The people at Momentum Energy, a utilities company based in Australia, are pretty brave folk. Over the last year they have ripped out their legacy systems and replaced them with completely new cloud-based solutions.

This approach runs against the (admittedly now out-of-favour) trend of implementing giant ERP systems but also the (very much on-trend) implementation of Robotic Process Automation that would enable ‘sticking plaster’ automation over the legacy systems. Was this a crazy move, or do they know something we don’t?

Before we consider that, let’s look at the background of the deal. Paul Gleeson, Momentum’s MD, has said that their approach to IT was previously ‘light touch’: “we essentially didn’t have a CRM, had a basic billing system, and some telco routing on top of that.” They wanted to move from a purely price-driven service to one that differentiated itself by its customer service and experience. Having a single view of the customer was a must-have deliverable for the program. They could have put in an ERP system, but then that would just have made them the same as everyone else. They could have improved processes through RPA, but the core systems simply didn’t provide enough capability to make that much of a difference. The only real way forward was, in the words of Orange Juice, to rip it up and start again.

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The solution chosen was based heavily on Salesforce’s various clouds: Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Services Cloud and Community Cloud. This suite manages customer care and support, lead generation, and product and pricing. Other capabilities were provided by CredAgility credit management application, Orion billing and invoicing tool, Sitefinity digital content management, Informatica single view of the customer, and Veda credit management. Integration, where required, was provided through Mulesoft, and Accenture provided the Systems Integration project capability. Overall the program took a year and, at some points, involved 40% of the company’s resources.

That’s quite an eco-system of solutions. But having everything integrated and on the cloud gives Momentum exactly what they need – a single view of the customer, the ability for customers to self-serve, and a better CX all round. Whether it will be enough for them to leapfrog their competitors, as they hope to do, only time will tell. The first month after go-live saw Momentum’s best sales month ever, so initial signs are certainly promising. It will be very interesting to see if other utilities, insurance firms and banks (all of whom share the legacy system challenge) follow this daring approach in the future.

About the author

Andrew Burgess has been the lead architect within several major change projects, including strategic development, IT transformation and outsourcing, in a wide range of industries across four continents. He has developed and implemented sourcing strategies for global organisations, running sourcing programs and helping re-organise IT departments to maximise their value from sourcing. Andrew was recently awarded ‘Automation Champion of the Year’ by the GSA, the industry association and professional body for the global sourcing industry. He is widely considered to be a leading expert in the growing Legal Transformation and Outsourcing market and has recently written ‘The Rise of Legal Services Outsourcing’ in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE). Andrew’s latest book, ‘The Executive Guide to Artificial Intelligence‘ has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Andrew is a council member of the Global Sourcing Association and is Head of Consulting at HG Insights.