IBM has continued its string of recent high-profile cloud contract wins, this week inking a “multi-million dollar agreement” with Smart Energy Water (SEW) – a US-based provider to the utility sector of SaaS customer engagement and data analytics tools.
Under the terms of the five-year contract, IBM Cloud will provide a common global infrastructure for SEW’s enterprise web and mobile application workloads, which it provides to over 150 utility companies around the world.
These include customer engagement and mobile workforce engagement apps, online bill processing, energy efficiency and demand response apps, reward programs as well as tools for real-time data collection and management in the field.
The contract includes provisions to co-market their respective offerings. It follows IBM contracts with Vodafone (managed services provision for its cloud and hosting unit; an eight-year deal valued at approximately £425 million) and French bank BNP Paribas.
IBM says it has already secured more than $3 billion in cloud deals in 2019.
“Consumers are open to new ways of engaging with their utility,” said Harman Sandhu, President Smart Energy Water.
“Together with IBM, we can deliver solutions at large scale that help utilities lower the cost-to-serve by moving customers from the call center to lower-cost digital channels, personalize service to increase overall customer satisfaction, and target customers for the right opportunities for value-added programs and services.”
The energy and utilities industry is grappling with an aging infrastructure, growing client demand for affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable electricity, as well as stringent government mandates on energy efficiency and water conservation.
These challenges, coupled with the growing expectations of tech-expectant consumers, have driven a rapid need for change and are forcing many utilities to create new business platforms and tap new technologies to solidify a competitive advantage.