As part of the process to transform the Group, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is one of the main enabling factors to build the digital company of the future, putting technology at the service of energy, engaging and leveraging two worlds which, by their very nature, evolve continuously and quickly. The role of ICT is no longer as a simple guarantor of technology, but as the provider of innovation and as a digital enabler to effectively transform the existing business model, guaranteeing high standards of security, business continuity and operating efficiency.
Thanks to a flexible organizational model which is aligned to the Group structure, it is possible to guarantee better interaction both with the various business areas which manage assets – Upstream Gas, Trading, Infrastructure and Networks, Generation and Renewables – and geographically with the four key regions – Italy, Iberia, Eastern Europe and Latin America – guaranteeing at the same time a global approach that can combine the needs and local particularities of markets and customers.
The guidelines for this new approach are: improving people’s productivity and their connection, both inside and outside the Group; increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the operational management of assets, from generation to distribution networks; developing innovative services to create a competitive and sustainable advantage in new and mature markets.
In particular Enel’s ICT strategy, in line with the Group’s strategic guidelines, rests on 6 pillars which are closely inter-connected.
In 2015 the ICT area undertook a process aimed at disseminating a spirit and culture focused on sustainability and the creation of shared value, in the sure knowledge of the fact that with information and communication technologies it is possible to drive profound and quick change in the social, production, economic and environmental fabric. With the support of the Sustainability Department, an approach was adopted to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the strategy. In addition, specific measures were developed that can facilitate decision-making, the identification and monitoring of targets; for example, environmental impacts were measured in a structured fashion connected to printing, PC Power Management and the use of telepresence.
This approach was shared with the key players involved in December 2015 during a dedicated event: the ICT Sustainability Day.
An opportunity, a challenge, a commitment. ICT Sustainability Day aims to share the role of Information Technology in pursuing the sustainable development strategy which has been adopted by Enel. A chance to meet which involved the whole ICT family (more than 2 thousand people) and also saw the participation of the Chairman and the Director of Innovation and Sustainability as well as other internal and external speakers in a context to strengthen the Sustainability culture.
Enel’s digital challenges are characterized by technologies which are highly pervasive and which must enable fast, efficient and timely production processes, in order to drive the incentivization of innovation. Cloud, Big Data, Data Analytics, Internet of Things are in this sense an essential step. It is necessary to profoundly rethink all the processes: those internal to the business and those which regulate the services for people or the interaction with the end user. Technically this means above all digitally realizing the ‘Agile’ development process and supporting it with classic methodologies to manage projects for software development.
The Agile methodology focuses on the service and stakeholders who take part in the project and their interaction, rather than on the deliverables and tools which are purely technical aspects.
Enel is investing to improve the functioning of power plants, with predictive technologies, network monitoring and control systems, as well as through the development of adequate tools to protect against cyber attacks.
Digitalizing also means having a different approach to the way of interacting with customers. The electronic meter has been the pioneer of a series of initiatives which have contributed to transforming the relationship with customers, but today it is necessary to think of new interaction models leveraging customer experience and new services. Social networks are a new channel to contact customers more easily and more directly. In line with the principles of the Internet of Things, which offers the possibility of collecting and analyzing information that can help understand complex behavioral phenomena, Enel can understand how its customers use energy in order to offer an even better service.
The Work Force Management project, to support distribution processes, is one of the most important best practices in Italy: a system based on continuous and constant dialogue between devices and which reaches every team and every operator in real time in order to guarantee efficient management of the network. A system which has developed over time, together with the technology, and today allows operators to have available the most recent devices on the market and the related applications. Besides the numerous advantages from the viewpoint of environmental Sustainability, due also to the rationalization of the movements of operators, the project offers far from negligible returns as regards the safety of employees.
Mobile technology enables simpler and more effective work also ‘on the move’. This gave rise to the idea of the Enel Apps Store, a container for all the Apps developed by the company both for its employees and for end users on a global scale. The mobile context is matched also by the need to provide greater flexibility in the possibility of accessing contents and company documents at any time and from any location also through Cloud technologies.
The process of transforming the business has driven Enel to adopt a new management model based on a hybrid cloud: a model which will allow the provision of flexible, fast, affordable and resilient platforms, and which will enable the connection of the cloud with management in the data centers owned by Enel. The migration to the cloud involves applications which support core and mission critical applications: so far over 200 applications have been migrated.
