specific modules of enterprise resource planning like project management, inventory management and materials management can support the processes around network set up and laying of pipelines. Once the CGD company enters the operational phase, the scope of SAP expands as, at this point, it not only needs to support all the back-office processes (human resources, finance, procurement, etc.), but also core processes such as meter reading, billing, collection and consumer service.

Based on a presentation by David Coldrey, Vice-President, Industries and Digital Leadership, SAP, during ISGW 2018

 

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