Digital technology is revolutionizing most industries, none more so than energy management. Easier access to computing resources via the cloud, combined with specialized analytics platforms and applications on demand is turning the business of energy management on its head.

In its most recent survey on business process outsourcing (The Accenture 2015 High-Performance BPO Report), Accenture highlights the growing importance of digital technology in the outsourcing relationship. The report found that the high-performing companies using BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services are distinguished by leveraging specialized technology solutions coupled with expertise from their service providers. Rather than throwing bodies at the issue—or “lift and shift” as Accenture refers to it—automation is replacing the repetitive transactional processes that have been the mainstay of the BPO industry for the past decade. Now, best practice BPO is the adoption of technology solutions, augmented by industry expertise.

We are seeing this same dynamic playing out in the energy management services sector. Service providers and consultants now have far more powerful and immediate data analytics and reporting at their fingertips, giving them even greater capability to help customers realize the full benefit of their energy management programs.

To support this changing dynamic, IBM Envizi is focused on building greater levels of automation and data capture into our energy management solutions. Technologies such software meters are enabling us to access information at the equipment level that has traditionally been very hard to extract. By increasing automation, organizations can capture this data at a lower cost and with greater speed, accuracy and standardization.

The granularity and richness of data that we are now able to capture is feeding into analytics and reporting tools that provide far greater insight into energy usage trends and opportunities to reduce energy waste than ever before.

With automation delivering labor efficiencies to service providers and in-house teams, and analytics providing actionable insight, your industry experts and business decision-makers can work on more complex issues relating to energy management, rather than finding themselves bogged down in data gathering, analysis and reporting.

Collaboration with your service providers and Envizi’s partner ecosystem is key. Leveraging these external relationships can have a value multiplier effect through better use of technology and talent ensuring that strategic value is delivered and higher overall energy performance is achieved.

Analytics is also providing much-needed visibility on energy usage, and automation is ensuring that valuable insights can be delivered continuously and in real-time. From an energy management standpoint, that means your industry experts are making more informed and more responsive decisions, allowing organizations to take faster and more effective action.

Ultimately, the power of digital transformation in the energy management space is best realized by the application of industry knowledge and domain expertise, something that resides both with the people in your own organization and also with your services partner.

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