East Africa’s largest power distributor Kenya Power, today announced the selection of IBM (NYSE: IBM) for an automated system that will provide a real time status of all business processes. This will enable Kenya Power to implement its strategic expansion plans.
Kenya Power is counting on technology to expand its current 2.6 million-client base by another one million clients and to push its current electricity generation capacity from 2025 megawatts to 5000 plus megawatts by 2015. The company plans to roll out electricity distribution services across more areas of Kenya as its drives a comprehensive strategy to capture more demand from under-served regions.
The new system will consolidate data from ten key operational sources to provide a single view of enterprise data. This new infrastructure will use advanced IBM analytics to enable Kenya Power to study and compare real time and historical data to better monitor business operations and trends, and anticipate future electrical needs. KP teams can now access data on demand on one dashboard compared to 10 different dashboards.
The real-time analytics can be accessed through cloud computing, allowing executives working remotely to use mobile devices to view data pooled from all corners of the company. This will provide unparalleled insight into the electricity company’s operations, and allow instant decision making to help improve business performance.
The new solution will also provide greater insight into customer needs. Currently, Kenya Power has a number of different systems for billing, customer relationships and matching customer information with government census details. The disparate data sources make it difficult to aggregate and combine data to produce meaningful customer insights.
The IBM solution provides a central repository for various data sources and the analytic capabilities reconcile, correct, and quality-assess the information to provide a consolidated view of Kenya Power’s customers. Based on this view, the company will be able to improve the call center experience, better identify customer needs and match new services to meet these needs.
“The analytics solution gives us the ability to rapidly perform complex queries on data,” said Ben Chumo, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Power. “For example, we can better understand the varying needs of our customers across different regions in Kenya based on customer buying behavior or manage the power grids more efficiently in specific areas during certain times of the day.”
A heavy dependency on often unreliable rainfall patterns to power hydroelectric generators has prompted Kenya to diversify its energy source, with coal and geothermal sources emerging as new energy sources. In line with this shift, Kenya Power is keen to understand how its current customers are using power with a view to restructuring its network to better serve high value and essential clients. The new technology implementation is expected to help Kenya Power understand the dynamics behind its customers’ use of power as well as instrument power distribution monitoring on a real time basis.
“Efficient energy distribution is a key component to the continued growth of this economy.Technology has the unique ability to help companies like Kenya Power leverage big data to gain deeper insights of their customers and power grids,” said Nik Nesbitt, General Manager, IBM East Africa. “IBM is continuously extending its capabilities to enable businesses in this region and across Africa, with tools to intelligently instrument and innovate their processes in order to help them work smarter.”
Working with its Business Partner the Symphony Group, IBM developed a complete solution for Kenya Power that includes: hardware (System z BC-12 server, DS8870 storage, PureData for Analytics), software (zOS, DB2, Tivoli, Cognos, InfoSphere and SPSS) as well as IBM services and training.
Escalating Success for IBM in Africa
Africa is expected to be part of an anticipated $3.47 billion being spent on high value infrastructure projects this year.* IBM is already working with a number of private companies, IT partners, public sector heads and academics to better understand how technology can help transform their processes.
The new signing is the latest in a series of System z announcements from IBM in Africa. In May 2014, IBM unveiled two new Mainframe Linux and Cloud labs in Kenya and South Africa. In February, the Government of Ghana announced that they were working with Yale University and IBM Research – Africa to help eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Ghana using a Mainframe based solution.
IBM is also working with industries across Africa on a series of high-value infrastructure projects. For example, in South Africa, First National Bank (FNB) has seen significant growth across mobile banking channels with its mainframe environment. IBM is working with FNB to help the bank deploy mobile “bank-in-a-box” solutions that deliver financial services over any channel in near-real time.