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Gentrack user Genesis Energy embarks on billing system replacement project

Billing system replacement projects are notoriously challenging and risky
Project Rubiks billing replacement kick off at Genesis Energy

Project Rubiks billing replacement kick off at Genesis Energy

Genesis Energy has launched a project dubbed "Rubiks", going to market this week for a once-in-a-decade replacement for its billing and other customer-facing systems.

"Project Rubiks" is tasked with the market research of solutions that will assist in delivering core business capabilities that will enable us to drive business growth and customer centricity, a registration of interest document said.

"Rubiks" refers to the notoriously difficult Rubiks Cube game and the scope of the project, to replace an existing Gentrack installation, is potentially large.

Genesis is seeking to understand what off-the-shelf solutions are available in market in the market for not just billing and collections, but for related areas such as product management, sales management, customer management, meter data management and retail market interaction.

"These capabilities are critical for Genesis, but we recognise that the list is not exhaustive," the ROI said. "If additional services are offered their benefit will be considered, however this is not our primary priority."

Billing and collections is mandatory, however, because the primary driver for this project is the end of life of Genesis' current system.

"We want to understand the market for supporting solutions – with a preference for those that operate on a software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) model – and cost-effective solutions which will enable us to meet our objectives," the ROI added.

Contact Energy famously embarked on a billing system replacement project in 2009, electing to replace its Gentrack software with SAP.

During the roll-out, however, it was forced to defer billings and reported it had lost 6500 customers in the six months to 31 December 2014 due, in part, to reduced activity during the software implementation.

The final bill for that project was around $150 million, well over a budget once reported to have been around $60 million.

Genesis intends to shortlist respondents from the ROI and to invite them shortlisted to participate in a full tender later in the year.