Case

Untangle Free Domain business activities at Alliander

The energy sector in the Netherlands is in a transition – the Energy Transition. The government aims to unbundle the connections of large corporate customers - the so-called free domain. In the future, the network operator will therefore only provide up to the network connection in the electricity and gas network; the underlying customer installations will be served by the free market. Alliander has launched the Free Domain to Kenter program to achieve this, with Kenter being Alliander's free market party. Based on trust, experience with previous migration issues and experience with process attachment with an IT component, Marcadus has been asked to take on this assignment by providing an IT project manager and a process analyst for both the leaving and receiving side.

"The energy transition in practice"

Hugo:  “In total, this project consists of three parts. Connecting the operational requirements to the IT adjustments, developing and executing the migration, and ultimately thinking about the future of Liander as a completely separate network operator from the free domain. You see that it is not self-evident to deliver conclusive operational requirements. As a result, we challenged the operation with regard to the content, with which the translation to IT could be made.”

Maurits:  “The consequences of the unbundling have more impact for users within Alliander than it seems at first glance. This means that we have provided regular change management support. By simulating the future situation in an IT process, it is easier for process owners to understand what the impact will be for them. This makes it clear to everyone what the coming changes will be. You therefore create a completely different type of collaboration than when you present dry IT proposals.”

Hugo:  “With the separation of data, you notice that we are entering unexplored territory within the company. Establishing a boundary between Free Domain data and Regulated Domain data triggers many discussions, in which it is important to separate the right technical questions from the functional issues. It is also important to have a good facilitator who can correctly translate decision-making at a functional level into detailed requirements for the project. Smartly facilitating communication between business and IT is of the utmost importance.”

Maurits:  “It was a tough process, in which we had to achieve a lot in a short period of time. Within a year we managed to carry out the package selection for a new ERP and GIS system, to implement it and to perform a complete data migration, to organize the associated tie-off and to close down the lapsed processes. We then also provided insight into the required IT activities of both Alliander and Kenter, which must take place after the unbundling.”

Hugo:  “The conclusion of this story? Understanding at which moments you as IT can deliver extra value, and at which moments you can inspire the business parties. Only in this way can you create an equal partnership in which you can optimally use each other's knowledge and principles. This requires someone who understands IT operations at an abstract level and knows how to facilitate decision-making on the IT side, versus someone on the business side who can form the dialogue about preferences and choices that need to be made. Easier said than done, but raising awareness of this is step number 1 in the right direction.”

Hugo Arts & Maurits Willemsen

 

As a network company, Alliander is responsible for the distribution of energy, such as electricity, (bio)gas and heat. More than three million consumers and businesses are supplied with gas and electricity every day. Alliander's foundations were laid with the establishment of NV Provinciale Geldersche Electriciteitsmaatschappij (PGEM) in 1915. After various takeovers, mergers and divisions, Alliander NV was established on 1 July 2009 as an independent network company.

Case manager

Maurits Willemsen

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