Mr. Yahya I. Abdulrahman, vice president of IT technology and communication, Saudi Electric Company recently participated in the Microsoft Utility Forum in Rome with 24 other large utility customers from across the EMEA region to share ideas and best practice based on Microsoft solutions.
The main objective of the event was to illustrate how Microsoft IT solutions can be used to benefit utility companies, and ultimately benefit their customers. Effective IT applications are vital at all stages of electricity companies' lifecycle - from generation, through transmission and to distribution of power. Just two examples discussed at the forum included early warning systems to detect and quickly repair power line outages; and improved customer service tools including online billing; ATM payment; and customer SMS notification.
Presenting at the forum Abdulrahman showcased how Saudi Electric Company's mainframe IT systems and processes have been transformed from a fragmented to a standardized, uniform platform based on Microsoft and SAP; and how the company is aiming to align its procedures across all departments. He also highlighted SEC's vision of creating a high quality, reliable and cost efficient call center based on a Microsoft platform which will improve service for customers across the Kingdom.
Commenting on the forum Abdulrahman said: "Our participation in the forum was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the IT challenges being faced by other major utility companies across Europe, Middle East and Africa, and to share best practice with these technology leaders. All the delegates exchanged contact details and we've created an online forum so that we can continue the conversation and exchange of ideas to help us better utilize Microsoft technologies and innovation in our networks to better serve our customers." He spoke of Bill Gates' successful meeting with Ali Saleh Al-Barak, the CEO of Saudi Electric Company in Riyadh last November and explained how the partnership between the two companies continues to thrive. Abdulrahman concluded that the forum provided useful insights into the Microsoft Utility industry, relevant roadmaps and partner alliance initiatives.
Dr. Khaled Al-Dhaher, general manager, Microsoft Saudi Arabia said: "We set up the forum for some of our largest utility customers across the EMEA region to cultivate a collaborative exchange of ideas. Mr Abdulrahman's presentation was one of the highlights of the forum, and a real success story for other delegates to see how quickly a large company's entire IT infrastructure can be transformed for the better to provide an improved and simplified service for the end user."