The largest Austrian energy service provider reacted proactively to changing framework conditions with the help of a comprehensive digitization strategy. Together with Salzburg Research, a future-oriented strategy for the digital transformation of the asset management system was developed, which also takes into account rapid technological innovations and further developments.
Due to the liberalization of the electricity market, energy service providers came under considerable competitive pressure. Wien Energie GmbH recognized digitization as an opportunity to optimize existing processes, develop new services and build new value-added networks. Therefore, the management responded to this challenge proactively by developing a digitization strategy. All business areas were called upon to develop innovative business models and identify potential savings.
The division responsible for the optimal management of the systems is accountable for the availability of generation systems (thermal power plants, hydro and wind power plants as well as solar energy parks) and pumping stations. The division used the know-how of Salzburg Research to develop a future-proof digitization strategy for technical systems. Concrete quick wins as well as medium- to long-term innovation projects for data-driven operation and maintenance were developed jointly in six strategic fields of action.
The strategy process was carried out with broad involvement of representatives from the generation plants, the decentralized distribution networks, the plant service and the central innovation department. The result consisted of a series of guiding principles for the path to the digital future as well as a catalog of measures and recommendations for action for the implementation of the strategy.
Organizational and strategic considerations have been considered as well as the development and promotion of digital competence, the digitization of the systems and the operating and service processes. In addition to medium to long-term strategic measures, experimental developments and pilot projects were developed, such as the use of smart drones to inspect chimneys and wind turbines.
Thanks to this digitization strategy, the business area obtained for the first time a complete overview of the IT systems, data pools and their interrelationships used in asset management. An important aspect of the implementation was raising the potential of the available data through the integration of previously isolated databases.
In addition to technology, the design of digital cultural change and the development of digital skills were also taken into account. Through the dual approach remained next to medium- to long-term strategic measures also space for experimental development and pilot projects that accommodate the rapid dynamism in digital technologies.
In the process, Salzburg Research served as a product-neutral companion, technology scout, idea generator and implementation partner for the digital transformation and innovation of maintenance.