Compare 10 SAP Utility Solutions based on +3000 reviews in ’24

Over 1500 companies presently utilize SAP utility solutions like SAP IS-U, acknowledged as a world leader by Gartner. 1 Despite this acclaim, adoption faces significant challenges, primarily centered around integration issues. The main hurdles include:

  1. Poor integration with third-party applications
  2. Complex integration processes
  3. Specialized skills requirement for SAP developers.

Given these challenges, selecting an SAP utility solution that addresses and mitigates these integration issues becomes crucial for ensuring successful adoption and maximizing the benefits of SAP IS-U.

Therefore, this article explains and compares top tools that can seamlessly integrate with SAP utilities module and help utility firms automate and manage their SAP utility processes. 

Tool Name Solution Type Review & Score
Redwood RunMyJobs WLA 4.3/5.0 based on 63 reviews
Activebatch WLA 4.6/5.0 based on 75 reviews
Informatica MDM 4.3/5.0 based on 17 reviews
TIBCO EBX MDM 3.9/5.0 based on 154 reviews
Infosys Utilities BPM 4.0/5.0 based on 14 reviews
Uipath Business automation platform BPM 4.5/5.0 based on 2161 reviews
Alteryx GIS 4.5/5.0 based on 795 reviews
Esri ArcGIS GIS 4.9/5.0 based on 5 reviews
IBM Watson IoT IoT 4.4/5.0 based on 64 reviews
Microsoft Azure IoT IoT 4.4/5.0 based on 122 reviews

The table above compares SAP utility solutions in terms of their respected category and review data collected from Gartner where all tools have presence. The list is sorted in alphabetical order for each category except the sponsors.

Comparing top SAP utility solutions

Process automation and management tools

WLA tools

Workload automation can integrate into SAP utility solutions such as SAP IS-U to: 

  • Orchestrate and precisely schedule core business processes, facilitating the seamless flow of intricate workflows
  • Automate batch processes such as billing, meter readings, and data uploads, ensuring efficiency, timely scheduling, and successful completion monitoring
  • Streamline end-to-end workflows through seamless cross-system integration, enhancing overall operational coherence.
  • Optimize resource allocation and respond to specific conditions or changes in a given environment Manage dependencies effectively by sequencing activities, ensuring that downstream processes are triggered in the correct order. This ensures a synchronized and efficient execution of tasks within the SAP IS-U environment.

Some of these WLA tools that can integrate with SAP include:

1.) Redwood RunMyJobs: Redwood RunMyJobs is WLA solution that is certified as part of SAP’s Industry Cloud Portfolio for Utilities. The platform’s adaptive workflows and pre-built templates facilitate quick setup and integration, enhancing utility providers’ capabilities for a modernized and efficient operational landscape.By integrating to SAP utility environment, RunMyJobs can ensure efficiency, reducing manual intervention and enhancing resource management. Redwood RunMyJobs can deliver:

  • Efficient meter-to-cash process management from meter data collection to customer billing and payments.
  • Seamless integration with SAP Systems,covering SAP Industry Solutions-Utilities (IS-U), S/4HANA Utilities, and Industry Cloud
  • Automation of complex operations like large-scale transactions in utility operations
  • Real-time visibility into billing and cash flow, offering control and optimization with up-to-date information.
  • Improved security and protection for sensitive data by leveraging full encryption and single-tenant architecture.

2.) ActiveBatch: ActiveBatch is a workload automation solution which can be applied to SAP utility environments to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and facilitate digital transformation. ActiveBatch provides a single dashboard for all integrated workflows, systems, and tasks across the entire hybrid environment. The way ActiveBatch can empower utility providers include:

  • Automating a multitude of energy-industry-specific workflows from a centralized point of control, such as meter-to-cash operations, smart meter readings, or IoT data handling.
  • Building end-to-end automations for customer-facing processes such as chatbots and appointment notifications
  • Integrating with common utility tools such as SAP NetWeaver, SAP BusinessObjects DataServices
  • Reducing the likelihood of human errors, which minimizes manual intervention, save time to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Ensuring real-time end-to-end visibility with its policy-driven framework.
  • Enhancing the security by delivering a multi-tenant architecture that allows administrators to define access and permissions based on organizational needs.

