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A digital makeover

With clear objectives to enhance its customer services and overall operations, SEWA has undertaken the digital transformation journey and is posting successful milestones

 

With digital transformation seen as one of the major advancements that enable government organizations to provide better, faster and cost-effective services to citizen and residents, government sector entities like SEWA ( Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority) in the UAE are taking a definite lead in  such transformation initiatives.

As a member of Sharjah Government, SEWA is mandated by the Directions of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi to provide the best possible services to the Citizens and residents of Sharjah.   Thus H.E. Dr. Rashid Alleem, the Chairman of SEWA, is leading SEWA on multiple fronts to abide by this mandate making sure to benefit from transformation wherever and whenever possible.

An early initiative was about going paperless with the Green Bill, sending out monthly bills to consumers as SMS and email messages.  SEWA upgraded its mobile App and the SEWA App v3 includes upgraded features such as processing online request for cooking Gas, moving in or out requests etc. SEWA has outlined its digital transformation commitments to accomplish by 2020 in the form of its roadmap ‘SMART SEWA’.

The SEWA Portal itself has been enhanced with numerous user friendly features. eNOC (electronic no objection certificates application ) is another feature offered by SEWA. SEWA is using digital resources for its staff recruitment purposes such as LinkedIn. Introduction of SMART Meters and SEWA BI (business intelligence) are among other initiatives to leverage new technologies and improve their operations and efficiencies, thereby enhancing customer service.

“Transformation is a key component for this to succeed as it enables the fast analysis of data from different sources and in multiple formats to support proper decision making and planning.  Examples include building permits, no objection certificates and provision of emergency power and water supply, says H.E. Dr. Rashid Alleem, the Chairman of SEWA.

 

The role of Big Data analytics

SEWA BI in fact has a huge role to play in meeting key objectives and enhancing overall operations. One of the key aspects is providing timely service that is being improved significantly using BI analysis. By analyzing data from SEWA and other Government and private sector organizations using BI,  SEWA is able to anticipate the needs of Sharjah's citizens and residents and provide the right service or supply to the right party, right on time.

SEWA is also achieving greater success in reducing outages and very high percentages of service continuity by relying on data analytics. This enables SEWA to analyze huge volumes of historic, current and predictive data from multiple sources to reduce the frequency of outages of its services which include electricity, water and gas.

By applying data analytics on different types of data in databases, document as well as geographic information, SEWA is able to dispatch the right service crews that are properly equipped to address any outage in a fast and effective manner.

Further, SEWA is cooperating with other Departments that are providing services to citizens and residents in Sharjah to ensure proper coordination and to provide them with the needed utilities based information on Sharjah’s plans and targets. 

H.E. Dr. Rashid Alleem says “Big data or data analytics represent a component of the SEWA future strategy.  Data analytics provides a unique opportunity to harness data from multiple organizations, analyze it to predict future needs and ensure that they are satisfied.  Digitalization and data analytics enables SEWA to analyze data from multiple parties such as utilities consumption trends and growth over the years, expected population growth, current and future construction, and people moving trends etc.”

“With such detailed analysis and forecast, SEWA is able to properly plan to ensure timely availability of its services and supplies as and when needed.  Also the fast response enabled by data analytics, delivers a people benefit and the shorter outage time means more revenue and consequently better efficiency,” H.E. adds.

The approach towards achieving true digital transformation that benefits all has been holistic and SEWA has launched its main services on multiple platforms to ensure that the customers’ needs are met with high efficiency and competency. These services are offered on its Smart App“SEWA Smart App” as well as through the official SEWA e-Services Portal. The services offered include Customer Account Management, Bill Payment, Consumption Graphs, Complaint Management and Profile update. SEWA Smart App also offers a customer engagement element which is the Carbon Footprint Calculator where a customer can see his consumption CO2 print. In addition to this, there are different aspects on the website that serves different types of customers including Educational Scholarship Seekers and Statement Customers with major accounts with SEWA.

