, Kenya Power has announced that it will deploy an IBM automated system which will mine customer data and help East Africa’s largest power distributor improve business performance.
The new system will consolidate data from ten key operational sources to provide a single view of enterprise data, allowing Kenya Power teams to access information from one dashboard compared to 10 different dashboards.
Currently, Kenya Power has a number of different systems for billing, customer relationships and matching customer information with government census details. The Sh320 Million mainframe technology will be deployed starting February 2015 and will enable Kenya Power analyze customer data in order to tailor solutions according to the needs of the customers.
“The analytics solution gives us the ability to rapidly perform complex queries on data,” said Ben Chumo, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Power.
“For example, we can better understand the varying needs of our customers across different regions in Kenya based on customer buying behavior or manage the power grids efficiently in specific areas during certain times of the day.”
In addition to cutting costs of buying new servers and licenses, Kenya Power says the new solution will also provide real-time analytics that can be accessed through cloud computing, allowing executives working remotely to use mobile devices to view data pooled from all corners of the company.
The utility company will be the first company to use the IBM solution in Sub-Saharan Africa, with only two other installations in Africa located in South Africa and Egypt.
Chumo said Kenya Power is banking on technology to expand its client base, currently nearing 3 million, by another one million customers and to push its current electricity generation capacity from 2025 megawatts to 5000 plus megawatts by 2015.
As part of the technology revolution happening at Kenya Power, the company will stop sending printed electricity bills to customers.
“In a matter of months, we will do away with queues at our banking halls. Customers will pay electricity exclusively through mobile channels and other e-payment systems. Customers will also make e-applications for connections instead of filling forms,” says Chumo.
He added that automation of the power grid in Mombasa is almost complete and half-way done in Nairobi. The automation will help Kenya Power engineers get accurate and timely reports on issues in the distribution process.
“Our internal analysis found that we spend 90 percent of the response time trying to figure out where the problem is and only 10 percent of the time to rectify the situation. This will drastically cut our response time when reconnecting our customers,” Chumo explains.
The implementation of the IBM system comes at a time when Kenya Power is keen on understanding how current customers are using power with a view of restructuring its network to “better serve high value and essential clients.”
According to Nik Nesbitt, General Manager, IBM East Africa, technology has the unique ability to help companies like Kenya Power leverage on big data to gain deeper insights of their customers and power grids.
“IBM is continuously extending its capabilities to enable businesses in this region and across Africa, with tools to intelligently instrument and innovate their processes in order to help them work smarter.”