BPM tools

Business Process Management (BPM) tools orchestrate and optimize end-to-end workflows within SAP utility solutions such as SAP IS-U. Utility companies may leverage BPM platforms for comprehensive process management. Two notable BPM tools are:

3.) Infosys Utilities: Infosys offers a diverse range of services and solutions tailored for the utilities sector, addressing various aspects of the energy and power industry. Their utility services encompass the following key areas:

  • Asset management by tracking asset information, maintenance schedules, and performance metrics for power plants, transmission lines, and distribution networks.
  • Utility theft, leakage and fraud management by analyzing and monitoring the irregularities in consumption patterns or billing discrepancies
  • Customer Information System (CIS) by managing and storing customer information, including billing details, consumption history, and contact information
  • Contact center, providing a centralized platform for handling customer inquiries, service requests, and issue resolutions.
  • Meter-to-cash management by optimizing and automating the billing cycle from capturing meter data to generating invoices and processing payments.
  • Net metering by tracking energy production, consumption, and the exchange of excess energy with the grid for efficient management and monitoring of renewable energy sources integrated to the smart grids.

4.) UiPath Process Automation Platform: A leading provider of robotic process automation (RPA) solutions to automate repetitive tasks. Integrated with SAP utility solutions, UiPath excels in:

  • Automating data entry tasks, ensuring accurate and timely input of critical information like customer details, meter readings, and billing data into SAP IS-U.
  • Streamlining invoice processing by automating data extraction from invoices, verification against SAP IS-U records, and seamless updates with payment details.
  • Facilitating invoice generation based on predefined rules and customer data, enhancing billing efficiency.

Infrastructure management tools

Utility infrastructure management systematically plan, monitor and optimize essential facilities such as power lines, water pipes, and equipment. These tools help establish the reliability, safety, and efficiency of utility services by tracking assets, coordinating workforce coordination and ensuring compliance. Some of these tools include: 

Geographic Information System (GIS)

Geographic Information System (GIS) tools help utilities enhance their spatial analysis and infrastructure management by

  • Enhancing asset management and network planning
  • Facilitating real-time monitoring and spatial-enabled customer services 
  • Optimizing emergency response planning 
  • Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Top GIS Tools:

5.) Alteryx: Alteryx is a data analytics and data blending platform, recognized for its capabilities in data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics. Altered platform allow utility firms to:

  • Derive valuable insights from various data sources, providing a comprehensive approach to data analytics and spatial intelligence for effective decision-making in utility operations
  • Perform spatial analytics by overlaying geographic information with operational data, enabling a deeper understanding of spatial relationships.
  • Optimize network planning by uncovering patterns, trends and correlations, leading to enhanced infrastructure management
  • Increase efficiency in utility customer experience by monitoring real-time spatial-enabled customer services

6.) Esri ArcGIS:

Esri ArcGIS is a Geographic Information System (GIS) software designed for mapping and spatial analysis. It provides advanced tools for creating, managing, and analyzing geographic data, enabling users to make informed decisions based on spatial insights. Esri’s ArcGIS can connect to SAP utility environment through connectors. With ArcGIS, utility providers can

  • Facilitate spatial-enabled customer services
  • Improve their real-time monitoring and emergency response planning within utility operations
  • Enhance asset management and networking planning, ensuring infrastructure reliability, safety, efficiency and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Master Data Management (MDM)

Master Data Management (MDM) is critical for maintaining consistent and accurate master data across an organization. When integrated with SAP IS-U, MDM tools can: 

  • Contribute to data consistency and quality
  • Support cross-system integration
  • Enforce data governance policies.

Top MDM Tools are:

7.) Informatica MDM: Informatica MDM provides a comprehensive platform for managing master data across diverse systems. It offers features for data quality management and data governance. Integrated with SAP IS-U, Informatica MDM contributes significantly to:

  • Data consistency by harmonizing and standardizing master data across the entire organizational landscape, improving data-driven decision-making.
  • Cross-system integration, enhancing interoperability of data, promoting a unified approach to data management.
  • Data governance compliance by establishing, enforcing, and monitoring data governance practices, regulatory requirements and internal policies.

8.) TIBCO EBX: It is an enterprise data management platform developed by TIBCO Software manage, govern, and share master data across an organization. Integrated with SAP utility tools like SAP IS-U, TIBCO EBX enables organizations to create a centralized and consistent view of their master data. This way, TIBCO can provide:

  • A centralized repository for master data with accurate and up-to-date information essential for customer interaction, operational efficiency and decision-making
  • Robust mechanism to validate, cleanse, and standardize master data, preventing inconsistencies and errors to maintain data integrity throughout the utility landscape
  • Cross-system integration, enabling seamless data exchange and interoperability across diverse systems within the utility infrastructure
  • Tools and frameworks to establish, enforce, and monitor data governance policies, improving compliance with regulatory requirements and internal standards and fostering a controlled data environment.

