Utilities software developer Gentrack Group has launched a cloud-based integration platform designed to enable energy and water suppliers to shape customer experiences.
Gentrack Cloud Integration Services (GCIS), built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), eliminates the need for utilities to commission site-specific application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect back-end systems and data with the front office.
Instead it gives them the option of using a set of pre-built APIs that are maintained and updated by Gentrack.
Jan Behrens, CTO of the NZX and ASX listed company, said utilities are reimagining their digital enterprise including how they deliver customer communications, quoting, onboarding and servicing.
"They’re reshaping their operating models and systems to gain a competitive edge and drive down cost to serve," he said. "This can only happen if utilities have the flexible tools and services to craft new digital initiatives and to then implement them at speed, all of which are key deliverables of our new API platform."
An "Events API", for instance, exposes events from the core system to the front office allowing users to tailor interactions, set up workflows or initiate analytics.
Behrens said GCIS ensures utilities can use new technologies as well as customer data held in Gentrack’s core billing and customer information system without the barriers often associated with custom-built integrations.
The first step for users is connecting each instance of their core product to GCIS through a data gateway responsible for establishing a secure, efficient connection.
Behrens said it was important that utilities could rely on a set of secure, resilient and high performing APIs.
“Gone are the days when customer engagement was driven by slow and expensive offline communications channels with limited personalisation options," he added.
"Consumers and businesses want to connect with their energy and water providers on their terms, using multiple communication channels and tools from email and social media to mobile apps and self-service portals."
While GCIS is now available to all Gentrack customers, a range of third-party systems will also become available, the company said.
“Customer experience technologies are evolving at pace along with customer expectations driven predominately by digital interactions with non-utility service providers," Behrens added.
"Our goal is to unleash a first-class, secure and reliable cloud platform that will empower utilities to try the latest and greatest in digital customer engagement solutions."
Behrens joined Gentrack in 2016 from Orion Health where he was executive vice president of engineering and of Orion's shared technology group.