National Grid sweeps away diverse systems

The largest utility company in the UK is to standardise its business intelligence systems on Business Objects.

The largest utility company in the UK is to standardise its business intelligence systems on Business Objects.

National Grid Transco (NGT) said the move would improve efficiency and give its 3,000 staff a clear view of performance. The company expects to see a return on investment in two years.

A key driver in NGT's decision to standardise on Business Objects was the massive reorganisation the company underwent last year when it brought together its electricity delivery business National Grid with gas transportation business Transco, following the merger of its National Grid and Lattice groups in 2002.

The amalgamation left the company with a diverse range of business intelligence tools.

"In the tightly cost-regulated utilities sector, the advantages of standardising on one integrated business intelligence platform are compelling and meet our high ROI threshold," said Derek Murphy, technology manager at NGT.

NGT will see the most gains from using business intelligence in its Quarterback mobile field force project, where it monitors business performance to identify areas of cost savings and improved efficiencies.

The company will use Business Objects and Webintelligence software, which has tools for data querying, reporting and analysis. The combination of the two will allow it to analyse the activities of several thousand field staff across every region the company operates to ensure they are deployed as efficiently as possible.

NGT will also use business intelligence to monitor and manage the operational running of its gas network. It will be able to report on the condition of the network, the flow of gas and performance against service level agreements, to ensure it complies with regulatory requirements.

Richard Neale, product marketing manager at Business Objects, which has worked with NGT for four years, said, "NGT is a regulated industry and cannot increase its prices. The only thing it can do is reduce costs and increase efficiencies. By standardising on business intelligence, it can streamline the cost of ownership."

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