IoT devices and sensors

IoT devices(e.g. smart meters) and sensors can help utility companies by

  • Capturing real-time data on energy consumption data, monitor usage patterns and optimize energy distribution
  • Facilitating utility asset management via continuous monitoring, predictive maintenance and proactive maintenance scheduling
  • Optimizing smart grid performance by detecting faults and disruptions in real-time
  • Achieving efficient service management by delivering personalized service such as energy efficiency recommendations and real-time billing information. 

IoT players include: 

9.) IBM Watson IoT: With its advanced analytics and device management capabilities, supports the integration of IoT data into SAP IS-U. This integration enables utilities to:

  • Optimize operations by employing advanced analytics to process and analyze the vast amount of data generated by IoT devices to improve energy distribution and identify areas of efficiency.
  • Implement predictive maintenance strategies for enhanced equipment reliability by continuously monitoring the condition and performance of equipment through IoT sensors, preventing unplanned downtime and ensuring enhanced equipment reliability
  • Improve customer experiences by collecting and analyzing customer behaviors, preferences, and usage patterns, and tailoring the service to anticipate customer needs, like

10.) Microsoft Azure IoT: It is a comprehensive platform, facilitates the integration of IoT data into SAP IS-U. It empowers utilities to

  • Optimize operations by harnessing real-time insights for efficient resource allocation such as preventing equipment failures and streamlining workforce scheduling
  • Enhance customer service by responding proactively to potential issues, emerging patterns and trends In data.
Solution Broader category Key Features Benefits in Utilities Use Cases in Utilities
WLA Tools Process automation and management tools – Orchestration and scheduling
– Automate batch processes
– Efficiency in energy workflows
– Real-time visibility
– Enhanced security
– Meter-to-cash operations
– Smart meter readings
– IoT data handling
BPM Tools Process automation and management tools – End-to-end workflow orchestration
– Fraud detection
– Improved operational efficiency
– Fraud prevention
– Enhanced customer service
– Asset management
– Fraud detection
– Customer information
– Meter-to-cash
– Net metering
GIS Tools Infrastructure management tools – Enhanced asset management
– Real-time monitoring
– Enhanced infrastructure management
– Real-time customer service
– Improved emergency response
– Asset management
– Network planning
– Real-time monitoring
– Customer services
– Emergency response
MDM Tools Infrastructure management tools – Data consistency and quality
– Cross-system integration
– Improved data quality and consistency
– Better governance compliance
– Data consistency and quality
– Cross-system integration
– Data governance compliance
IoT Infrastructure management tools – Real-time data capture on energy consumption
– Predictive maintenance
– Optimized operations
– Predictive maintenance
– Enhanced customer experiences
– Energy consumption data capture
– Utility asset management
– Smart grid optimization
– Service management efficiency

Selecting the most suitable tools for integrating with SAP utility solutions involves considering various factors that align with organizational needs. 

Among the available options, Workload Automation (WLA) tools emerge as standout solutions. These tools, such as Redwood and ActiveBatch, not only excel in delivering extensive automation features for orchestrating critical business processes but also offer a unique advantage by encompassing analytics and data management capabilities within their functionalities. 

This comprehensive approach ensures that utilities can streamline operations, optimize workflows, and derive valuable insights, making WLA tools a compelling choice for organizations seeking a well-rounded integration solution with SAP.

The image shows SAP IS-U shame along with processes are involved in. These processes include device management work management, billing and invoicing which can be optimized managed and automated through SAP utility solutions.
Figure 1: SAP IS-U schema showing the processes SAP utility solutions can automate and manage 2

What is SAP for utilities?

