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Philippe Muller

What I can do for you

The major challenges for many of my utility industry clients in France are government and regulatory requirements. These often involve areas such as environmental impact, security, and open commercial competition.

The first step for people to accept change is to understand where they want to go. The second step is to decide which path to follow to achieve the vision.

Who I am

In my view, technology is a means to an end. I believe, as I’m sure you do, that IT has value only if it helps increase business and makes organizations more efficient. And because people are the most important aspect of any IT project, the success of that project depends on whether your people are ready to accept change.

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As a utility operator, you likely face changes in conventional power generation. In the past, electricity was generated solely by large, centralized power plants. Now, with solar and wind-based power generation making significant inroads, your management of network interconnections has had to adapt. These changes will have a major impact on how your IT manages all of its networks.

Energy networks

"Smart energy" is an important area of growth for my clients, and many of them are making significant investments in their energy networks. Every home and building will have interactive smart boxes to manage energy use, with sensors placed throughout buildings to capture information. In this environment you will need to develop new ways of managing your data, in order to add value and sell services derived from that data.

Utility products are highly commoditized. With the opening of the market, as a utility provider you will need to differentiate yourself by developing value-added services such as loyalty programs. This can be done with BI systems based on the data collected by smart boxes. I can help you explore the best ways to take advantage of these new opportunities.

IT as a service

The cost of standalone IT resources is very high. My counsel to my utilities clients is to change their models and start buying IT as a service. Large providers such as HP know how to build IT securely and at lower cost. I have significant experience setting up outsourcing contracts, and can guide you in the most cost effective use of these resources.

Generational shift

Another significant issue facing you as a utilities manager is workforce aging. Many of today’s skilled workers were trained decades ago, and you will need to invest in training the next generation of workers to prevent the loss of vital knowledge. I can help implement knowledge management systems to capture the skills and expertise of the exiting workforce. The new generation of workers will also require new technologies and new ways of communicating, e.g., social networking. You will also need to consider business process management as an option to improve knowledge management.

Security

Security is a significant challenge in the utilities industry with the advent of cloud computing, particularly in the nuclear industry. I can help you consider the need to outsource to decrease IT costs, as well as the need to ensure the security of your systems in the cloud environment.

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