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Here’s how Gentrack helps utilities manage billing engines

With digitalisation offering new heights in customer satisfaction for the water industry, one software company has been helping utilities manage billing systems in order to free up time and energy to focus on implementing digital applications.

Gentrack’s goal is to make keeping up with digital developments and applications a lot easier for water utilities, Country Manager Paul King said.

“Every water utility has a billing engine, and billing engines by their nature are highly complex, sophisticated things to manage. There is a lot of cost involved, there is a lot of personnel involved, and it is a difficult beast to apply digital applications to. This is why Gentrack launched its Digital Platform,” King said.

“The Digital Platform allows the decoupling of the billing from the digital landscape. Billing is a system of record that evolves quite slowly, whereas the digital landscape is moving really fast. Our ambition is to use our Digital Platform to enable the billing system to support the pace at which the digital landscape needs to develop.”

King said by decoupling the billing engine from the digital landscape, Gentrack enables water utilities to focus more on innovating with digital applications, thereby helping them achieve more sophisticated and cost-effective relationships with their end customers.

“We make sure the software and all of the key things needed for billing are available in a secure way. Our customers can then implement applications on the platform and keep up with digitalisation without having to go back to the billing engine and keep changing the integrations and core software all the time,” King said.

“We are getting billing and CRM out of the way of all the other exciting digital things that water utilities want to do.”

Aside from helping utilities become digital leaders, King said some other benefits of approaching billing software in this way includes reducing cost to serve by enabling more streamlined digital customer relations processes.

“The challenge for the water industry is to drive costs down, which involves efficiency with core processes. But there is also a growing focus on connecting with customers, and customers’ evolving demands on how they want to deal with their utilities,” King said.

“The use of digital channels for moving connections, looking at bills and resolving queries significantly reduces the cost of running call centres. It also removes the frustration of sitting on call centre queues.”

King also said by enabling utilities to engage in digitalisation, Gentrack aims to help water organisations become more efficient, effective and customer focused.

“The whole digital enablement piece, on top of billing and CRM, is becoming more and more important. It’s an increasing part of customer satisfaction,” King said.

“The traditional quarterly bill is the way it’s usually done. But the way the customer wants to connect with utilities now is much more sophisticated.”

Gentrack is a corporate member of the Australian Water Association and sponsor of the upcoming Ozwater’18 Conference