SAP for utilities refer to a SAP business technology platform tailored for utility companies managing electricity, gas, water, and heat services. With SAP for Utilities, organizations enhance operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and adaptability to industry changes, providing a comprehensive platform to address the unique requirements of the utility sector.
SAP utilities module include various tools but mainly SAP Industry Solution for Utilities (IS-U). It covers areas such as customer service, billing, invoicing, contract management, and asset management specific to the utilities industry. The other major SAP tools in this module include: 
1.) SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM): SAP CRM is often integrated with IS-U to manage customer interactions, marketing, sales, and service processes. It helps utility companies improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2.) SAP S/4HANA for Utilities: As organizations transition to SAP’s next-generation ERP system, S/4HANA, utilities can leverage industry-specific functionalities within this platform. S/4HANA offers improved performance, a simplified data model, and enhanced analytics.
3.) SAP Business Warehouse (BW): This enterprise data warehousing solution facilitate advanced analytics and informed decision-making by consolidating customer billing and meter data, performing in-depth analysis, creating standardized reports, and ensuring data accuracy. 

Learn more solutions to manage SAP meter-to-cash process and other core utility processes. 

What are the benefits of SAP for utilities?

Implementing SAP for Utilities brings a host of benefits to organizations in the utility sector, including:

1.) Integrated processes: SAP utility solutions streamline all business processes, from customer service to regulatory compliance, reducing complexity and enhancing overall efficiency.
2.) Billing accuracy: SAP utility solutions, such as WLA tools can ensure precise billing processes, calculating charges accurately based on consumption, rates, and agreements, minimizing billing errors and disputes.
3.) Efficient asset management: SAP’s Work and digital asset management modules can enable utilities to optimize maintenance schedules, reduce downtime, and improve the performance and reliability of their infrastructure and equipment.
4.) Regulatory compliance: SAP helps utilities navigate complex regulations, ensuring adherence to legal requirements and industry standards.
5.) Data management and analytics: SAP integrated tools can handle large data volumes, allowing utilities to derive insights for better resource management.
6.) Financial transparency: SAP’s FICO module or any other integrated tool can provide robust financial tools, offering transparency into budgeting, cost tracking, and financial reporting.
7.) Scalability: SAP solutions are scalable, enabling utilities to grow and adapt as their business evolves, providing flexibility for expanding services or adopting new technologies.
8.) Digital transformation: SAP supports utilities in their digital transformation journey, integrating advanced technologies to enhance operational efficiency and responsiveness.
9.) Renewable energy sources: SAP facilitates the seamless integration and management of renewable energy sources, helping utilities embrace sustainable practices and contribute to environmental goals.
10.) Compliant revenue management: SAP ensures compliant revenue management, helping utilities effectively manage revenue streams while adhering to industry regulations and standards.

Top applications in SAP for utilities

1.) Customer management: SAP utilities module can efficiently manage customer accounts, billing, and invoicing processes. The tools under this category can handle various rate structures, tariff calculations, and billing determinants.
2. Asset and work optimization: SAP for utilities can be useful to optimize maintenance schedules for utility assets, and manage work orders, inspections, and repairs to enhance asset performance.
3. Device and meter management: Sap utility solutions can track and manage utility devices, including meters, from installation to retirement. This way, they support processes related to device replacement, maintenance, and readings.
4. Data management: Tools like meter data management (MDM) or energy data management (EDM) can collect, validate, process data or energy-related data from smart meters to forecast and manage loads.
5. Regulatory compliance: SAP for utilities can applied to ensure compliance industry regulations and standards.It can facilitate reporting and documentation required by regulatory bodies.
6.) Financial Management (FI-CA): SAP for utilities can ease managing transactions related to customer accounts, increasing transparency in accounting for receivables and payables.
7. Analytics and reporting: Some of these tools can be deployed in advanced analytics for actionable insights. They can help generate reports for decision-making, performance monitoring, and strategic planning.
8.) Integration: SAP utility solutions can integrate seamlessly with smart grid technologies, supporting real-time monitoring and control. These tools can also integrate other SAP tools and SAP certified third-party systems
9. Mobile workforce efficiency: SAP for utilities enable field personnel to access and update information on the go. As a result, it can improve efficiency in field operations, inspections, and service delivery.
10. Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS): SAP for utilities can address EHS concerns and comply with environmental regulations, ensuring safety in operations and managing environmental impact.

Transparency statement

AIMultiple serves numerous technology vendors, including Redwood.

Further reading

If you want to transform your utility services, check out other top tools and technologies:

If you have more questions, do not hesitate: 

Find the Right Vendors

External sources

  1. McCelland, J. (2017). “SAP Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Utilities Customer Information Systems“. SAP Blog. Accessed at January 18, 2024.
  2. Singh, U. (2020).”SAP ISU explained like never before.” SAP Blog. Accessed January 18, 2024.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.