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AGL uses digital to differentiate

Business Situation

Deregulation in the energy sector in 2001 paved the way for a number of new energy utilities to enter the market. AGL was now trading in a more dynamic and competitive marketplace. This new economy benefited customers by greater choice of retailers and more flexible cost saving options. High customer turnover followed and demands for more efficient modes of energy production increased, as customers looked to retailers to provide green energy offerings and more sustainable cost effective solutions.

For leading retailers like AGL, even though this new climate meant that customer churn was at an all-time high, it also presented opportunities unprecedented in the industry. In a highly competitive market AGL knew that it needed to compete not on price alone. Therefore, to ensure it retained its leading position, AGL sought to differentiate itself from competitors to reduce customer turnover and to implement new strategies to retain their already strong customer base.

"Adopting Agile seems to be the only practical approach to managing the rapidly changing, evolutionary nature of digital."

Nigel Page Digital Lead, Australia Gas and Light (AGL)

Solution

The project involved a number of solutions. The first was to build a common platform that could meet both internal and customer-facing needs. This involved consolidating 50 independently managed business websites into one consolidated platform. Avanade helped identify the functions and the requirements for each site to ensure all needs would be met. The solution also included using Windows Azure cloud technology to run the Sitecore-based solution, again to maximize AGL’s existing investment in Microsoft technologies. Cloud technology facilitates efficiencies and scalability ensuring the stability of the platform supporting high activity at peak times. Existing self-service technology was migrated to the Sitecore in Azure platform, so customers can easily pay their bills, view their account activity or plan for a house move.

    Results

    The highly streamlined solution delivered by Avanade and Accenture has meant significant gains for AGL.

    The new platform offers customers personalized usage reports and 24-month energy management plans enabling them to choose how to manage their energy consumption. As a result of these new features home page visitors are 47% more likely to go directly to AGL’s energy plans page to consider AGL as their energy provider.

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