Also for VIP accounts from industrial and free zones, SEWA provide them special online statement to check and pay their bills. In additional SEWA is providing them SMART meters to help them manage their consumption.etc

Smart App facilitates seamless services

Version 3.0  of the Smart App from SEWA was recently launched with enhanced functionalities to cater to quicker access to services. This caters to Individuals, companies and industries. It eases the access to SEWA services on mobile platforms. Via this Smart App, customers can access SEWA bill details any time and any where, make direct payments of monthly bills to Single or Multiple Accounts and they can also see their own Consumption Graphs. It provides other features like providing customers with CO2 calculation for their electricity consumption. Besides, it uses the latest GPS technology to locate and find the nearest payment options or Customer Service Center.

The Smart app has helped reduced the need for customers to make direct visits to SEWA branches.

Thriving on feedback

Besides facilitating better services, SEWA has also ensured quicker feedback channels so that it is able to monitor, control and correct. The SEWA Portal enables customers, suppliers, employees, partners etc., to communicate directly with the SEWA Chairman. A Centralized customers feedback system (NPS- monitored and controlled from Head Office) helps measure customer satisfaction, collecting feedbacks and taking corrective action.

H.E. Dr. Rashid Alleem says, “The portal give the customer, partners etc. to directly communicate with me, and I have a dedicated team for monitoring and controlling. We are committed to resolving issues within 72 hours.”

Leading the turnaround

The digital transformation initiatives over the past couple of years has been a key turn around strategy for the government entity to be a much smarter customer oriented organization.  Following a customer centric model, SEWA keeps customers as an intrinsic focus of their mission and ensure all activities and resources of the organization are coordinated and integrated around the customer’s current and future needs, wants and expectations.  

Championing this transformation has been the leadership of H.E. Dr. Rashid Alleem, the Chairman of SEWA and the transformation has been achieved over a series of initiatives from infrastructural makeover across all three major services SEWA provides ( Electricity, Water and Gas) to prioritizing customer focus, across consumer and business segments.

H.E. says, “Before I joined SEWA, the blackouts were very common issue and it was industries . After I joined, I focused on these issue and eliminated blackouts. Our system changed to Circular network to avoid blackouts, emergency and unexpected issues and we connected all the substations in the circular network. We are providing quality water with the quality measured by water plant itself  on a 24/7 basis. The Saif ( Sharjah Airport Free Zone) free zone and other industrial areas are connected with our LNG lines to ensure quality gas with minimal price. These industrial zones are the main sources of revenue for the Emirate and we are giving priority services to them”

SEWA CX Unit has been one of the major highlights of the customer centricity that SEWA is working round. This an initiative by His Excellency Dr. Rashid Alleem, Chairman of SEWA and spearheaded by Ms. Syeda Kanizul Fatma- Chief Knowledge Officer of SEWA.

The one and only motive of this unit is Customer- Centricity. This highly responsible action is assigned to the following unit members - Customer Engagement Officer, Customer Touchpoint Officer and Voice of Customer Officer. They can be accessed via these unique mail IDs customer.engagement@sewa.gov.ae, customer.touchpoint@sewa.gov.ae, customervoice@sewa.gov.ae ), using which - customers can communicate and share their issues. The expected time to resolve issues is within 24 business hours.

In addition, SEWA  has also embarked on Customer Journey Mapping. The CX Week 2018 celebration also topped SEWA’s focus to keep the customer in focus.

Among other initiatives, SEWA Academy or Syeda stands out. Under this, new employees at SEWA undergo a 50 days long detailed orientation program to help the explore and get to know about all the customer happiness centers and departments under SEWA by SEWA Academy. This helps each employee to be aware about the SEWA culture and overviewing the processes in all area (power generation, distribution, customer service, maintenance etc.,). In addition, there are workshops and training schedules for employees to improve their personal and professional experience.

So the key for SEWA in recent past and going forward is to sustain it focus around the 15 Principles which SEWA believes in as the way to a winning future. Working around such strong transformation agendas, SEWA hopes that the core values  they cater to will strengthen its vibrant company culture, ‘where people can smile, ideas can blossom, and success can flourish’.