The Energy sector challenge
The energy sector is amidst a seismic shift, driven by deregulation, sustainability, and evolving customer expectations. In this volatile market, utilities like Salzburg AG are reinventing their strategies to stay ahead. Recently, Artur Urbański, VP of Consulting at Hycom, sat down with Kristjan Jarc, Chief Digital Officer of Salzburg AG, in the picturesque city of Salzburg to discuss their journey towards a customer-centric digital transformation.
About Salzburg AG
Salzburg AG, a leading multi-utility company based in Upper Austria, has always valued close personal relationships with its 450,000 customers. But operating in a highly complex environment, across diverse business lines such as energy, water, telecom, or tourism means these relationships are not always harmonious. What hinders the company’s agility in meeting the customer needs and market conditions is the siloed nature of the organization and the legacy systems.
The Journey Towards One Face to the Customer
With a vision to offer a stronger, personalized online experience for both B2B and B2C customers, Salzburg AG launched its "One Face to the Customer" program. This initiative aimed to transition Salzburg AG from a traditional utility to a modern, service-based entity, that put their customers at the heart of its operations.
However, putting various customer-oriented projects and internal initiatives under one holistic vision presented a considerable challenge to the utility. This is where Hycom’s expertise came into play. Invited to help build the vision, a roadmap, and architecture for the program, Hycom embarked on an 8-week collaborative journey with the team of Salzburg AG.
Kristjan's emphasis on aligning technology with business needs is a core principle that resonates deeply with us at Hycom. This alignment is not just about implementing cutting-edge technology; it's about fostering a mutual understanding between business and IT to ensure that technology truly serves the organization's goals. In our collaboration with Salzburg AG, we've experienced firsthand how this synergy can drive transformation, allowing technology to become not just a tool, but an integral part of achieving business success. The mutual understanding we've nurtured has been key to realizing the vision for the 'One Face to the Customer' program and beyond.
A Structured Approach to Salzburg customer-centric Transformation
D. Eisenhower once said, "plans are worthless, but planning is everything." This seems paradoxical, however, at Hycom we realize, that even though following a strict plan in constantly evolving circumstances is an outlandish idea, the existence of a well-structured, agile approach enables companies such as Salzburg to produce an almost bullet-proof, optimal strategy. And so, we invited Salzburg AG on a journey where we could jointly set business path for the realization of the One Face to the Customer Program.
Defining Goals: The journey began with Goal Definition Workshops and Deep-dive Sessions to build a common understanding of the program objectives among all stakeholders.
Program Scope & Roadmap: A well-defined scope and strategic roadmap were crucial to align Salzburg AG’s business goals, initiatives, and key milestones, ensuring effective resource management, and coordinated decision-making.
Capability-driven Architecture: Post defining the scope and roadmap, a high-level architecture was formulated to specify the technology capabilities required, translating the business needs of the program into actionable IT and digital deliverables.
Visual Story and Clickable Mockups: Visualization played a key role in sharing the "One Face to the Customer" vision across Salzburg AG. A visual story accompanied by clickable mockups distilled complex initiatives into a simple, easily understandable form, enabling stakeholders to grasp the entire scope of the project.
The result was a comprehensive, actionable game plan that set Salzburg AG on a transformative path toward a new customer-centric strategy.
If you don't have a good preparation, you will always have problems in the whole project. I figured out in all the projects I’ve done the last years, if you don't have the right setup at the beginning, you will suffer all the time with this wrong preparation.
Hycom's Role in Crafting the Future
With the Hycom end-to-end approach, Salzburg AG received all components necessary to execute the Program. „Lego modules” is how Kristjan Jarc named Hycom innovative methodology of work, that proved instrumental in designing Salzburg’s business capabilities & IT Architecture. This collaborative approach to crafting Salzburg AG’s future not only helped navigate the challenges of transformation but also left a lasting impression on the business stakeholders.
As Kristjan highlighted, meticulous preparation was paramount for the success of any digital transformation journey, thus significant attention had to be devoted to the initial stages of planning, and ensuring a smooth transition toward organization’s customer-centricity.
The success of any digital transformation journey hinges on meticulous preparation. Kristjan Jarc's insights resonate strongly with our approach at Hycom, where we devote significant attention and effort to the initial stages of planning. This groundwork ensures that the rest of the project unfolds smoothly and that the solutions we craft are tailored precisely to our client's business goals and customer needs. The recognition of our method by Salzburg AG is a testament to our commitment to excellence from inception through to execution.
The Road Ahead
In 2022, armed with a clear vision and a robust plan, Salzburg AG quickly embarked on its transformative journey. The common goals encapsulated in the cross-organizational roadmap became the first step in breaking the siloed nature of the organization and provided a sense of direction for the One Face to the Customer Program. The vision, roadmap & architecture gave stakeholders a shared understanding of the desired outcomes and a timeframe for the program execution.
However, the story doesn’t end here. Recognizing the value of the seamless co-creation experienced in the previous project, Salzburg AG has once again reached out to Hycom for assistance in executing the roadmap. And the next chapter of this collaborative journey has just begun, promising exciting developments in delivering services that truly cater to the customers' needs.