Leveraging Cross-Sector Commerce Capabilities
At Hansen, our strength is that we serve customers in two industry sectors that are at the heart of today’s digital world: energy and utilities, and communications. On the surface, they may not look all that similar. But both are evolving to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the new digital world – meaning that there is an opportunity for us to work and share knowledge across industry boundaries.
One example is our latest deal with Simply Energy – a longstanding Hansen CIS customer – which saw the potential for products from our communications portfolio to help transform its energy services sales operations. With a need to bolster its selling, whether through customer self-serve or via an agent, there was a requirement to deliver a consistent experience while ensuring the right information was gathered, on the way to delivering a clean digital quote-and-order containing the most attractive product offers.
At the heart of the work is Hansen Catalog. Hansen Catalog is currently licensed by more than 50 communications service providers. It enables complex B2B services for CSPs while also supporting next-generation media and connected-car services. Coupled with Hansen CPQ, it offers a solution to enable consistent and accurate omnichannel sales, with a high degree of automation.
So what has been different about applying Hansen Catalog and Hansen CPQ to the residential energy business? First, the applications still needing to cope with complexity, but of a different kind. Basically, it’s more the ‘P’ than the ‘C’ in the energy version of ‘CPQ’.
Firstly, there is less of a requirement for the configuration of products and services for specific customers, and more around the ability to select from thousands of product variations based on availability factors such as customer location, who the distributor is, the capabilities of the meter, and regulatory considerations (among many others). Hansen CPQ and Hansen Catalog have to manage this massive number of products, and multiple eligibility criteria, to present customers or customer service agents with the most appropriate products for their requirements – and quickly, in order to provide a superior customer experience.
Secondly, a requirement for consumer energy services is the ability to generate real-time pricing quotes based on customer usage data and profiles. This is essentially forecasting what charges are likely to occur in order to enable buyers to select the most appealing product. To do this in real-time, our products interface with multiple external systems to bring together usage and pricing options for available products – so we can move at the speed of the buying customer.
From an internal perspective, it has been great to see teams from our two divisions leverage and learn from each other as we serve Simply Energy. Here’s looking forward to our next opportunity to enable customers – be they in energy and utilities, or communications – to create new digitally driven experiences.
Product Marketing Manager