of mass activities
and intuitive solution
As one of Germany’s largest municipal utilities, Stadtwerke München (SWM) knew they needed a better way to handle massive amounts of customer data and streamline their processing. The utility, which provides electricity, natural gas, district heating and cooling as well as drinking water to Munich residents, also supplies urban mobility solutions, telecommunications services and 18 indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Couple this growing range of services with their mission of expanding renewable energy and sustainability, and SWM’s leaders knew they needed to upgrade their automation solution to help them better manage their business and improve their customer service.
The Goal: Expand Automation Across Growing Business
SWM was using BMC Control-M as their automation system but knew they needed a more robust solution to keep up with their growing business. When looking at the automation solutions on the market, the SAP Basis team wanted a platform that had deep SAP expertise as well as the ability to handle the diverse enterprise applications and data sources they used.
SWM, with its sophisticated SAP environment, relies on SAP IS-U, SAP’s industry-specific solution integrated in SAP ERP. Within SAP IS-U, mass activities automatically divide the large volumes of data into multiple jobs and then process those jobs.
Specifically, SWM needed to automate a specific business process known as meter-to-cash, which covers everything from reading meters and maintaining data to preparing and sending out invoices. These mass, multi-step activities in SAP IS-U are now controlled securely and reliably via Redwood RunMyJobs.
Once implemented, the SAP Basis team was able to get the control and access they needed. With RunMyJobs, they now have maximum control, and it is possible to define in detail which processes are executed, including when and how they are done.
Even more importantly, the correct sequence is adhered to, meaning a secondary process does not start until the previous one has finished and has run without errors. In the event of an error, special recovery routines take effect. In addition, a corresponding alarm is triggered, which enables immediate intervention.
Once SWM had their business process automation in place, they proceeded to their next goal — improving customer service. In an effort to continue optimizing their customer service even further, SWM implemented its “Next Best Activity” project. As part of Service Center 2.0, this add-on system complements the original solution and supports the service center team with all relevant customer information.
This initiative was a very complex process. In the energy industry, large amounts of data from ERP systems like meter and financial data must be consolidated and processed. RunMyJobs automates the interfaces between the data sources and ensures that all required data is reliably available on a daily basis. Having all of the customer data available at once, including master file information, meter readings, billing statements and more, was transformative for the service center staff. They can now use this information to provide customers with expert advice and better respond to inquiries and requests so that customers have a positive experience with SWM.
Redwood offers an extremely wide range of possibilities for automation, and orchestration works excellently. But the best thing is — it just runs. Johannes Demmelhuber, Stadtwerke München GmbH
The Results: Improved Data Automation & Happier Customers
More than a decade into using RunMyJobs, and the SAP Basis team has successfully automated all its SAP processes. Their automation has grown throughout the organization and provides support for mobility solutions, including applications for mobile ticketing and parking. The team also has set up a system that addresses the complexity and improves the quality of data and billing processes.
In the past, mass activities were a resource hog. At least one hour of manual work had to be calculated for each process. Today, these core processes are controlled with RunMyJobs and automatically executed in the correct sequence. At night, all data is loaded into the central data warehouse (SAP HANA) and processed. In the morning, the service center team has access to the latest information for their consultations. This is an important prerequisite in providing customers with highly competent points of contact.
Processing in the SAP HANA database takes 6-7 hours, and the complex calculations alone take 1.5-2 hours. Previously, nightly process orchestration across all system boundaries was not possible. With Redwood, the SAP Basis team now has the flexibility to set up customized scheduling at any time.
RunMyJobs also gives the SAP Basis team self-recovery functionality. If one of the SAP HANA processes breaks down, a repair routine is automatically started, and the process restarts after 30 minutes. This prevents the possibility of jobs being forgotten or processed in the wrong order or of incorrect information being passed to the service center.
The SAP Basis team also had the expertise and guidance of Redwood’s support team to help them navigate any challenges that come up during the implementation and running of their automation solution.