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Digital transformation of electric utilities must focus on staff and customers


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    Data mining, digitization processes of energy companies and process optimization, as well as sustainability from the point of view of digital transformation are the topics that have been discussed during the conference The future of energy: efficiency and digitization, organized by elEconomista in collaboration with Celonis, Inetum and OVHcloud.

    Process mining is a tool that more and more companies are using in their digitalization process. Jorge González, VP Partner Management Emea South & Latam at Celonis, defined this process as the "ability to analyze how the company's processes are executed and how to improve them".

    In this sense, Francisco Javier Martínez-Ovejero, Director Energy Utilities & Industries at Inetum, gave a series of data that make a radiography of how companies are in this area. The executive said that "61% of the decision-makers in the management of companies will use data mining processes to simplify their operations" during the 2022 fiscal year.

    At the same time, Martínez-Ovejero pointed out that 90% of the companies that use this technology "will achieve their process improvement objectives during the current fiscal year". In this regard, Jorge González explained that when, from his company, they start with the process to implement this technology "we find that there is a disparity between what we think that process is doing and how it is actually executed" and in that part "is where the money slips out of our hands", he said. So the data is there, but "we have to know how to optimize the process," he said.

    From his experience, Javier Martínez-Ovejero assured that the corporate profitability of a company "is 2.8 times higher and presents an efficiency 1.7 times higher" with the implementation of these projects. Therefore, data mining makes companies more competitive.

    This was one of the main topics addressed in the first round table of this conference entitled Efficiency of energy processes, in which different companies in the energy sector addressed the digital transformation processes they are carrying out to improve their processes while committing to sustainability.

    In the case of Enagás, its Digitalization Director, Olga Núñez Villar, exemplified through what she called "predictive maintenance". That is, from her company they are using a structure in which "we followed the manufacturer's indications" but now, through artificial intelligence and with massive access to data and information in real time, "we can modify our maintenance and make it predictive", which generates efficiencies in this sense. In the inspection of liquefied gas tanks, for example, he explained that before "we used binoculars" to see if there was a problem in the wall. Now, however, he said, "we fly with a drone, we pass the images through an artificial intelligence program and this program geolocates the problem and makes the traceability, so we can decide when to carry out the maintenance".

    In the case of Cepsa, Juan Benavente, head of Digital Innovation and Emerging Technologies at Cepsa, said that his company is working on 14 lines of work in its digital transformation process, but he wanted to highlight "the impact that the transformation is going to have on people". He pointed out that the transformation or uspkilling of employees is key and for this reason they have created an internal university that trains the company's talent "both in technologies and in ways of working with these technologies". In this sense, what they are looking for is that "people understand and practice with technology and can bring it into their work environment". In this sense, he said a very enlightening phrase: "the best technological solution fails if there is no relationship with people".

    Finally, on the subject of digitization of processes and optimization in a sustainable way, José Minguez Matorras, Head of Innovation Market Iberia at Endesa, wanted to focus on customers. He assured that for this to come to fruition (digitalization process and digitization) "the customer has to be at the center". Minguez assured that within the different products that they have in relation to the customer "there are a series of support processes for collections and billing or demand forecasting". In this field there is a team behind that "carries other processes that have to be optimized" and that is what they work on in his company.

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