Finally, a further project characterized by undoubted and significant benefits from the environmental viewpoint is that of electronic storage which, in compliance with the law(1) which gives legal and tax value to digital documents, has allowed Enel Distribuzione to be able to digitally store the invoices issued to sellers, end users or producers for a period of 10 years. This process in Italy has enabled the Company to go from around 4 million printed sheets in 2013 to 1.5 million in 2015.
ICT for people
In the Enel Group there is a wide variety of cultures which must remain in contact also at long distances; therefore, key elements are communication and collaboration instruments, such as video conferencing, VoIP, telepresence and the virtualization of desktops.
Unifying different areas through technology enables everyone to feel part of a single global community, in which however the local aspect is given value, at geographic and cultural and professional level. The change will be facilitated by digital communication which is no longer vertical and based on the internet, intranet or email, but which is based on new truly social and multichannel methods and on sharing, for a transformation that enables the sharing of personal and professional experiences.
In coming months, in order to support an increasingly flexible and dynamic way of working, groups will be set up to develop smart working and IT tools will be studied to support corporate wellness.
Here below are the main shared services, for which, for the first time in 2015, specific performance indicators on sustainability have been set up and analyzed, in line with the main international frameworks.
Telepresence is a development of the traditional video conferencing service which, by using latest generation technology, combines high definition audio and video elements with screens designed to create a virtual conference room, offering participants the sensation of being in the meeting room itself. Currently there are 7 Telepresence rooms in operation in the main Enel offices (Rome, Madrid, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Santiago de Chile and Bogotá).
The Telepresence service has an intrinsic positive impact, allowing the avoidance of air travel to move people around. In this case, therefore, starting from the number of meetings, the CO2 saving linked to the air travel foregone has been calculated(2).
The gradual increase over the years of the positive impact is a strong incentive to the ever more frequent use of this means of communication.
* For 2013 and 2014 the available figure is that for booked meetings, while for 2015 it was possible to use the figure for the meetings actually held.
As from 2013, Enel has renewed all the printers in its offices with latest generation models which allow more eco sustainable use and has also moved from a printing model based on the concept of the product to a model focused on the service. The particular features of this arrangement, together with a global awareness-raising campaign on the more rational use of printing, has enabled a reduction over the years in the quantity of printing done and, consequently, a reduced impact on the environment.
In particular, starting from the number of pages printed and the technical characteristics of the printer models, each month a calculation is made of the quantity of CO2 associated with the electric consumption of the printers during printing, applying the emission coefficient(3) (gCO2/kWh) of each country, which considers the specific mix of energy sources.
*Considering the data in the following areas: Italy, Iberia, Russia, Romania, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
PC Power Management
Starting from September a pilot project was launched to monitor the consumption of electricity by PC work stations of employees in Italy outside of normal work hours(4), thanks to the presence on IT work stations (desktops, laptops, monitors) of a Microsoft function which enabled the identification of when a work station is on but not being used. The monitoring excluded servers and personal computers which, due to their very purpose, must always be operational (for example, the GESI (Management of Notification from Distribution Systems) application, Enel retail outlets, Borsa Energia, etc.).
From the first recordings, which were in this case too translated into CO2 emissions associated with electricity consumption, significant results have emerged, on which managerial decisions may follow and a start made to adopting awareness- raising actions to mitigate consumption.
PC Power Management - Italy
During 2016 it is expected to expand the pilot project starting from the Iberian Peninsula, where the energy efficiency parameters of personal computers have already been activated.
Enel has created a dedicated portal with the main aim of disseminating information on ITC services offered to all employees: support and assistance material, guides, video tutorials and everything which can facilitate their use. All the information on the portal is in three languages: Italian, Spanish and English and the system automatically offers the language of the relevant country.
Among the services available is also “Easy info” which sets out the main sustainability indicators relating to the printing service and PC Power Management..
(1) Decree of January 23, 2004 of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance and with the resolution of the National Centre for IT in the Public Administration no. 11 of February 19, 2004.
(2) The number of people taking part has been estimated as: (number of devices - 1). The CO2 emissions for the travel also consider the movement from the city centre to the airport in taxi (distances from Wikipedia.
(3) Emission factor considered: Enerdata, data extracted on February 22, 2016 relating to 2013 and 2014. For 2015, the 2014 data has been used since the updated official figures are not available.
(4) Monday-Friday (from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.); Saturday and Sunday.