The Silicon Review
The energy and utility industry has been grappling with severe challenges including ageing infrastructure, increasing demand supply deficit, lack of skilled workforce, stringent government mandates for energy efficiency and water conservation. Moreover, the expectations of today’s tech-savvy customers from their utilities have become multi-fold. To add to these, the global utility industry has been a slow adopter of technologies such as cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, machine learning, etc. But, to stay ahead of competition, it is the need of the hour for utilities to adapt and adopt these technologies. Thus, the idea to set up Smart Energy Water was conceptualized with a vision to help utilities in their journey of digital transformation and at the same time help redefine the traditional relationship between utility and its customers.
Knocking the company’s door
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Smart Energy Water (SEW) was set up with a vision to address the most crucial global challenge of energy and water Sustainability. Founded in the year 2009, SEW is the leading cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions provider for customer engagement, mobile workforce, and Big Data Analytics to the energy and utility sector. It provides rapid deployment solutions for multi-channel customer engagement, managing demand side management programs, mobile workforce, and deploying big data analytics that has the capacity to abate costs and the complex IT integrations.
Its first product manifestation was Smart Customer Mobile (SCM®) that went on to become SEW’s flagship product. SCM® is an award-winning customer engagement mobile and portal platform that provides self service capabilities to utility customers and enables real-time two-way communication between the utility and its customers. It allows utilities to offer its customers- simple and intuitive ways to track their energy and water consumption; keeps them informed about outages and leaks with real-time, map based alerts, recommends customized savings programs based on usage analysis and educate and motivate the customers to make informed choices and better decisions about energy and water usage.
In conversation with the Founder and CEO of the company, Deepak Garg
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company?
We have been making continuous efforts at SEW to shape the digital transformation of utilities into a simple and easy process. Our highly skilled and talented engineers are investing their time and effort in researching and keeping themselves updated about the latest trends in the industry to make our products extremely user-friendly and easy to integrate with the existing back-end platform of the client. Keeping in mind the current energy and water scenario, needs of the digitally active customers of today and the evolving utility landscape, we have introduced many advanced features in our products and brought innovations like Smart H20, Smart Home Management etc in the industry.
How successful was your first project roll on?
We fondly remember our first project roll out, which taught us many valuable and salient lessons.Our first major project was with a leading utility in North America that serves the community with more than 34,000 water and 85,000 electric customers. We apprised them with our web and mobile cloud platform - Smart Customer Mobile (SCM®). The rationale was to benefit utilities due to faster implementation times, fewer integration points, and greater operational efficiencies. Since then we have always strived to provide a powerful customer platform, enabling utilities to more immediately and efficiently improve customer experience.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be rolled out into the market?
SEW has been addressing utility industry challenges by building analytics based mobile and web platforms. Our market research and product engineering team continue to focus on adding new features in our product. Some of our recent enhancements includes Smart home management, low income affordability solution that enhance customer engagement and enable processes aligned with the changing business environment.
These comprehensive upgrades ensure that the final solution supports the strategic mission of the organization, is a perfect balance between sustainability and customer expectations.
How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
Our philanthropic project - Smart Water H2O app—was conceived to help Californians fight the drought situation in the area. This app helps utility customers to report water violation by clicking a picture of the current situation (water wastage) and directly report it to the utility. This way the citizens hold the custody/ become the custodians of water Sustainability in their own locality.
Apart from this, we have deployed a reverse osmosis water treatment project in APAC, providing clean drinking water to over 1100+ school students.
Beyond the horizon
SEW has helped utilities of varied sizes in improving their businesses by reducing costs, maximizing their return on smart infrastructure investments and addressing the key challenges of electric, water and gas utilities, and now it is gearing up to help utilities across the world.
It has already started working in diversifying its product portfolio and bringing in solutions that shall help utilities across the world, and has focused on exploring new disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, home automation etc. “We want to continue to deliver innovative solutions that help in building an energy and water Sustainable future,” wraps up Deepak Garg.
Greet the Pioneer
Deepak Garg, Chairman & CEO at Smart Energy Water, is responsible for bringing innovation, defining the vision and strategic leadership of SEW. He has developed high-powered business and technology teams that have successfully developed leading Energy & Utilities Customer Engagement, Mobile Workforce and Analytics web & mobile platforms to address the key challenges of the Utility industry. Before SEW, Deepak held several senior executive positions at Fortune 500 companies. During these positions Deepak developed new direct and in-direct markets business solutions with rapid growth adding $1B in company growth.
"We have envisioned innovative digital transformations by redefining the business landscape and helping utilities to develop new capabilities in a mobile-first, cloud-first world"